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Planning for the Worst

August 1, 2007
by root
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When it comes to protecting their hospitals against the consequences of natural disaster, CIOs today face a tightening vise of challenges that often puts disaster plans on the back burner. But as EMRs and other IT-driven clinical applications become more pervasive, solid disaster recovery and business continuity plans are longer an option — they're a requirement. Our cover story takes a look at the unique challenges in four geographic regions of the United States. Read "A Plan for All Seasons" (page 30) to see where your hospital fits in — and how your preparation stacks up with others in your region.

When Bill Churchill first told people around the country that his hospital was using two dimensional bar coding, everybody thought he was crazy. Five years after their project began, the pioneering work done on 2-D bar-coding for patient safety at Partners Healthcare System led to the development of a new patient safety standard. The standard is currently up for public review. Read "Taking 2-D to Task" (page 10) to learn about the benefits his organization found in 2-D bar-coding — and why it may soon become a new hospital standard for yours.

Most hospitals recognize that automating business processes improves business practices, but too often that happens only when there is time, or, more likely, when there's money. MaineGeneral was driven by real urgency: their vendor was sunsetting core modules on their financial system. Read "When Sunset Comes Unexpectedly" (page 14) to see how they beat the clock.



Please note that in our June issue in "Others to Watch," President George W. Bush publically advocated using VISICU's eICU Program after visiting Saint Luke's East, Lee Summit, Mo., not Lee's Summit Hospital; and in "Others to Watch," MD Technologies Inc.'s revenue grew by 370 percent from 2005 to 2006, not 37 percent.