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Healthy hospitals need a healthy cloud and robust mobility

Hospitals exist to take care of our health. Medical personnel use various devices to periodically monitor our key vital signs and in some cases recommend continuous monitoring processes to ensure our sustained wellbeing. A hospital can efficiently service its customers if it has a healthy IT infrastructure -- including its cloud computing-based solutions, as well as the connectivity provided by its mobile solutions. Just like we monitor our vital signs at predetermined intervals, hospitals must also ensure that the enabling IT infrastructure is continuously enabled and effective to deliver on the service level expectations of its customers. Therefore, a hospital must do a "health check" by monitoring the vital signs of its cloud computing and mobility solutions.


In this Computerworld article Hospital networks take key role in health care as IT makes further clincial advances, Fred O'Connor highlights the need for constant wireless connectivity augmented by wired connections for certain scenarios. The right connectivity solution for the right scenario. When it comes to healthcare, there is no second chance!


Lori MacVittie characterizes inconsistent availability of the cloud solution as arrhythmia -- in her post on Curing the Cloud Performance Arrhythmia -- asserting that users may experience a sudden interruption in performance at any time, with no real rhyme or reason.


Can hospitals afford to experience such "arrhythmia?" Definitely not. Here are some vital signs of their underlying cloud and mobility infrastructure that hospitals can proactively monitor to reduce the possibility of such arrhythmia:


Blood Pressure. What is the overall throughput through its infrastructure? Is the load exceeding the thresholds that have been architected and designed both in the cloud environment as well as for the Mobile solutions?


Cholesterol. Are there foreign viruses that are impeding the seamless flow of information to the end users? Are there clogged bottlenecks in the arteries and veins that define the bloodstream of information that is generated and consumed in real-time across the hospital eco-system?


Diet. Is the solution elastic enough where it provisions the right resources (e.g., vitamins, proteins, minerals) to gear up to accommodate projected bottlenecks? Let’s say that there is a hurricane or tornado projected this weekend. Can the IT resources scale up to meet the projected increase in the number of emergencies?


Blood flow. Are all the inputs (data) being processed to generate the right amount of information that is delivered to the right parts of the hospital at the right time?


Respiratory System. Is the IT infrastructure consuming energy in an efficient manner so that the overall environment is compliant with environmental considerations? Are the lungs of the hospital IT infrastructure working to maintain a clean environment at the right temperature across its cloud computing environments?


Hospitals have the responsibility of maintaining the health of their enabling infrastructure. After all, hospitals deal with situations that are a matter of life and death. Unprecedented failures of the enabling infrastructure components can compromise the availability of critical information to medical personnel or prevent the early detection of symptoms in patients being monitored. Therefore, hospitals must take such steps to mitigate the chances of cloud arrhythmia across all components of its IT environment.


How about you? Can you think of other health factors that hospitals should monitor? How is your local hospital doing? Is it delivering on your service level expectations? Is it due for a health check using the factors listed above? Please let me know.


This post is part of the Knowledge Matters cloud and mobility series. Be on the lookout for our up and coming blogs on cloud and mobility. And you can always check out our previous Knowledge Matters articles on the HP Applications Services blog.


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