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My EMR is DOWN!!!

Posted on December 11, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

2 real life stories from users of an EMR (sent to me by a reader of the site). In each case the users started figuratively shouting, “My EMR is DOWN!!!”

1. One of my clients, a pediatric group, went down yesterday. Their firewall box choked which resulted in their internal network being useless. Each computer was alive and well, they just couldn’t talk to the server. They couldn’t print. They couldn’t get to the Internet. They were dead in the water all day. This is a group that didn’t grow up in the old days where day-to-day unreliability was the norm. They had no printouts from which to work. Being a firewall which was 5+ years old, the hardware tech was really scrambling to find a replacement.

2. Another client, has been using wireless laptops to talk to their server. For some reason, the wireless reliability has started to drop like a rock in the past couple of weeks. It is not clear where the culprit is. Signal strengths are excellent according to the laptop, and then poof, no more server. The event viewer reports that there was a disconnection. They re-connect, work a little while, and poof.

The funny part is that in neither case was the EMR software responsible for being down. It was the other technology that facilitates the EMR. Yet the EMR takes the blame. It’s kind of like a patient who has a bad experience with a nurse or receptionist or doctor at an office and reports to their friends that the PRACTICE is a disaster. It’s easier to blame the whole instead of the responsible part.

Top 5 Wireless Challenges for Healthcare IT

Posted on June 5, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I came across this article that identified the top 5 wirless challenges in healthcare. They go into more detail of the challenges, but here’s their list:

  1. Physical connectivity (especially in old hospitals)
  2. Technology connectivity issues
  3. Meeting user demand
  4. Security considerations (high risk of stolen laptops)
  5. Network management issues

So these challenges are really mostly focused on hospital situations or at least larger group practices. The exception is the security considerations. However, I think most people are far past the idea of wireless being any less secure than a wired connection. In fact, one could argue that wireless is actually more secure than the wired connection if it’s set up properly.

The biggest issue on this list that I see with wireless is the first one. Some of these old buildings just kill a wireless signal. Add in asbestos and the difficulty to run wire for a wireless access point and you have a real challenge getting a good wireless signal in these old buildings.

One thing I think this list and article are missing is that I think we’re going to see an ever growing trend of people using wireless broadband cards instead of the traditional wireless. Sure, in a small fixed setting, they’ll still use the traditional wireless. However, the mobile doctors doing visits to the hospitals or other locations are going to be using the wireless broadband cards more and more.