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Power and uptime crucial for solid health IT infrastructure

Is your health IT infrastructure prepared to handle the influx of such new technologies as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), and electronic health records (EHRs)? A new survey of hospital technology from Columbus, Ohio-based Emerson Network Power found that about 50% of hospitals needed to upgrade power and cooling infrastructure when implementing any of these three technologies.

The 2010 survey results included responses from IT managers, facility managers, data center managers and engineers based in North America. They reported that their top concerns are budget, power requirements and system availability.

Despite the recession, many health IT professionals are budgeting for upgrades: Sixty percent of respondents indicated that they plan to expand server and storage capacity in their data centers within the next two years, and more than 50% are planning to update or expand existing hospital IT infrastructure.

The importance of having a high-availability hospital network has health IT leaders focusing heavily on power requirements and system uptime, the survey noted. More than 50% of patient rooms are not supported by an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and only 28% of operating rooms have emergency power receptacles serviced through a UPS, making patient data vulnerable to downtime.

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