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IT “Patients”

When you think of cloud technology and data center virtualization, you likely think of big corporations managing their data centers and IT infrastructure to drive business forward. But that’s not the only sector benefiting from the cloud. The healthcare industry is confirming that virtualization is an important factor in the well-being of people -- technology being used to help save lives, not just increase revenue.

Updating an IT infrastructure with cloud enablement is impacting the medical world in imperative ways. Through the cloud, clinicians are able to access medical records and information from a multitude of devices, and from anywhere. Never being out-of-range in an emergency situation is a huge step for healthcare. It means less physical hardware, easier access, shared information, and better service for the patient.

Consider St. George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, a leading healthcare provider. After experiencing difficulties in accessing information and maxing out resources, St. George’s made the move to Unified Communications. Doctors and nurses are now able to retrieve information from the device of their choice, enabling quicker response to patients’ needs, all while meeting new government regulations and controlling their budget.

Other examples include Sparrow Health, who strived to be a national leader in quality and patient experience. With virtualization and cloud-based applications, Sparrow achieved a medical-grade network that solved the problems of their former, unreliable IT system. And Seattle Children’s Hospital severely cut back on wasted time in accessing information and managing their systems by bringing nearly 400 servers and 5500 workstations under central management using virtualization. Likewise, Cook County Health and Concentra are all healthcare providers who reaped the benefits of a virtualized, unified network.

For these profiles and more information on utilizing the cloud to increase ROI and improve TCO, visit UnleashingIT.com.

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Can you see your doctor while at work?

In today’s society, it is really easy to ignore one’s health. Today, I found out just how valuable it can be to have medical care available to me on campus. Here at Cisco, we have about 60 buildings on campus and in a day full of meetings, I walk or drive to the other buildings as needed. There are times when I am so busy that I choose to ignore that cough or yearly exam. And, at what cost? Do I choose to get in the car and drive to my doctor which is 45 minutes away and take at least half a day off with productivity compromise? In the old days, I would say “No way”!

So, today, I joined the ranks of the immediate gratification generation. I found out how to gain access to care in such a way that it allows me to keep working when I need to do so. We have a clinic here on campus named Life Connections (http://www.cisco.com/web/lchc/index.html). Unfortunately, I learned the hard way just how valuable it can be!

I was walking from one building to another and happened to fall. The klutz in me tripped over my pants leg and I fell. I thought I had broken my wrist and could not wait to see the doctor – not to mention the bleeding. Read More »

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Healthcare for all?

October 11, 2012 at 8:39 am PST

As we all just witnessed the presidential debates last Wednesday, the hot topic was Obamacare.  I knew this act was aimed at decreasing the number of uninsured Americans and reducing the overall costs of healthcare.  These high level goals sounded great until I bumped into an article this week that some popular casual dining establishments will no longer offer full time work schedules to employees starting in 2014 aimed to help address the cost implications health care reform will have on their business.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called Obamacare was signed into law back in March 2010 with multiple provisions to be enacted over a 10 year period. A provision starting January 2014 states that companies with over 50 employees will be required to provide health insurance to employees working over 30 hours a week.  There is a punishment of $3,000 per each uncovered employee for companies who do not follow the law. Read More »

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Physical Security Mirrors the Evolution of IP Telephony

Analysts estimate that by 2013, more than 50 percent of all video surveillance deployments will be managed by IT on the IP network in order to support the coming deluge of bandwidth-heavy video data.

Similar to the evolution of telephony, physical security is becoming an IP-based solution to optimize scalability and reduce complexity and costs.

To support this evolution, Cisco has announced Video Surveillance Manager 7.0, the industry’s first solution built from the ground-up and certified to run in virtualized computing environments, making it possible for customers in healthcare, public sector and retail to move beyond traditional basic safety and security surveillance deployments and use video to transform the way they run their businesses through hyper-scalability and ease of configuration.

Read More »

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Palomar Health Debuts Hospital of the Future

Dr. Kanter, Palomar HealthAt last week’s iHT2 Health Summit at the New York Academy of Medicine, I had the pleasure of introducing Dr. Ben Kanter, chief medical information officer at Palomar Health, California’s largest health district.  During his presentation, Dr. Kanter discussed the new $1B, 11-story Palomar Health Medical Center in western Escondido which opened for patient care on August 19, 2012.  Called the “Hospital of the Future” by healthcare pundits, the new Palomar facility integrates key technologies, such as EMR, video and collaboration solutions, into an environment that uses nature, light, and outdoor space which work together to promote healing.

During the design phase, Palomar’s leadership team, including Dr. Kanter, worked closely with Cisco on the goal of creating a higher level of mobility and collaboration among clinicians, patients and their families.   Cisco technologies currently in use include unified communications (video, WebEx, Wireless IP Phones) along with Unified Computing System, all tied together via a wired and wireless Cisco medical-grade network.

Dr. Ben Kanter, chief medical information officer at Palomar Health:

“The ability Cisco provides to tie everyone in the hospital together – patients, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, infection control, administrative teams -- through a security optimized, mobile and video-enabled environment, will have significant, positive impact across the healthcare continuum. Now patients have greater freedoms within the hospital, without compromising their health, as they are observed both inside and outside of hospital walls. And the ability for our doctors to review patient information from a mobile device, and conference in a nurse and a specialist at the same time to discuss the case, will completely change patient care.”

We invite you to learn more about Palomar Health and to watch a four-minute highlights video about the new medical center.

To learn more about Cisco Solutions: Cisco Unified Communications, TelePresence, WebEx, Unified Computing System.

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