Why Digital Technology For Hospitals Is Imperative

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By Augustus Douw MedEquip  August 5, 2017

MedEquip Kenya is in forefront in promoting latest hospital and healthcare management technology not only in diagnostic and interventional therapies, but also in hospital data storage, data sharing, transmittal and security. By promoting use of newest technology to our healthcare project customers, we help speedup not only diagnostic information sharing but also the lead time for making important therapeutic, surgical and other patient management decisions. Centralized and secure data access networks save healthcare personnel time and stress, saves operational budgets and improves patient outcomes.

Modern hospital technology has come a long way, from analog clang iron equipment and all the way to digital cloud based storage and sharing centers. The cost of ownership, usability and life cycle of medical equipment and hospital technology varies in different environments and design, but upgradability, interconnectivity and scalability are significant factors that determine the longest hospital technology can be used in a facility. Technology with closed architecture tends to be lone-wolf and becomes obsolete faster than open source, open architecture designs which have a wider source of OEM and aftermarket manufacturer support.

Scalability

Hospitals run very heavy budgets, a lot more than other institutions per customer, per square foot and per unit of time. It means that budgetary efforts in purchasing the longest usable equipment and technology must be thoroughly considered by the management. One of the most favorable factors about modern hospital equipment is that it must have open-ended architecture while can be scaled upward, laterally and downward. An example is the installation of a central patient monitoring system. The back bone, software and server capabilities should be designed to support additional monitoring peripherals (like patient monitors), remote telemetric patient monitors and mobile devices if needed. Limited capability infrastructure often requires expensive replacement when capacity issues change, which, with hospitals can be as suddenly necessary as an evacuation.

Compatibility

Compatibility or interoperability is the ability of a system, equipment or a product to work with other systems or products without special effort on the part of the customer. Interoperability becomes a quality of increasing importance for information technology products as the concept that “The network is the computer” becomes a reality.

As we mentioned before, closed architecture technology attracts fewer customers, developers and engineers. Compatibility or interoperability, is one of the advantages attributes designers and engineers must incorporate in their architecture in order to get along and increase marketability of their products. Industry standardization has come a long way, and software development languages and protocols provides common broker or framework tools for creating software that is compatible according to one broker platform or another. Operating systems also provide a common broker framework on which many hospital devices are designed to run. Interoperability based on similar industry standards enhances the usability and interconnectivity of devices in a hospital environment regardless of the manufacturer.

Another good example of the interconnectivity and interoperability approach is the set of standards that have been developed for the World Wide Web. These standards include TCP/IP, HTTP and HTML. These standards go further by allowing even different brokers and platform to happily connect to the internet without discrepancies, regardless of device manufacturer.

Upgradability

It is the property or potential of switching to a better and newer version of itself. Upgradable software and equipment allows the hospital to download and install better functionality enhancing versions of the original without crashing the system, or even discarding and throwing it away for a new system. Unupgradable technology is obviously too expensive in the short and long run, a matter to be considered when determining which vendor’s equipment to purchase. Availability of technical support and upgrade tools is a key consideration in purchasing.

Digital Trends in Hospital Technology

This intense focus on digital transformation places a spotlight on IT decision-makers. Digital transformation means IT industry must invest in cost-efficient solutions that are agile and reliable, yet scalable and flexible enough to accommodate change. It also means leveraging the best possible technology—on premises or in the cloud—to deliver the highest levels of performance and security for today’s mobile and tech-savvy users.

Healthcare organizations are under intense pressure to modernize with digital technologies. In doing so, clinicians can improve outcomes by having access to accurate and current data at the point of care. Also, patients can leverage mobile solutions and use secure access to medical records in order to be more involved in managing their own care. Electronic health record (EHR) systems are expanding significantly in size, scope and functionality.

IPACS

A PACS allows a healthcare facility such as a hospital to capture, store, view and share all types of images internally and externally. When deploying a PACS, MedEquip assists the facility to determine and plan the environment in which it will be used (inpatient, ambulatory, emergency, specialties) and the other electronic systems with which it will integrate. A well designed PACS system should be robust, scalable, upgradable and compatible with standardized patient data modules, monitors and telemetric equipment.

The interoperability of images in separate PACS is a concern for healthcare providers, even among different providers within the same healthcare system. The transmission of medical images is technologically possible when not complicated by competing, noninteroperable systems.

Hospital Design

With technology having such huge impact on manageability and productivity of healthcare projects or hospitals, investors just have to remember that older technology has a lot more disadvantages and modern digitized options. Examples about older technology:

  • It is larger, heavier and requires lots more square footage
  • A lot slower in operation and output
  • Requires more electric and manual energy
  • Less productive
  • More expensive to repair and maintain
  • Not too compatible and interoperable
  • Less upgradable to latest technology
  • Limited or no share point accessibility

When designing or upgrading healthcare facilities, it is imperative for the hospital management to employ qualified and capable hospital technology analysts to advise on best economics technological infrastructure. The best choice technology for a hospital must conform with digital and hyper-converged infrastructure that offers open connectivity, scalability and upgradability for best hospital productivity and economics.

MedeEquip Kenya offers health providers the following facility evaluation assistance to help them determine infrastructure and technology efficiency needs and upgrades:

Free Hospital Infrastructure Evaluation

  • Building Layout Analysis
  • Patent Care Flow Analysis
  • Hospital Communication Infrastructure
  • Hospital IT Infrastructure
  • Hospital Equipment Economics & Usability
  • Medical Gases Supply Management
  • Facility Upgradability Report
  • Quantity Survey Report

 

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One Comment to Why Digital Technology For Hospitals Is Imperative

  1. Thank for sharing, the article is very interesting.I really liked your view about Why Digital Technology For Hospitals Is Imperative.Really looking forward to read more.

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