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How IT Can Be Used to Support Healthcare and Medical Devices

Medical devices are connected to hospital networks and can in the future be remotely controlled and monitored

An IT system outage in most companies is frustrating and it may be disruptive. At healthcare companies, however, where the lives and well-being of patients are on the line with every procedure and every action your staff takes, system outages can become life or death situations very quickly.

For the IT staff that support healthcare environments, understanding what systems are in the environment, how they are configured, and how they are being used is essential. When an incident occurs, the IT staff must have complete and accurate data to resolve the issue accurately and quickly, thereby avoiding disruption to patient care.

Technology: An Integral part of Modern Healthcare

This may seem somewhat intense and dramatic, but managing IT in a healthcare setting is pretty intense and when an incident or error occurs, there is often a heightened sense of urgency IT professionals in other industries are unlikely to experience. Much of this stems from how technology is used in modern medicine. From diagnosis to treatment to record-keeping, healthcare staff rely heavily on modern tools and access to information as a foundation for providing outstanding patient care.

Technology provides greater accuracy, quicker identification of patient conditions, and expanded options for treatment, leading to more successful outcomes for people in need. Unfortunately, when the technology isn’t working properly, healthcare workers often find themselves unable to provide the level of patient care that is expected. 

IT: A Critical Component in Managing Medical Devices

IT staff in healthcare companies are responsible for ensuring patient-impacting operations run smoothly and physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals have the tools to do their jobs effectively. Next time you’re in a physician’s office or at a hospital, look at all the different machines, medical devices, computers, screens, and equipment in the room.

There is much more technology present in healthcare environments than you might expect and, in the right circumstances, each of these pieces of equipment may be critical to saving someone’s life. 

IT staff members are responsible for making sure that they know where each piece of equipment is located and how it is configured, ensuring patching and maintenance are up-to-date, and that the device is performing as it should.

(See, “Medical Device Management: Challenges and Opportunities”)

Give Team Members the Tools to Be Successful

Unfortunately, technology isn’t perfect. Medical devices break, they have performance issues and are susceptible to misuse and malicious attacks. When any of these situations happen, IT staff must respond quickly to assess the cause of the issue, isolate its impact, and take steps to restore normal operations.

All of these are pretty standard IT tasks – what makes healthcare different is the density of critical technology in the environment and the urgency of restoring service quickly. 

When incidents happen, your IT staff members can’t guess what components are where, how they are connected, and who to call for support – they need to know! It’s why healthcare companies need sophisticated tools to help their IT staff manage the great diversity of technology in their environment.

(See, “Five Ways To Improve Major Incident Management”)

Virima: IT & Healthcare Work Together

Virima has the tools to provide automated IT discovery of components, mapping of dependencies, the ability to capture assets and support information and capabilities for visualizing the information in an appropriate manner. This way, IT staff can quickly assess incidents in the environment when they occur.

In a healthcare environment when time is critical and patients’ lives are on the line, your IT staff needs the right tools to respond quickly and decisively. That’s what Virima does. 

To learn how, download our white paper on the value of discovery and visualizations for enterprise IT. You can also read our healthcare case study to see how these principals have been applied at a large healthcare system to improve IT’s contribution to the delivery of positive patient outcomes.

Virima is here to help. To get started, contact us today to schedule a demo and explore the possibilities 

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