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In control and saving big

Salem Health is a network of hospitals, rehab facilities, and physician clinics located in the Pacific Northwest. The organization was experiencing major performance issues with their IT infrastructure, which was hurting business processes. And in the healthcare industry, that’s not something to be overlooked. Clinicians were experiencing too much downtime to provide top-of-the-line patient care, not to mention the lack of support and control the company had for their current environment.

In dire need of change, Salem Health overhauled their data center with the Cisco® Unified Computing System™ (UCS), powered by Intel® Xeon® processers. The transition was cost-effective -- saving the business 68 percent in IT expenses – and provided enhanced data replication, decreased downtime, and greatly improved network access.  As a result, Salem Health is able to deliver much better care to patients, and the business is back on track.

Read Salem Health’s full story, which is featured in the latest edition of Unleashing IT.

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Investing Means Gaining

Return on investment has been around for ages, but the meaning of ROI is taking a spin in today’s business world. Companies are no longer purchasing solutions for technology improvement; they are investing in better industry processes as a whole. In return, they can achieve positive cash flows.

Concentra, a national healthcare company, provides a perfect example. With an outdated data center, the company had exhausted their power and cooling resources and was in need of reconstruction.

Concentra did some research and discovered that, by significantly investing in revamping their IT infrastructure, not only could they dramatically improve efficiencies and performance, but they could also create a positive cash flow for the company.

Furthermore, implementation doesn’t have to be risky. Concentra’s Senior Vice President and CIO, Suzanne Kosub, says, “With the right planning and financial analysis, we were able to show exactly how much the project would cost, how long it would take to pay for itself, and what the company would gain moving forward.”

Read the full story

 

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The Service Provider Cure: Healing an Ailing Healthcare System

By Tine Christensen, Director of US Service Provider Practice, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG)

America’s healthcare system has been laid low with a scourge of acute symptoms. Spiraling costs, an epidemic of chronic diseases, and a spike in the senior demographic are all driving a mounting crisis. Throw in a gridlocked U.S. Congress and an unresolved regulatory climate, and a “miracle” cure seems a remote dream.

Lately, however, a healing light has been shining from a surprising source: service providers.

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Cisco Wins GBC Health Award

There is a growing understanding of the network’s ability to multiply impact in health care as well as recognition of Cisco’s role in applying networking technology solutions to address health care needs.  Most recently, Cisco won an award from GBCHealth for the “core competence category” for our work in the corporate social responsibility program known as Connecting Sichuan. The three-year program aimed to transform healthcare systems after the 2008 earthquake through the implementation of ICT technologies by connecting urban and rural health organizations for improved access to quality healthcare. 

More than 280,000 now receive critical health care regardless of where in the region they live, thanks to the Connecting Sichuan program.  And there has been a 32 percent reduction in antibiotic costs as a result of remote health care treatment enabled by the program.

Given these results, Cisco was presented with the award at the annual GBCHealth Conference, which  brings together thought leaders from business, government, multi-laterals and civil society to discuss important health topics and healthcare challenges globally. GBCHealth is a coalition of more than 200 member companies with a mission to mobilize the power of global business community to build a healthier world.

This is a very significant award honoring companies that exemplify a spirit of innovation and dedication to outstanding achievements in global health. This year’s award was extremely competitive—the  winners (1 for each of the 5 categories) were selected from 40 finalists, conferred by an external panel of expert judges drawn from government, multi-laterals, academia, non-profits and the corporate community. On hand to receive the award was SVP Carlos Dominguez who also led a session at the conference about how social media can shape the future of disease awareness, prevention and treatment. Other dignitaries and featured speakers included Muhtar Kent, Deepak Chopra, Richard Edelman, Christy Turlington-Burns, Kenneth Cole and Barbara Bush.

 For more information, visit http://gbchealth.org/ or watch the awards video .

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Can Cisco positively impact the Health of our population and Healthcare Ecosystem?

The PPACA known as Healthcare Reform Act in the United States is driving major change in our industry around accountability for the quality outcome of our care.  It is making providers accountable for the care that is delivered with measures that will be reported by patients.  As I monitor these major changes, it makes me wonder how we can really implement the critically needed change.  I wonder, why is the US dead last compared to 6 other leading free world nations” in healthcare quality measures and we spend almost double per capita for healthcare than other countries according to the Commonwealth Fund (June, 2010). Many believe the concepts that have been embraced by the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) under the direction of Dr. Don Berwick, (appointed on July 7, 2010 by President Barack Obama to serve as the Administrator of the CMS) can drive change.  As CMS is the largest healthcare payer in the US, (over half), they can lead a major change of this nature and have adopted the “Triple-Aim” model of evidenced based care and wellness.  The aspiration goals, or the Triple Aim, is a phrase coined by Dr. Berwick and it is all about focusing on how to drive improvement so that our populations are healthier, our patients receive better care and instead of working within a volume based business model, move to one of quality and value that rewards prevention, wellness and a positive patient experience.

    Making the Triple Aim Possible


How can Cisco influence and enable this within our Healthcare Ecosystem?

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