The Data Management Healthcheck 2010, a global survey into hospitals’ ongoing strategies for managing their IT systems, found that the top IT spending priority for 2010 was disaster recovery (44 per cent), closely followed by Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS, 38 per cent) and digitising paper records (35 per cent).
John McCann, Director of Marketing at BridgeHead Software, said, “The healthcare industry’s data environment is notoriously complex, with most hospitals navigating a variety of systems from a range of vendors for managing different types of clinical data in different locations, both on and off hospital premises. When healthcare information systems go down, bringing that information back online is an intricate process. Healthcare IT professionals need to know which applications and data have to be reinstated, and in which order. Given this complexity, it is not surprising that disaster recovery is the top IT investment priority in healthcare today.”
Tony Cotterill, CEO and President at BridgeHead Software, added, “Roughly 20 to 30 per cent of all the world’s storage resides in healthcare. Yet hospitals often find themselves accepting storage and disaster recovery solutions from other industry sectors that do not necessarily understand and accommodate the healthcare industry’s uniquely complex data environment. As hospitals continue transitioning towards fully electronic patient records, they would be wise to investigate storage, data management and disaster recovery solutions tailored specifically to meet their own organisational needs.”
As BridgeHead Software reported last month, the Data Management Healthcheck also found that over two-thirds (69 per cent) of healthcare organisations expected their data volumes to increase this year. Of those, the majority (65 per cent) said PACS imaging files were the main culprits, followed by files held in the Electronic Patient Record (EPR – 45.5 per cent) and scanned documents, e.g. proof of insurance and healthcare proxy (43 per cent). In spite of rising data volumes, only a quarter (26 per cent) claimed to have full archiving capabilities that migrated content to the appropriate storage as dictated by their pre-defined policies.
Only 15 per cent of respondents listed cloud storage among their top three investment priorities, in spite of the recent buzz around cloud computing. And only 12 per cent prioritised green IT: further confirmation of BridgeHead Software’s April report that green IT is currently more of an aspiration than a reality at most hospitals.