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Healthcare IT Blog

Articles on Healthcare IT

Save Your Data (and Your Budget) from Cyberattacks

Published on 10/03/2017 by Jim Fitzgerald
Category: Blog, Healthcare IT, Security

MEDITECH Guest Blog Article by Jim Fitzgerald Republished with permission.   It cannot be overstated how much of a disaster cyberattacks are on hospitals. Despite the severity of the crime, the moral, legal, and cultural norms that would stop a prospective vandal from crossing a physical fence and painting graffiti on your hospital don’t seem to apply on the internet.I believe that enforcing a stronger deterrent for these crimes is just the beginning of accountability ...

Helping hands, CloudWave and Community Hospitals

Published on 07/13/2017 by Peter Stone
Category: Blog, Healthcare IT, Cloud Computing

When running a business, social responsibility, and doing good all come together….My day-to-day responsibilities often take me in front of the CFOs of community hospitals. Theirs is a crazy world where reimbursement challenges are persistent, and the route to become financially successful changes from year to year. Not too long ago, the CFO would tell me that “the inn is full and the CEO could not be happier”. Today it’s more likely that the same CFO ...

CloudWave and Commvault: A Conversation about Data Security & Ransomware

Published on 05/25/2017 by Christine Mellyn
Category: Blog, Backup, Healthcare IT, Security

Leaders from CloudWave and the Commvault healthcare team sat down to discuss Commvault’s data management and protection solution for the MEDITECH EHR and the entire healthcare enterprise. We will be sharing this conversation with you in a multi-part blog series.This post focuses on how Commvault can help healthcare organizations secure their data and combat cyber threats like ransomware.Participants:John Valutkevich, Product Manager, Healthcare, CommvaultMike Leonard, Director of Product Management, Healthcare, CommvaultMatt Donahue, CTO, CloudWaveJacob Wheeler, Product Manager, ...

Opinion: Too Big to Succeed?

Published on 03/14/2017 by Jim Fitzgerald
Category: Blog, Healthcare IT

I got into Orlando late the Saturday evening before HIMSS17 just in time to attend the CHIME CIO Forum on Sunday. This year’s HIMSS attendance was advertised at over 40,000 people, all looking for innovation and solutions in a very technical collision of business, IT, internet fueled instrumentation, and healthcare. I started to think about the size of that attendance. According to the AHA, there are 5.564 registered hospitals in the USA. Now I realize that ...

Healthcare Security; Part 1: More than a Firewall

Published on 03/31/2016 by Mike Donahue
Category: Disaster Recovery, Compliance, Backup, Healthcare IT, Virtualization, Cloud Computing,

Security is a topic that has been in the news recently far too often. If it’s not the showdown between the FBI and Apple (which is a whole other conversation) it’s the latest report out of Maryland, where MedStar Health was hit with a virus that infected the hospitals computer network.  The effect, however, spread much further than just the IT department. The extended outage has made the already difficult jobs of nurses and physicians even ...

Healthcare IT: Industry Review & A Look Ahead

Published on 01/13/2016 by Matthew Donahue, James Fitzgerald
Category: Healthcare IT, Cloud Computing, Networks, Security, MEDITECH

Happy New Year 2016 to our readers and customers.  We are glad you are with us.  Jacob Wheeler, Associate Product Manager sat down with Matt Donahue, VP of Technology Development and CTO, and Jim Fitzgerald, EVP to discuss the year gone past and the year ahead in Healthcare IT. Here is the discussion:1. Transition to CloudJW: Healthcare is continuing its transition to cloud services for IT; what are the obstacles hospitals face in this move, and what ...

(Healthcare) IT Evolution Revisited

Published on 09/28/2015 by Jim Fitzgerald
Category: Blog, Healthcare IT, MEDITECH

I recently was fortunate to participate in the 6.x Peer-to-Peer Information Exchange at MEDITECH’s beautiful new Joanne Wood Conference Center in Foxboro, Massachusetts. There were many interesting discussion threads, both public and private, among the representatives of over 65 MEDITECH customers but the ones that “perked up my ears” like my cat, Mindy’s1, were Trending Towards Cloud, High Availability, and IT Focus Shifting Away From Physicians. It is one of those sunny and cool fall ...

Approaching VDI

Published on 08/12/2015 by Samuel Mata
Category: Healthcare IT, Virtualization, MEDITECH

Over the past few years, the approach to how we provide resources to our users has been changing.  VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) has slowly crept up to the top of many organizations’ priority lists and it is being widely embraced.  It is not difficult to understand why: VDI is a software solution that gives us the ability to create separation between the desktop environment and physical resources, allowing greater flexibility and efficiency in the workplace.  This ...

A Day in the Life at HIMSS

Published on 04/07/2015 by Susan LaVita
Category: Blog, Healthcare IT, MEDITECH

Planning is well underway for this year’s HIMSS15 Annual Conference which will be held April 12– 16, Chicago, IL, at the McCormick Convention Center. If you have never attended a HIMSS Annual Conference, it is the largest health IT event in the industry. Last year’s conference, which was held in Orlando, FL drew nearly 38,000 Healthcare professionals, clinicians and executives from around the world to explore the value of health IT through education, networking and solutions ...

Windows Server 2003 End of Life and Active Directory

Published on 03/18/2015 by Leo Maguire
Category: Compliance, Healthcare IT, Virtualization, Security, Servers

Why should you be concerned with that now “old” Windows 2003 server in your environment?  WOW, it’s tough to imagine that we can actually call Windows 2003 old.  It feels as if it just recently took over as the staple of your server OS environment.  Similar to the dreaded End of Life (EOL) countdown of XP on the desktops, Microsoft has announced that, as of July 14th 2015, Windows Server 2003 will be EOL. ...

What is Your Cloud Strategy? (Part 1)

Published on 02/11/2015 by Jim Fitzgerald
Category: Blog, Healthcare IT, Cloud Computing

If you made it through the end of 2014 without being asked by a miscellaneous c-suite denizen “What is our Cloud Strategy?” then congratulations. If you did not, I hope it went well. If you need one but haven’t created one yet, please bear with me while I suggest a simple framework.  If the very notion of cloud gets you inexplicably exasperated, navigate to the authors list and click on Joe Kelly. His blog entries ...

Improving Your Productivity by Going Paperless

Published on 09/15/2014 by Gregg Burton & Donna Dean
Category: Healthcare IT, Project Management

Are you having trouble finding that important piece of information in the stack of papers on your desk?Are you hoping to eliminate the chaos and become more organized and efficient in your daily tasks?Then let us introduce you to a new tool for improving your productivity – the digital notebook.  There are a variety of options available, but two of the more popular are OneNote and Evernote.  Features may vary, but any digital notebook will ...

Heroic Intervention Not Required

Published on 08/13/2014 by Jim Fitzgerald
Category: Healthcare IT

This is my first blog after a long absence. My reticence has been mainly self-inflicted. I like to find the humor in how seriously the technology industry takes itself, and how ironically that often plays out in the world of healthcare information systems, and then insert hot skewers in the appropriate soft spots. The problem of late is that the HCIS space isn’t generating a lot of funny material. Here in the USA, our entire industry has been ...

Captain's Log

Published on 04/10/2014 by Clay Sides
Category: Healthcare IT, Change Management, Project Management

I love a good teaser. When someone puts out a statement that seems authored by Captain Obvious himself, it makes me take notice. Is this person about to make me realize something that I've taken for granted that is going to rock my world, or make me realize they were the goalie for the dart team in college?  Is this person "smart"?"Smart" is something everyone has been striving for, but I'm here ...

Musings on HIMSS 2014

Published on 03/12/2014 by Jay Bazzinotti
Category: Healthcare IT

HIMSS 2014 was my first trade show as a Park Place employee, and my first experience with the healthcare IT industry. I was standing in the booth the first day of the event when a man came by and looked around.“Can I help you?” I asked.“Not really,” he said, “We used to use Park Place International but my company switched to another vendor. But sometimes I still get advice from your people....

Notes from the HIMSS14 Exhibit Hall Floor

Published on 03/03/2014 by Ken Brasch
Category: Healthcare IT

After attending the HIMSS conference in Orlando last week, I would say 2014 is the year of analytics.  Booths all across the HIMSS exposition floor advertised solutions focused on outcomes and quality.  For the longest time, we have heard the Ford commercials with the slogan “Quality is Job 1”.  In the drive to report on clinical quality measures to meet Meaningful Use objectives, healthcare is now faced with the challenge of how to harvest the ...

A Day In the Life

Published on 02/19/2014 by Dan Sabo
Category: Healthcare IT

It’s getting hard to keep up.  How do you keep your equipment up to speed, your techs sharp, your budget low? How do you balance it all, keeping users happy, protecting your data, keeping your network secure…..while (hopefully) sleeping at night?I’ve seen the frustration firsthand.  Hospital IT departments have to keep up with rapidly changing technologies and architectures, while delivering reliable and responsive services to their users.  When doing a hardware refresh, ...

Keys to Managing a Successful Project

Published on 01/29/2014 by Donna Dean
Category: Healthcare IT, Project Management

I was a little nervous to write my first-ever blog.  I don’t spend a lot of time on social media and what insight would I have to offer to my high tech peers and colleagues?  But then I thought, Project Management doesn’t have any specific boundaries and is an important skill set across all industries and job roles.   In this article, I’ve outlined some tips and tricks to help you successfully manage ...

Pondering the Computing Client

Published on 09/17/2013 by Jim Fitzgerald
Category: Healthcare IT, Networks

Having streamed last week’s Apple announcements on iPhone and iOS 7 during my morning commute, I found myself wondering again about the true future of the “desktop”.  It is a dangerous realm in which to speculate, in the sense that almost every pundit who has prophesied the downfall or revolution of a mainstream technology has done so too late or too early.  That being said, the area bears some discussion.The vast majority of our ...

While You Were Out Pursuing ARRA Money...

Published on 07/12/2013 by Jim Fitzgerald
Category: Healthcare IT

Summer brings the magic of longer days, gentler weather, smoking grills….and, for some, a break from the ARRA rat race. You deserve it! So when that last sip of lemonade has been taken, and that last vacation day has melted into a fabulous yellow, red, pink, and orange sunset, here are some things the ghosts in your machines might be whispering to you:VMware got a LOT better……if you are still running 4.X.Something, best upgrade ...

Take the Initiative, Not the Blame

Published on 06/28/2013 by Clay Sides
Category: Healthcare IT

Let me ask you a question; How often do you go to the doctor? Do you have an annual checkup, or only go when something is wrong?We are all encouraged to be proactive in maintaining our health. Exercising, eating better and seeing your doctors annually are the keys to a longer, more fulfilling life. If this is what it takes for us to live longer, more active lives, then why aren't we doing this for our IT ...

BYOD - Bring Your Own Device or Bring Your Own Disease (Technological Typhoid Mary)

Published on 06/03/2013 by Chris Lichtenberg
Category: Healthcare IT

I can’t claim credit for the full title.  It was actually taken from a Tech Republic article about viruses and other nasties that personal portable devices can bring.  In fact, if you Google “Bring Your Own Disease”, you’ll find many other related articles.The joy of BYOD is that you can reduce capital expenses for devices like phones, laptops, and tablets. And training employees on the platform is reduced because they are already familiar ...

The Value of Strategic Partnerships

Published on 05/07/2013 by Mark Luquire
Category: Healthcare IT

I recently had the privilege to attend and speak at the annual CA World conference at the end of April (http://parkplaceintl.com/News_Events.html) .  The conference focused on many areas of the Information Technology space, from monitoring to client device management, mobile device management, performance management, capacity management and more.  If you had an area of interest in IT, it was likely represented.I was asked to present on Park Place International’s best practice deployment of cloud-based ...

Planning Your Data Center Capacity Needs

Published on 04/23/2013 by Mark Middleton
Category: Healthcare IT

As you plan for your computing demands for the coming years, most IT Managers focus on planning for growth and refreshing applications, servers, storage and network components. An equally important, but often over looked factor, is the actual data center facility itself, which houses, powers, cools, and secures the valuable contents of your IT infrastructure.     Blade and unified computing, while offering many benefits, have definitely resulted in an increase of watts per cabinet to effectively ...

Doing the Right Thing

Published on 04/19/2013 by Harry Travlos
Category: Healthcare IT

I sure do recall the good ol' days, and recently I was able to reflect back on them with many colleagues and friends at a HIMSS event.  It really got me thinking on how simple it used to be. There was one, maybe two vendors that MEDITECH and their customers looked to partner with for infrastructure, networking, handhelds, and services in addition to their MEDITECH software.  We evolved from the super-minicomputer through Motorola-based systems, and then finally ...

Have a Fall Back Plan

Published on 04/09/2013 by Jorge Navedo
Category: Healthcare IT

I have been working as an engineer in the MEDITECH space for over 11 years now, and boy, how time flies.  And if I’ve learned anything throughout the years, it’s to “have a fall back plan”.  We are constantly engaged at PPI to migrate MEDITECH data or MEDITECH servers, both physical and virtual.  Sometimes the migration is a simple as a file copy of a single server and sometimes it’s as complicated ...

Best Practices

Published on 03/19/2013 by Clay Sides
Category: Healthcare IT

Groucho Marx once said, “Does it hurt when you do that? Then don’t do that.” Little did he know he would become the Godfather of what we now describe as “best practices”.What is a best practice?  Whose best practice is it?  Who owns the upkeep of the best practice?  How is it being monitored and adapted?  All are questions you should ask anyone in your organization when they throw up ...

HIMSS, Symbol Tables, and Societal ADD

Published on 03/14/2013 by Jim Fitzgerald
Category: Healthcare IT

In the credit crisis that shook the US Economy from late 2007 well through 2011, we heard this phrase oft-repeated as a shallow excuse for government to intervene in our allegedly free-market economy: “too big to fail.” The real truth is in a more directed transposition of the phrase, to wit, “too big to succeed.” Texts analyzing the rise and fall of businesses, governments, and even venerable educational institutions often lead to a simple insight: ...

“D’ stands for “Documentation’....Darn it!!

Published on 02/08/2013 by Ashini Surati
Category: Healthcare IT

Have you ever had to write something and then get writer’s block?  Until you have the time to actually write something, your mind is going 100 miles an hour, but the minute you get in front of a screen to start typing, your mind goes blank?  Or you get distracted?  Happens to me quite a bit! So, anyway, why was I writing this blog?  Oh, that’s right, the importance of documentation…..Documentation is ...

Architecture vs. Marketecture

Published on 01/29/2013 by Jim Fitzgerald
Category: Healthcare IT

One of the most common problems our consultants and engineers face when remediating a troubled technology infrastructure is DRG code 666.7890 Koolaidius Vendoratum Overdosensis.  It’s a fairly common diagnosis.  Hardware Vendor has cool new system.  Customer staff member likes cool new system. Customer staff member wants QZX-15 certification on cool new system to improve their negotiating position at the next review.  Customer staff member attends “lunch and learn.” Customer staff member ...

For Want of a Nail the Shoe Was Lost, or Sometimes It’s the Simple Answer

Published on 01/22/2013 by Joe Kelly
Category: Healthcare IT

Sometimes it’s the simple things that cause the most heartache.  Especially in the technology world in which we live.   We roll out sophisticated technology solutions using a myriad of virtualized tools to consolidate servers and storage and even networking.  We implement monitoring mechanisms with all kinds of bells, whistles, and alarms to manage said virtual systems, just to make our lives just a little more sane.  We learn to rely on these tools ...

Did You Do the Homework? - Considerations for the Cloud

Published on 01/17/2013 by Ashini Surati
Category: Healthcare IT, Cloud Computing

There are many covered entities out there including many large and small hospitals that may still be struggling with the decision to move to the cloud.  If you are, your mind is probably going at 100 miles per hour.  I know this because I have been there in your shoes.  Am I losing control of my data?  Where will my data reside?  How secure is my data?  What is the risk of my ...

Working Together on Infrastructure - A Technical Consultant’s Perspective

Published on 01/15/2013 by Mike Donahue
Category: Healthcare IT

A wise man (ok – it’s my boss – just looking to get some bonus points!) told me when I started in consulting that one of the biggest challenges is being the guy that comes in and repeats what has been said by the hospital IT staff for months, years etc. Of course you should begin looking to upgrade those old servers that now could be displayed in a museum, upgrade to the latest hypervisor release, and ...

The Quest for Data Center Availability

Published on 01/08/2013 by Mark Middleton
Category: Healthcare IT

The fusion of health care reform, exponential data growth, and increase of computing density bring a number of demands and resulting questions to health care systems and providers, no matter their size or stature.  Reform measures require health care providers to  digitize their care process in a meaningful way and make the data readily available at all times to the appropriate people that need it.   When the provider successfully implements the nirvana app to transform ...

2013: Looking Ahead

Published on 01/03/2013 by Jim Fitzgerald Matt Donahue Rob Bruno
Category: Healthcare IT

As we begin 2013, we’ve asked a few of the senior technical experts at Park Place to provide their insight on technology trends, challenges, and opportunities that will influence how hospitals will deploy and manage their MEDITECH systems in the coming year.Jim Fitzgerald, EVP & CTO: Hospitals using the MEDITECH HCIS enter 2013 with a level of mission and seriousness that has ticked up significantly. The ARRA-fueled adoption of advanced clinical software has changed the stakes when ...

Content vs. Technology

Published on 12/03/2012 by Jim Fitzgerald
Category: Healthcare IT

In reflecting on the purchase of most of the assets of LucasFilm, Ltd. including the beloved Star Wars space opera by The Walt Disney Company, (http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/disney-buys-stars-wars-plans-new-film-20121031) I find myself pondering the conundrum between content and technology. Content is what made us fall in love with the original Star Wars Trilogy:  Episode IV: A New Hope; Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back; and Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi. Sure there were, for the time, dazzling ...

Erosion

Published on 11/01/2012 by Jim Fitzgerald
Category: Healthcare IT

One of the biggest threats we see on an ongoing basis to the overall integrity of a Healthcare Information System is erosion of the initial technology specification or design. Erosion is fresh in my mind having accidentally scheduled a brief hiatus in the Caribbean just prior to the arrival of the hurricane, superstorm, and media event also known as “Sandy”.  I had the dubious honor of enjoying her side effects in the southeastern Caribbean as well as ...

Welcome to Sustaining Healthcare IT.

Published on 10/16/2012 by Jim Fitzgerald
Category: Healthcare IT

I write this having recently used my alleged charm, wits, and experience to help an IT Director stare down a CFO who thought that it would be a good idea to buy an almost obsolete SAN to run their MEDITECH upgrade and then depreciate it over 7 years. Customer and staff will remain nameless for obvious reasons, but in their defense, this scenario happens every day. Non-technical administrators who grew up in the lands of myth and magic think ...

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