HealthTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Healthcare en How Are Predictive Analytics Applications Changing Oncology? <span>How Are Predictive Analytics Applications Changing Oncology?</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Fri, 08/23/2019 - 13:54</span> <div><p>A decade ago, when Dr. Debra Patt was starting her professional career, the oncologist would use her medical training — plus paper, a pen and a calculator — to determine the best course of treatment when writing chemotherapy orders.</p> <p>Now, she enters details such as patients’ height and weight and the characteristics of their cancers into an <a href="">electronic health record</a>. Patt then uses analytics tools to process that information and guide her next steps with data-driven precision. </p> <p><strong>Such automated guidance is complementary</strong>, not a substitute.</p> <p>“Oncologists today see many different diseases, and the field is changing so rapidly. Predictive analytics helps us be compliant with the most recent evidence-based guidelines,” Patt, an executive vice president at <a href="" target="_blank">Texas Oncology</a> and editor-in-chief of <a href="" target="_blank">JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics</a>, tells <em>HealthTech</em>. </p> <p>“Having treatment plans integrated within the structured data elements and supported by clinical decision reduces error because there’s variability in humans writing orders,” she adds. </p> <p>The tools also stand to <strong>provide added benefit to clinicians</strong> as value-based care — reimbursement tied to quality of care rather than the number of patients seen — gains traction. </p> <p>Now more than ever, “we are laser-focused on care management and reducing ER visits and hospitalizations for the patients we serve,” says Patt, also a former clinical practice committee chair for the American Society of Clinical Oncology.</p> <p>The movement shows no sign of slowing. With a current estimated value of <strong>$14 billion</strong>, the global healthcare analytics market is <a href="" target="_blank">expected to reach $50.4 billion by 2025</a>. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> Discover how emergency departments are using predictive analytics to optimize staffing.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Growth of Predictive Analytics in Oncology Care</h2> <p>In a May 2019 article <a href="" target="_blank">published in the <em>ASCO Educational Book</em></a>, Patt and five industry colleagues examine the challenges and capabilities of predictive analytics in oncology. Citing an “immense potential” to improve risk stratification, the writers identify three main functions:</p> <ul><li><strong>Population health management:</strong> Predictive algorithms can be applied to identify high-risk cancer patients with a higher chance of readmission after surgery or chemotherapy. Such data can prompt crucial preventive care while reducing costs and strain on a patient. Patt’s team, for example, reviews detailed readouts during staff huddles.</li> <li><strong>Radiomics: </strong>The field of computer-assisted texture analysis uses quantitative data from scans to study tumor characteristics. Recently, <a href="" target="_blank">computers examined differences in lesions </a>of 125 lung cancer patients treated with platinum chemotherapy at the Cleveland Clinic. The patterns could help predict which future patients might benefit.</li> <li><strong>Pathology: </strong>Inaccurate biopsy reads can lead to excessive or inappropriate treatment, the authors note. Artificial intelligence algorithms are offering deep insight on biopsy reads — Google claims its AI tool has <strong><a href="" target="_blank">99 percent accuracy</a></strong> in metastatic breast cancer detection — and give oncologists more time to focus on other aspects of care. </li> </ul><p>Future uses of predictive analytics, the paper notes, could entail a wide range of skills, including more routine decision-making at the point of care and applying machine learning models to targeted next-generation sequencing panels that otherwise are too expensive as a blindly administered screening approach for an entire population.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/kevin-joy" hreflang="en">Kevin Joy</a></div> </div> Fri, 23 Aug 2019 17:54:22 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42821 at Why IoT Devices Are a Worthy Investment for Hospitals <span>Why IoT Devices Are a Worthy Investment for Hospitals</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/22/2019 - 09:12</span> <div><p>The Internet of Things in healthcare is continuously growing. According to <a href="">an Aruba Networks report</a>, <strong>87 percent</strong> of healthcare organizations will be using IoT devices by this year.</p> <p>A separate report from Accenture found that today’s healthcare organizations dedicate <strong>an average of 10 percent of their overall IT budget to IoT solutions</strong>, with their investments rising incrementally as a hospital’s budget grows.</p> <p>These interconnected tools help hospitals automate time-consuming administrative tasks, track medication inventory and enhance building security, among other critical functions. Even better, they enhance high-quality care that can help <a href="" target="_blank">prevent costly readmissions</a>. </p> <p>The 2017 Accenture report states <strong>73 percent</strong> of healthcare professionals <a href="" target="_blank">reported cost savings</a> since adopting IoT devices. The report also notes remote patient monitoring, wellness programs and data analysis that can prompt more intuitive decision-making are key IoT benefits. </p> <p>There has never been a better time for hospitals to invest in IoT devices.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH: </strong>Learn how 5G and IoT can enhance the patient care paradigm.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Saratoga Hospital Adopts IoT for Patient Monitoring</h2> <p>Consider <a href="" target="_blank">Saratoga Hospital</a> in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. <strong>The hospital found itself bogged down with administrative tasks</strong> — such as taking patients’ vital signs every few hours — and manually logging the results.</p> <p>In an effort to improve clinical outcomes and enhance patient safety, the organization turned to <a href=";searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Philips</a> for IoT-enabled patient monitoring technology. Philips’ IntelliVue Guardian Solution automatically acquires patients’ vital signs and helps identify subtle indicators of deterioration, alerting caregivers to take swift and effective action when needed.</p> <p>Since its adoption of the Philips system, Saratoga Hospital has seen <strong>a 63 percent reduction in transfers</strong> to its intensive care unit.</p> <p>Because patient monitors are one of the most common IoT devices (used by <strong>64 percent </strong>of providers, according to Aruba Networks), they’re a straightforward way for healthcare organizations to reduce costs and increase productivity.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>READ MORE:</strong> Find out how to bring modern technologies to your organization.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">IoT Helps Streamline the Patient Experience</h2> <p>IoT technology has helped meet <a href="">increased demand from younger generations</a> to receive virtual care through remote patient monitoring via wearables such as <a href="" target="_blank">Fitbit</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Apple Watch</a>.</p> <p>This approach not only improves the patient experience by eliminating the need for some office visits, <strong>but also helps enhance patient care</strong>. The Accenture report notes healthcare systems and insurance providers consider wearables a major part of their wellness IoT solutions; both groups cited consumer satisfaction as a top driver.</p> <p>The report also states the majority of <a href="">remote patient monitoring</a> IoT investments are focused on cardiac conditions. </p> <p>At the <a href="" target="_blank">University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Magee-Women’s Hospital</a>, teams are using the technology to monitor women with pregnancy-associated hypertension. Participants are given a blood pressure cuff and asked to download an app on their phones upon their discharge to monitor their condition. </p> <p>Most women who experience hypertension during pregnancy notice the condition goes away after they give birth. Since the pilot launch, the hospital found that <strong>57 percent</strong> of participating patients <strong>were able to skip their first appointment due to the remote monitoring</strong>. </p> <p>Beyond wearables, <a href="" target="_blank">Oishei Children’s Hospital</a> in Buffalo, N.Y., is <a href="">adopting IoT along with wayfinding technology</a> to reduce visitor anxiety. A smartphone app integrated with a patient’s electronic health record can provide appointment notifications, estimated arrival times and guided directions through the necessary facilities. It can also help find nearby parking.</p> <p>The benefits IoT devices offer patients and providers, both inside and outside of hospitals, are tangible. By investing in IoT technology, hospitals can help both parties save time and money, as their facility takes a meaningful step into the future.</p> <p><em>This article is part of </em>HealthTech<em>’s <a href="">MonITor blog series</a>. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using <a href="">#WellnessIT</a>.</em></p> <p><em><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="MonITor_logo_sized.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></a></em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/adam-oldenburg" hreflang="en">Adam Oldenburg</a></div> </div> Thu, 22 Aug 2019 13:12:52 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42816 at Connected Technologies Deliver the Power to Improve Patient Outcomes <span>Connected Technologies Deliver the Power to Improve Patient Outcomes</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Tue, 08/20/2019 - 09:08</span> <div><p><strong>Our lives are connected in countless ways</strong>, no matter where or how we live.</p> <p>Nowhere is this more true than in the world of IT. As technologies such as mobile computing, collaboration solutions and the <a href="">Internet of Things</a> evolve, <strong>the number of connections</strong> — both to people and machines — <strong>is growing rapidly</strong>. And as data analytics and software-defined networking mature, enabling organizations to take greater advantage of these connections, this trend will only accelerate. Indeed, <a href="" target="_blank">Deloitte estimates</a> that <strong>48 percent</strong> of the medical devices produced today are connected, but that figure is expected to rise to <strong>68 percent</strong> in five years.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Deloitte</a> highlights a number of key objectives that connected healthcare solutions can deliver, including better medication management, decreased costs, enhanced patient experience, and improved diagnosis and treatment. All of these lead to the broader goal of better patient outcomes.</p> <p><strong>Connected solutions are influencing how and when care is delivered</strong>. For example, healthcare organizations are using telehealth tools <a href="">to provide care to patients during natural disasters</a>, when dangerous conditions make it impossible for care providers and patients to connect physically.</p> <p>Similarly, integrated communication and collaboration tools are becoming a <a href="">key part of the care strategy</a> for many organizations. “Good communications for clinicians can translate to higher patient satisfaction, which translates to better reimbursements,” says Lynne Dunbrack of IDC Health Insights.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> Learn how collaboration tools bring doctors and patients closer together. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Connected Solutions Still Present Obstacles in Healthcare</h2> <p>But while these connections provide new opportunities for healthcare organizations, <strong>they also pose new hurdles</strong>. The <em>HealthTech </em>article “<a href="">Will Edge Computing Transform Healthcare?</a>" highlights a number of challenges that providers will face — including bandwidth, security and privacy issues — as they increase their adoption of medical IoT solutions. </p> <p>Further, as connected solutions mature, <a href="">the healthcare industry must establish standards</a> that govern their effective deployment. These standards will improve results and help adopters avoid common pitfalls.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/ryan-petersen" hreflang="en">Ryan Petersen</a></div> </div> Tue, 20 Aug 2019 13:08:41 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42811 at Fall 2019 <span>Fall 2019</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Mon, 08/19/2019 - 09:57</span> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-vertical" data-layout="vertical" data-url="" data-title="Fall 2019" data-via="CDW_Healthcare" data-button-background="none"> <span> <span>Aug</span> <span>19</span> <span>2019</span> </span> <a class="pw-button-twitter cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-facebook cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-linkedin cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-reddit cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-flipboard cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-email cdw-taboola-social"></a> <!-- Pinterest button is in EdTechk12 theme's vertical template --> </div> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-horizontal" data-counter="true" data-url="" data-title="Fall 2019" data-via="CDW_Healthcare" data-button-background="none"> <div> <a class="pw-button-twitter cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a href=";" target="_blank"><span class="pw-box-counter cdw-taboola" data-channel="twitter"></span></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-facebook cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-linkedin cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-reddit cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-flipboard cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-email cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <!-- Pinterest button is in EdTechk12 theme's horizontal template --> </div> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-horizontal" data-url="" data-title="Fall 2019" data-via="CDW_Healthcare" data-button-background="none"> <div> <a class="pw-button-twitter"></a> <span class="pw-box-counter" pw:channel="twitter"></span> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-facebook"></a> <span class="pw-box-counter" pw:channel="facebook"></span> </div> </div> Mon, 19 Aug 2019 13:57:03 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42806 at Will Edge Computing Transform Healthcare? <span>Will Edge Computing Transform Healthcare?</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Mon, 08/19/2019 - 09:00</span> <div><p>The global market for <a href="">Internet of Things</a> medical devices is expected to exceed <strong>$500 billion</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">by 2025</a>, which will likely cause a major paradigm shift in healthcare IT. That’s because most computing now happens in <a href="">on-premises data centers</a> or, increasingly, in the cloud.</p> <p>But analyzing data from a distance poses a number of risks — including bandwidth congestion, network reliability and latency — that could negatively affect health outcomes when seconds count. To address these concerns, <strong>forward-thinking healthcare organizations are moving to adopt edge computing</strong>, in which data is analyzed and acted upon at the point of collection, or on a nearby system situated between the connected device and the cloud (a concept known as “fog computing”).</p> <p><em>HealthTech</em> asked three experts to discuss the transformative power of edge computing. Our roundtable consisted of Dr. Shafiq Rab, senior vice president and CIO at <a href="" target="_blank">Rush University Medical Center</a>, one of three U.S. health systems to achieve the highest level of analytics maturity as determined by <a href="" target="_blank">HIMSS</a>; Dr. David C. Klonoff, medical director of the Diabetes Research Institute at <a href="" target="_blank">Mills-Peninsula Medical Center</a> and author of a report on how edge and fog computing affect diabetes patients; and Weisong Shi, a professor of computer science at <a href="" target="_blank">Wayne State University</a> and a researcher in the field of edge computing and connected health.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH: </strong>IoT pushes healthcare organizations to boost their network capacity.</em></a></p> <h2><span style="color: #c74037;">HEALTHTECH:</span> What's driving the adoption of edge computing?</h2> <p><strong>RAB</strong>: The key benefit of edge computing is the ability of devices to compute, process and analyze data with the same level of quality as data analyzed in the cloud, but without latency. This will decrease cost, increase efficiency and improve the patient experience, bringing us one step closer to autonomous care instead of merely automated.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/dan-tynan" hreflang="en">Dan Tynan</a></div> </div> Mon, 19 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42796 at The Role of Telehealth in Disaster Recovery <span>The Role of Telehealth in Disaster Recovery</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Fri, 08/16/2019 - 10:01</span> <div><p>When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in 2017, some hospitals were effectively turned into islands, cut off from the rest of the city by floodwaters that covered low-lying roadways. As a result, <strong>many physicians were unable to drive to the hospitals where they worked</strong>, leaving patients to rely on whoever happened to be on duty when the waters rose.</p> <p>Luckily, <a href="" target="_blank">Access Physicians</a>, a group that provides acute telemedicine care to hospitals around the country, was already working with a number of facilities in the area — including some smaller healthcare centers that had no physicians at all onsite at the time of the storm. During regular operations, Access Physicians typically provides specialty care. But in the wake of Harvey, the organization’s remote doctors assumed responsibility for the day-to-day duties of the hospitals’ regular physicians.</p> <p>“<strong>We were able to get into hospitals that the flesh-and-blood physicians weren’t able to get to</strong>,” says cardiologist Chris Gallagher, co-founder and CEO of Access Physicians. “When the attending physician can’t make it to the hospital, you become the de facto physician because you are the only one who can get to the bedside. That was definitely a change in scope for us.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/calvin-hennick" hreflang="en">Calvin Hennick</a></div> </div> Fri, 16 Aug 2019 14:01:35 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42801 at Software-Defined Solutions Deliver Powerful Management Capabilities <span>Software-Defined Solutions Deliver Powerful Management Capabilities</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Wed, 08/14/2019 - 16:22</span> <div><p>The IT infrastructure for <a href="" target="_blank">Proliance Surgeons</a> was already on its last legs three years ago when the specialty surgery group hit a sudden growth spurt — <strong>a 15 percent boost </strong>in new patients and procedures that left IT staffers at the Seattle-based, physician-owned practice struggling to keep pace.</p> <p>“The <a href="">network</a>, the <a href="">data center</a>, our storage, they were all straining, trying to absorb and accommodate that level of growth,” says Proliance CIO Curt Kwak, whose small team of 36 IT specialists supports more than 2,400 employees across 100 clinics and ambulatory surgery centers in western Washington state.</p> <p>Those concerns prompted Kwak and his team to launch a proactive effort that began with upgrading all existing <a href="" target="_blank">Cisco Systems</a> equipment in the data center.</p> <p>The network, however, was a different story: Instead of replacing Cisco networking gear with the next iteration, <strong>Proliance’s IT team opted to upgrade to software-defined networking</strong> enabled by the <a href="" target="_blank">Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure</a> (ACI). The solution improved management and efficiency of the company’s networks.</p> <p><a href="">Software-defined solutions such as SDN</a> use virtualization to separate systems management from the underlying hardware. It provides IT administrators with centralized control of networks and other data center components, enabling them to provision, prioritize and program their IT infrastructure. Healthcare organizations are adopting this technology in growing numbers to improve the automation, efficiency and reliability of their networks.</p> <p>“The biggest single difference that we get with SDN is the level of control we have in our network management,” Kwak says. “<strong>We’re able to actually monitor and redirect the traffic in a very efficient way</strong> that we never could with a traditional network.”</p> <p>Still, Proliance approached the move cautiously. The company took six months to complete a preimplementation study and reached out to Cisco and <a href="" target="_blank">CDW Professional Services</a> for guidance.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/heather-b-hayes" hreflang="en">Heather B. Hayes</a></div> </div> Wed, 14 Aug 2019 20:22:09 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42791 at Healthcare Organizations Face Hurdles as They Move to Windows 10 <span>Healthcare Organizations Face Hurdles as They Move to Windows 10</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Mon, 08/12/2019 - 17:35</span> <div><p>The IT team at <a href="" target="_blank">Kelsey-Seybold Clinic</a> has a straightforward mandate: Don’t get in the way of the brief time physicians have with patients. So when the time came to migrate the Houston-based healthcare system’s computers from <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft</a> Windows 7 to <a href="" target="_blank">Windows 10</a>, the IT staff made it as seamless for users as flipping a switch.</p> <p>“But that didn’t occur without planning,” says Martin Littmann, CTO and CISO at Kelsey-Seybold.</p> <p>The organization has spent two years preparing for Jan. 14, 2020 — <strong>the day Microsoft will end support and security updates for Windows 7</strong>. It has required infrastructure upgrades, training and painstaking work to ensure that applications will be compatible with the new operating system <a href="">when the migration occurs</a>. But failure to make the transition can leave organizations vulnerable to security threats, application performance issues and costly fixes.</p> <p>“Microsoft allowed us to live in Windows 7 for a long time,” says Mo Garza, manager of desktop systems at Kelsey-Seybold. But, he adds, “it’s come down to <a href="">staying current and securing your environment</a>. Falling too far behind could be catastrophic to an organization.”</p> <p>The migration is particularly complex for healthcare organizations, because <strong>they must ensure that their electronic medical records systems will function properly with Windows 10</strong> and that any changes they make will comply with stringent privacy regulations, explains Laura DiDio, principal of research and consulting firm <a href="" target="_blank">ITIC</a>.</p> <p>“Often, their existing environments may be held together with Krazy Glue. However clumsy, it works, and they know where all the pitfalls are and how to fix it if something goes wrong,” says DiDio. “Windows 10 is unknown territory.”</p> <p>Due to the complexities, DiDio advises healthcare organizations to hire a third party to help with the migration. “That’s money well spent if your staff isn’t up for it,” she says. “I wouldn’t fool around with this in healthcare.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH: </strong>How Windows 10 can improve healthcare collaboration and communication.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Kesley-Seybold Makes Room for Migration</h2> <p>Kelsey-Seybold began its Windows 10 migration project in 2017 with a head start. The organization upgraded to a virtualized data center in 2010, then spent years converting to virtual desktops. <strong>Of its 6,600 desktops, 4,697 are now accessed via thin clients</strong>, and Kelsey-Seybold migrated them from Windows 7 to 10 after they were virtualized.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/melissa-delaney" hreflang="en">Melissa Delaney</a></div> </div> Mon, 12 Aug 2019 21:35:34 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42786 at How UC Solutions Deliver Better Care to Patients <span>How UC Solutions Deliver Better Care to Patients</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Mon, 08/12/2019 - 14:08</span> <div><p>Unified communications holds a double meaning for <a href="" target="_blank">Fast Pace Urgent Care</a>.</p> <p>The technology supports <a href="">integrated c­ommunications and collaboration</a> within a facility, of course. But it also helps the 95 Fast Pace clinics spread across four states to improve patient care and employee productivity.</p> <p>In 2017, the healthcare provider, based in Waynesboro, Tenn., implemented solutions from <a href="" target="_blank">Cisco Systems</a>, including an IP-based phone system, videoconferencing, instant messaging and call center technology to streamline workflows and ease daily chaos.</p> <p>When front-desk teams at Fast Pace clinics face an unexpected rush of sick clients, <strong>they can now forward outside queries to staffers in a central call center</strong>.</p> <p>“It’s hard to answer the phone when they have to take care of the mom and sick kid in front of them,” says Wesley Shepherd, vice president of IT at Fast Pace Urgent Care.</p> <p>Using the new tools, clinical and administrative staff might reach each other on their desk or mobile phones through a single phone number. Or, they could check each other’s online presence and begin a chat via instant message or video call.</p> <p>“<strong>It’s inherently difficult to reach physicians and nurses the first time</strong> because they are constantly on the move,” says Lynne Dunbrack, research vice president for IDC Health Insights.</p> <p>Efficiency derived from collaboration tools can also boost an organization’s bottom line, healthcare technology leaders and analysts say.</p> <p>That’s because consolidating to a single enterprise collaboration system can simplify IT management and reduce costs. Furthermore, patient satisfaction is closely monitored as part of health reform and impacts reimbursements, Dunbrack says.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>DISCOVER: </strong>How providers are leveraging technology to enhance the patient experience.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Fast Pace Turns to Cisco for Collaboration</h2> <p>Fast Pace Urgent Care operates clinics in small, rural towns in Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi. Before Shepherd’s arrival in January 2017, the company had 35 locations, nearly one-third of its current number.</p> <p>At the time, <strong>three different phone systems were in use</strong>, which is why Shepherd standardized on <a href=";searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Unified Contact Center software</a> running on <a href="" target="_blank">Cisco HyperFlex hyperconverged infrastructure</a> across two redundant data centers. He also purchased Cisco IP phones for each clinic.</p> <p>Now, <strong>employees can transfer calls with four-digit dialing</strong>.</p> <p>“When a patient calls the wrong clinic, instead of telling the patient, ‘You have to hang up and dial these other 10 digits,’ you can say, ‘Let me put you on hold and forward you to the right clinic,’” Shepherd says.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/wylie-wong" hreflang="en">Wylie Wong</a></div> </div> Mon, 12 Aug 2019 18:08:03 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42781 at Should Hospitals Continue to Maintain Their Own Data Centers? <span>Should Hospitals Continue to Maintain Their Own Data Centers?</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Fri, 08/09/2019 - 15:49</span> <div><p>The healthcare cloud computing market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of <strong>22 percent through 2022</strong>, <a href="" target="_blank">according to Technavio</a>. As the market continuously expands, healthcare organizations consider how to best maintain their data centers: on-premises or in the cloud.</p> <p>“<strong>Every organization that I work with is questioning the right size of their data center</strong> for their health system or hospital,” says Rob Faix, a vice president at Impact Advisors, a healthcare IT consulting firm. “There’s <a href="">increasing interest</a> in cloud or hybrid-based solutions, as opposed to ‘I’ve got to own everything in my physical data center.’”</p> <p>Physical data centers still have their advantages, Faix notes. They give organizations control over every aspect of that data center — from security measures and the type of technologies used to which employees can physically access the data. </p> <p>With on-premises and cloud solutions both offering key benefits, <strong>healthcare organizations must evaluate which solution makes the most sense for them</strong>.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="220" src="/sites/" width="700" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Physical Data Centers vs. Cloud Solutions</h2> <p>Physical data centers, whether located on campus or attached to local networks, typically have higher performance speeds. This is helpful for things like <a href="">picture archiving and communication systems</a>, which are used to store and share medical imaging. </p> <p>Physical data centers are also necessary for hospitals that still run legacy applications designed to be used only locally. </p> <p>Beyond on-premises data centers, <strong>cloud systems</strong> — even with their <a href="" target="_blank">authorized use for protected health information</a> — <strong>still make some hospitals uncomfortable</strong>, says Mark Ustin, a healthcare regulatory attorney and partner at Farrell Fritz. </p> <p>“There’s still an internal panic about cloud computing solutions, what you’re allowed to do and what you’re not allowed to do,” Ustin says. </p> <p>But <strong>cloud solutions offer too many benefits to be ignored</strong>, such as flexibility and rapid scalability to better meet immediate business demands.</p> <p>“A cloud-based solution allows them to effectively, with a phone call and a stroke of the pen, increase their computing power in order to meet new demands,” says Faix. And rather than trying to guess future data needs when building a physical center (and possibly overbuilding the space, leaving resources unused), organizations can buy what they need now and scale up later when needed. </p> <p>That has prompted many healthcare systems to evaluate what they could do with the large amount of physical space available after a data migration is complete. </p> <p>“There’s an opportunity to convert physical data center space that’s inside of a hospital <strong>into revenue-generating space</strong>, rather than space that costs the organization money,” Faix says.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH: </strong>For IT upgrades, healthcare organizations must think big picture.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Cloud Strategy Must Not Be Overlooked</h2> <p>Despite the benefits, <strong>organizations shouldn’t just leap into the cloud</strong>. </p> <p>“Outside of what is allowed, there is the question of what our patients are comfortable with, and what our practitioners are comfortable with,” Ustin says. “As with any new technology, we’re still in the period where people are getting used to it.” </p> <p><strong>Moving to the cloud won’t solve all of an organization’s data problems</strong>, and it certainly won’t protect them from all cybersecurity threats. </p> <p>To protect themselves, healthcare organizations need to look beyond vendors <a href="">that are simply “HIPAA certified.”</a> Organizations need to be asking providers whether they’re compliant with other federal privacy laws and local regulations, and carefully examine what’s covered by the service-level agreement.</p> <p>“Having this agreement doesn’t absolve you from your obligations in terms of doing your own risk assessment of that solution and where the vulnerabilities are,” Ustin says. </p> <p>Nor does it stop employees from getting phished — or employees of vendors hooked into healthcare systems from getting phished. To prevent such attacks, <strong>organizations should develop a robust cloud strategy</strong> and remain alert to evolving threats.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>CLOUD MIGRATION:</strong> Determine your workload strategy upfront.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_2">Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Storage</h2> <p>With benefits offered by both on-premises and cloud management, the future will most likely be hybrid, Faix says. “Hospitals and health systems for the foreseeable future will always require some data presence, if for no other reason than hosting the <a href="">infrastructure systems for the network</a> to connect to the cloud vendor themselves.” </p> <p>Hospitals that have already implemented hybrid solutions are seeing the cost savings. </p> <p>“Ultimately, it only cost us tens of thousands of dollars per year to run those applications in Azure, versus having to make that huge capital investment,” Chris Carmody, senior vice president of infrastructure at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, <a href="">told <em>HealthTech</em></a>. </p> <p>And it would have cost $1.2 million to introduce the necessary hardware and software to the data center. “Our hybrid cloud approach allowed us to move workloads into the public cloud and back again,” Carmody says. </p> <p>Flexibility is also a <a href="">major benefit of hybrid solutions</a>. </p> <p>“You could move data from this platform to a low-cost cloud storage service for data archiving and long-term backup, then move it back on-premises if you need to,” Jim Livingston, CTO of University of Utah Health, told <em>HealthTech</em>. “You just set the policy and it automates the process.”</p> <p>By taking a deeper look at evolving cloud architectures, healthcare organizations can find an infrastructure that fits their needs while offering scalability, flexibility and cost savings.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/jen-miller" hreflang="en">Jen A. Miller</a></div> </div> Fri, 09 Aug 2019 19:49:21 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42776 at