Journey through Enterprise IT Services
In Journey through Enterprise IT Services, Nadhan, HP Distinguished Technologist, explores the IT Services industry, and discusses technology trends in simplified terms.

Annual Health Check for the Hospitals IT Environment

Recently, I identified a list of health-related metrics that hospitals need to monitor in order to ensure a healthy cloud environment, as well as a robust mobility environment in the post -- Healthy hospitals need a healthy cloud and robust mobility. I thought I had captured all the key metrics until I read a post by fellow blogger Tari Schrieder that introduces the concept of applying BMI (Body Mass Index) to Information Security. In today’s world where patient privacy and the confidentiality and integrity of patient information are vital compliance requirements, information security is also a defining aspect of the reliability of the hospital’s environment.


The metrics that I already detailed in my previous post are blood pressure, cholesterol, diet, blood flow and respiratory system. Here is how I see the BMI dimension manifesting itself from a security perspective:


Body Mass Index.  Schriederdefines an approach to compute BMI as follows in his post on Information Security BMI (Body Mass Index):


  • Body is represented by the security objectives defined by ISO/IEC 27001 Standard
  • Mass is represented by Governance Frameworks like HP's Information Security Service Management
  • BMI can be computed using these parameters in the context of the key 5 characteristics - People, Policies & Procedures, Processes, Products and Proof from an Information Security perspective.

In other words, how effective is the hospital at ensuring the information it manages every day is secure in the context of the appropriate governance processes?


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. A BMI value out of range can indicate compromises on cloud security which could trigger the arrhythmia as well.


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? How is its BMI? Please let me know.


This post is part of the Knowledge Matters cloud 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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