November 26, 2014

Moving Beyond “Keeping the Lights On”

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More devices, more applications, more bandwidth, more complexity…

Hospital IT operations and support is growing increasingly more challenging to support.  Frequently I hear that for many “we are just struggling to keep the lights on, let alone innovate”.   A rather defeatist attitude and luckily one not shared by all.  Earlier this month I had the privilege to attend EHILive in Birmingham England meeting with a number of what I call the optimists supporting Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).

These individuals such as Jason Bincalar Deputy Directory of IT Bart’s Health and Mark Taglietti Head of ICT Service Delivery & Vendor Management, UCLH have approached HIT operations with a very strategic plan of actions.

  1. Stabilize the infrastructure.
  2. Baseline service delivery.
  3. Look for areas of improvement.
  4. Provide evidence based reporting to leadership.

Network analytics, is a new concept in IT although I much prefer the term Jason and Mark used of “evidence-based operations”.  When you think about it that’s exactly what analytics is doing, making big data small enough so that so that meaningful decisions can be made from the information provided.  We evolve from leveraging small packets of information and hunches based on experience to now leveraging actual evidence as our basis for operational changes.  The information has always been there, we just did not have the capabilities to see it.  Its amazing that once you start looking into the analytics achieving the basic goals such as stabilizing the infrastructure become easier to accomplish.

Network analytics is not just for the IT departments.  See our poster on how analytics can be leveraged to support other hospital units.

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About The Contributor:
Bob ZemkeDirector of Healthcare Solutions

Bob Zemke is the Director of Healthcare Solutions and is responsible for the healthcare market strategy at Extreme Networks. An IT professional with a broad span of experience in healthcare, Bob has over 14 years working both within hospital IT and as a consultant in next generation network design, deployment and management. Bob has been featured in publications such as HealthCare Design Magazine, Mobile Wireless Magazine, and Healthcare Executive Exchange. He is coauthor of a book entitled "WiFi Enabled Healthcare" that is available on Amazon.com. Bob frequently participates industry-specific events including HIMSS, Enterprise Connect, Interop and is active in the AAMI, CWNP, IEEE, and HIMSS organizations . Bob holds an BA degree in Telecommunications Management from Western Michigan University and his MS in Telecommunications and Network Management from Syracuse University's iSchool.

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