by William Crane
In most healthcare organizations, technology infrastructure responsibilities span several departments. Robust technology infrastructure is imperative with the rise in healthcare mergers and acquisitions and more available technologies, from telemedicine and digital health to future patient rooms and digitized operations. In an industry where reactive timing wins, proactively managing the technology infrastructure has many short and long-term gains.
The following are four areas healthcare facility leaders can address that will exponentially impact the organization by providing secure services with speed, scale, and resiliency.
Infrastructure Modernization to Support Changes due to Increased Application Use
The deployment of new and upgraded EHR systems is still active, and their use has expanded driving requirements for maximum security and redundancy, improved latency, increased storage, and more. The throughput of network connections to edge devices is critical in ensuring physicians and clinical teams can access information quickly and make split-second decisions. In addition, almost all clinical and support systems within a healthcare facility are now digitized. Every person within the walls of the facility must be connected.
Resize Space to Support Power and Cooling Upgrades
The technology profile of data center computing, storage, and networking devices has changed dramatically over the past 10 years. This technology change creates challenges for the power and cooling infrastructure for many data centers. The good news for facility leaders is there are several ways to modernize an existing data center with incremental investments instead of building a new facility. An industry advisor is often best to determine what spaces provide the best location for growth, energy efficiency, latency, and storage requirements.
Modernizing Power and Cooling for Efficiency and Cost Savings
Today, per-rack power requirements exceed 20 kilowatts (kW), and many are looking at 50 kW or more to increase processing power. Air cooling solutions are evolving to address higher densities with greater efficiency. As higher densities increase, there can be diminishing efficiency returns and less sufficient cooling. More organizations are exploring liquid cooling to increase the capacity and efficiency of data center cooling by using higher thermal transfer of water and other fluids for more efficient and cost-effective cooling of high-density racks.
Upgrade Telecommunications Rooms and Edge Monitoring
The processing that happens in healthcare telecommunications rooms is vital to day-to-day operations. Often these telecommunications are in dense and somewhat at-risk locations across a healthcare campus. These rooms, often referred to as edge computing, are a perfect candidate for monitoring software that enables facility leaders to receive notifications of equipment failures, emergencies, or room breaches. An enterprise-wide monitoring solution enables leaders across many facilities to prepare for equipment upgrades and improve the overall security of the infrastructure beyond the data center.
The 2023 budget cycle is fast approaching. If your infrastructure needs attention, evaluate these key areas to see if proactive action can improve the services you deliver to the organization, better support your staff, and prepare for the next wave of technology demands.
William Crane, LEED AP is manager, Design/Build Services at Leading Edge Design Group.