When approaching new technology investments, the first thoughts are usually related to the upfront costs and initial implementation demands of each solution. In health care, these types of projects have become somewhat commonplace amid far more rapidly evolving medical technology, as well as increasingly stringent regulatory compliance statutes that demand the use of advanced tools.
While these primary matters are certainly important, decision-makers and chief information officers can simply not forget the toll that new equipment, services and other tools will take on the existing infrastructure. Before launching any new strategy or implementing a new set of technology, the medical facility will first need to ensure that it has the bandwidth and network capacity necessary to support the investments.
Trends to remember
Some of the more popular types of IT additions that are making their way into the average hospital and other working environments in this field come with massive network and bandwidth requirements. Here are a few to keep in mind when planning technology provisioning protocols:
- Big data: The operative word in this trend is 'big,' as the analytics tools leverage massive volumes of unstructured information to eventually yield actionable insights. As such, storage environments and the networks used to support big data solutions will often need to be buffered to minimize the risk of disruption.
- Mobility: The simplest way to explain the impact of mobility on network and bandwidth capabilities is tied to the number of endpoints that will exist once the strategy is up and running. Instead of 100 devices accessing corporate networks, for example, there might be 300 after the mobility program is launched. Failure to expand bandwidth and network capabilities will almost certainly lead to disruptions.
- EMRs: Electronic medical record systems are among the technologies that have been deemed required by law in the United States, as the meaningful use component of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act is already beyond its first stage. Creating and managing these digitized records translates to greater need in terms of infrastructure-related power and capacity.
Luckily, cloud services can be used to significantly improve the elasticity of health care IT infrastructure environments, while vendors of the technology who also specialize in unified communications can further streamline the process of implementing new tools. By covering these bases before launching new technology initiatives, health care providers will experience fewer service disruptions and outages.