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Internet connectivity and infrastructure becoming more critical for hospitals

August 02, 2012
Uncategorized By LW Consulting Inc.

Wireless internet networks are not unlike elevators, in that they allow users to reach a destination quicker than they could in the past, but they begin to slow when they become overburdened by too many users.

In extreme cases, they may even grind to a complete halt. In elevators, this is a fixable problem, but when wireless internet goes down in a hospital that relies on cloud-based solutions, for example, lives could be at risk, especially given the increasing industry-wide reliance on IT platforms to treat patients.

For this reason, IT department led by a talented medical facility CIO, perhaps trained by a healthcare IT consulting expert, have become vital components of the care process, to the extent that not having one on-hand can leave a facility ill-equipped to deliver the highest-quality of care at all times. In many cases, older facilities may require significant upgrades to their infrastructure in order to accommodate health IT systems, such as electronic medical records.

"If it takes five seconds to get a reply, [physicians are] not going to like the wait," he said. "And those five seconds accumulate and it's going to impact their productivity," health IT expert Jack Kowitt told PCWorld in a recent article.

Health IT is intended to expedite administrative processes, allowing doctors to spend more face-to-face time with patients and use technology to deliver health outcomes that draw upon more data. If the management of health IT becomes a time burden for physicians - beyond the expected ramp-up period where they learn how to use these systems - then something went awry during the implementation period.

To prevent health IT implementation problems and ensure that facilities do not commit HIPAA violations due to data mismanagement, hospitals should consider working with a healthcare IT consulting service that can provide end-to-end advice on how to implement and utilize these systems.