Computerworld Hong Kong - Demand for services and the need to ensure patient safety drive IT spending at St Teresa's Hospital.
According to Pascal Tse, the hospital's chief information technology officer, there will be over 20% of growth in IT spend this year compared to 2012. "Hiring development professionals, virtualization and datacenter refurbishment, and technologies that enable bedside-medication verification account for the majority of IT spend," he said.
As the volume of medical images--such as X-ray and CT scan images--increases, the hospital needs to make better use of its datacenter space. "Server virtualization will help us address the space issue while increasing availability and making maintenance easier," said Tse.
Mobility's key role
Mobility is another area of focus in 2013. "The use of mobile devices will result in much more interaction--including interaction between clients and healthcare service providers before services are delivered--in the next five to 10 years," he said. "We must be prepared for this, as St Teresa isn't just a hospital but also a medical center where people come for a variety of services including plastic surgery and scanning services like MRI and CT scans."
Mobility combined with other systems also facilitates bedside-medication verification. "When delivering medications to in-patients, we must ensure that the right drug of the right dose is delivered to the right patient with the right frequency," said Tse. "The right route--whether the medication should be taken orally, by injection or intravenously--must also be ensured."
While the hospital has already deployed scanners, QR codes on patients' wristbands and medication packs to ensure the right drug is delivered to the right patient, it has a plan to study what systems would help make sure the right dose of drug is delivered with the right frequency, according to Tse.
To achieve that, he noted that a drug profile with data on the dose and when it's taken during the day must be created. "Through the hospital's Wi-Fi network, such data can be checked in a real-time manner," he said. "When a patient's health condition changes or when a drug is discontinued, the drug profile will also be changed and vetted by pharmacists. There must also be relevant workflows in place to make sure all the information is accurate."
According to Tse, the hospital will install about 200 bedside terminals this year, in addition to the 150 terminals already in use.
Besides allowing patients to browse the Internet and watch TV, the terminals allow clinical staffers to input the types of services provided to a patient, he said, adding that this information goes to the hospital's billing system for easy billing.
"These machines can do other tasks--like allowing clinicians to view lab reports and medical images," he noted. "But the hospital hasn't required them to do so, because you can't introduce too many new workflows too soon in a sector like healthcare, where many practices have been there for a long time."
IT talent crunch
Tech aside, Tse expects to increase his hiring budget, adding two to three new staffers to his current team of less than 25 people.
He pointed out that while the number of IT graduates is dwindling, those who do graduate might not want to be IT pros.
"IT talent shortage is a serious issue," he said. "At St Teresa's we develop our own systems because no tools out there meet all our needs. But that means we have to compete for development pros with many other organizations."
- Google I/O 2013's Coolest Products and Services
- 10 Star Trek Technologies That are Almost Here
- 19 Generations of Computer Programmers
- 25 Must-Have Technologies for SMBs
- A walking tour: 33 questions to ask about your company's security
- 15 social media scams
- The 7 elements of a successful security awareness program
With the promise of big data (solving the unsolvable problems, informing better decision making, creating new products and services, discovering patterns and acting on them, etc.) on the horizon, what has really changed? Does this mean that everything we know and do with not-so-big data should be tossed?
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Case Study: Hospital Turns to Email Archiving Solution to Ensure Regulatory Compliances
- Read this case study to learn how a cloud-based email archiving solution enabled the hospital to meet government mandates and helps avoid thousands...
- Case Study: In-the-Cloud Email Service Replaces Three Point Products
- Read this case study for more information on a comprehensive in-the-cloud email service to help replace three point products.
- Case Study: Simplifying the Transition to Exchange 2010 with Email Management Solutions
- Read this case study to learn how a cloud-based email management solution greatly simplified the company's transition to Exchange 2010.
- Intelligent Systems: A Prescription for Health Care Transformation
- Facing an onslaught of regulatory changes and market pressures, health care providers are grappling with how to transform existing services as part of...
- The Importance of Network Time Synchronization
- Your network is time stamping files, email, transactions, etc., while your server logs are recording the transactions in case you need that information.... All Healthcare IT White Papers
- Becoming An Analytics Driven Organization
- Join us on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT and learn how your agency can create an analytics culture that will enable...
- 3 Reasons Why Sepaton is the World's Fastest Backup Solution
- Leading analyst, Storage Switzerland learns how Sepaton backs up and deduplicates massive data volumes while maintaining the industry's fastest performance - all in...
- Enterprise File Sharing: All You Need to Know
- Security. Scalability. Control. These are just some of the many benefits of enterprise cloud file-sharing that you'll discover in this KnowledgeVault, packed with...
- Bridging HTTP and FTP with FileXpress Internet Server
- What if you could take an FTP server on your internal network, and allow external users (partners or customers) to securely access it...
- MFT and FileXpress - An Overview
- Business users and applications exchange files on a regular basis. File transfer is a core part of the flow of business activity. All Healthcare IT Webcasts