Saturday, September 22, 2012

Revisiting the Role of IT in Healthcare

Since this blog started, in 2009, we have devoted a lot of words to the idea of improving healthcare with information technology. These days, the role of IT in health facilities is commonly understood. When we first wrote about the idea of a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ hospital, it was still a controversial topic. Todd Boucher is an expert in IT and Data Centers, and he took some time to put together a lengthy blog on Health IT, and the future of both industries. Today, we’ll be looking at a few of his points, and providing some commentary on how Health Care and IT have grown up together.

Strategies for supporting “Bring Your Own Device” vary, but the necessity to support these mobile technologies is expanding rapidly. Practitioners are already using use their mobile devices for video conferencing, clinical tools, and accessing online patient data, and the technologies available to increase functionality of mobile devices in hospitals is expanding exponentially.

Doctors and surgeons of today have a nigh-infinite library of information at their fingertips, in the form of iPads, smartphones, and even laptops. All of these devices have found a new home in the operating room, the office, and more. Of course, the danger of a data breach is ever-present, but the safety of these devices can only improve as they continue to find more widespread use.

The use of these technologies represents a major change in data center requirements, and healthcare organizations need to evaluate the ability of their existing data centers to deliver the associated availability. Too often, the technology is procured and the implementation planned prior to answering the questions about whether the data center can provide the physical infrastructure (power, cooling, floor space, etc) necessary to support the technology.

Second only to perhaps the military, medical technology is often the most innovative in the United States. Many organizations and companies exist to develop new, improved, and more efficient pieces of medical hardware. The downside to this is that hospitals and private practices are often expected to upgrade pieces of a system that might lack the infrastructure required to keep things running smoothly. It is all too easy to step outside of the capable range of any given facility, and rapidly-improving tech is not helping things.

If you work in a health facility or hospital, we would love to hear your opinions on IT in the workplace. Leave a comment below, and we might respond to some of the most insightful in a future blog!


Pam Argeris is a thought leader in the Healthcare Industry and possesses extensive, hands-on experience with CMS compliance, and multiple regulatory bodies such as NCQA, JACHO, and DOI. In her role at Merrill Corp., Pam focuses on developing solutions for compliance and quality assurance, delivered in a cost effective manner to improve beneficiary and prospect communications. You can contact Pam at

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