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HIMSS Analytics: Hospitals Ill Prepared for Data Explosion

January 29, 2010
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Hospital datacenters may not be ready for the demand that more patients and digital information will create, according to a survey of hospital IT executives at small and medium hospitals in the United States, United Kingtom, Canada, China, France and Germany conducted by Chicago-based HIMSS Analytics and sponsored by Round Rock, Texas-based Dell.

The survey asked hospital IT executives to assess the readiness of their hospital datacenters to support new information demands. Results, says HIMSS Analytics, suggest that there will be challenges associated with scaling small and medium hospital datacenters to meet these demands and to efficiently supporting technology at the point-of-care.

The Healthcare Enterprise Survey revealed that hospital IT executives at small and medium-sized hospitals believe that EMRs, HIEs, capacity for storing digital images, needs of affiliated physicians and business intelligence will increase demand on their datacenters by an average of 20 to 50 percent over the next two years.

While many small and medium hospitals anticipate they will spend more on IT next year, they also describe datacenter challenges that Dell believes will make it difficult for them to efficiently manage new information demands. These challenges, says the survey, include a lack of standards, security, extended server refresh cycles and complexity created by a large number of servers and vendors and limited use of virtualization.

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