E-Handbook:

Reviving your modern health IT infrastructure

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With hospital investment in IT infrastructure, study hyper-convergence

Numbers from a recent health IT survey we conducted point to continued investment in IT infrastructure.

For example, 41.6% of respondents said they will spend more on cloud technology this year compared to 2016, according to a health IT purchasing intentions survey conducted in 2017 by TechTarget, in partnership with the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. TechTarget is the publisher of SearchHealthIT.

Meanwhile, 25% to 30% of hospitals indicated they plan increased investment in IT infrastructure areas, such as data center servers, server virtualization and storage technology, depending on their needs.

Those numbers show that for at least some of you, health IT infrastructure updates and installations are coming. For hospital systems, such work can be immense, as recent stories illustrate.

One health system in Texas chose to upgrade its Wi-Fi network across a 28-building campus, which included installing 450 new access points. The project coincided with separate plans to upgrade mobile device and internet of things services.

Another hospital in Massachusetts has been working on introducing hyper-converged infrastructures and expanded software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities, and it may sell its SDN services to outside companies.

Hyper-convergence -- a technology that integrates various infrastructure resources through one vendor's commodity hardware -- is an interesting concept for healthcare sites. The main benefit is its simplicity and ability to centralize IT management. However, hyper-convergence sometimes doesn't scale well, and thus is not always a good fit with cloud efforts.

Check out our story that explores the uses of converged and hyper-converged technology in healthcare if your organization is looking toward investment in IT infrastructure.

As with any health IT endeavor, infrastructure's ability to interact with protected health information (PHI) presents unique challenges. Look below for further advice on this aspect as it concerns segmenting clinical and non-clinical environments through virtualization setups, with the goal of allowing fewer restrictions in areas where PHI isn't a factor.