Why Healthcare IT needs to be prepared for the worst

Even in today’s day and age, technology is not without fault. Even the most advanced systems can malfunction, but hospitals don’t have much room for error. With patients flowing in and out, prescriptions being issued, data being recalled or stored, to say hospitals today rely heavily on Healthcare IT is a humorous understatement. Hospitals need to be prepared for when things go wrong, and the University of Burlington, Vermont Medical Center is no exception.

When a power outage rendered all electrical equipment useless, the hospital was left in a state of chaos. Patients couldn’t get checked in, records couldn’t be reviewed, all normal, day-to-day operations were hindered. However, they weren’t ignorant of emergency situations like this. They had a backup power supply and software for situations just like these, but those systems were failing. Apparently they had not been properly tested for a real-world situation for which they would be called upon.

Luckily the medical center staff reacted proactively and used old-school paper records to maintain operations. But this occurrence points out the necessity Hospitals possess to upgrade their IT to be efficient and prepared for any situation. Healthcare IT is taking big steps towards utilizing the cloud, forgoing the days of insecure data storage. Medical practitioners aren’t tied down to a desktop anymore as the industry goes mobile, managing accounts, records, and prescriptions on their tablets and phones. It’s changes like these that Hospitals need to make to be most safeguarded.