Keys to understand how to increase efficiency in healthcare

The health sector is one of the most predominant and important industries worldwide, as its welfare nature has led governments to implement technologies and make economic expenditures to automate their processes.

In the Dominican Republic, official figures reveal that government spending on the health function, which summarizes all expenditures by public entities on hospital services, public health services and prevention, health research and development, as well as health planning, management and supervision totaled RD$83,663.1 million, which compared to the RD$66,316.0 million executed in the same period of 2019 represents an absolute increase of RD$17,347.1 million.

Added to this are the costs of data management and daily processes, which are increasingly complex for a hospital’s reputation for efficiency and professionalism. “Thousands of people suffer adverse events each year due to inaccurate or incomplete medical records that can affect accurate testing, treatment and diagnosis. Integrated and enhanced IT solutions, such as micro data centers, can help significantly reduce this figure by enabling more accurate and accessible medical records, helping to facilitate better medical decision-making,” says Marcio Kenji, Cloud & Service Provider segment manager for SAM at Schneider Electric.

IT systems and associated power and cooling infrastructures play a key role in helping hospitals drive efficiency across the board. Today, most hospitals have a small to medium-sized data center on their premises, used primarily for archiving records. But with the increasing availability of internet of things (IoT) technologies, many more devices and sensors are being connected. Huge amounts of data are flowing from one department to another.

With this increase in data comes the problem of latency (delays in response times when accessing computer data) and limited bandwidth to access cloud-based applications. This comes with the addition of new medical devices in hospital facilities, which need to be connected not only to the hospital, but also to the cloud. Medical equipment vendors host cloud-based diagnostic centers to help physicians and department staff get faster and more accurate patient results.

Based on the above, Schneider Electric, a global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, presents 3 keys to understanding how technology and especially data centers contribute to hospital hyper-efficiency.

Growing challenges for hospitals

The recent pandemic has added complexity to improving hospital efficiency. Many hospitals have experienced backlogs, which can cause delays in patient treatments. In addition, rural hospitals face the challenge of providing patients with access to highly skilled medical professionals and specialized treatments, given their remoteness.

Worldwide, most hospitals face the challenge of improving efficiency, as many have manual work processes or their on-site and remote systems are not connected to each other. Many medical centers do not yet have the technology to support these systems. Electronic medical records and reports are one of the areas that are often affected. With little or no access to patient records, many hospitals have difficulty sharing data with other healthcare facilities.

Impact on sustainability

Efficiency also has a significant impact on sustainability. Hospitals are large consumers of energy. Much of the energy they consume comes from lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation and water heating. Energy-consuming technology, such as electronic imaging equipment and digital records, adds to this burden. Remote facilities often operate at full capacity even when offices are closed, with equipment, temperature settings and lights running around the clock.

However, many of these high costs can be avoided. New technologies allow staff to quickly and easily access screens that allow them to control and monitor energy consumption in patient rooms, whether occupied or unoccupied, as these rooms must be managed differently from an energy standpoint. Room sensors collect a wealth of data on energy consumption, comfort and safety.

How micro data centers solve hospital efficiency dilemma

Innovations in Edge Computing technology are improving connectivity, power and high-efficiency cooling, thereby helping hospitals and healthcare facilities reduce costs; improve operational efficiency and sustainability; enhance patient experience; and improve profitability.

To adapt to these changes, many healthcare organizations are beginning to deploy micro data centers that enable hyper-efficient connectivity to the cloud. Micro data centers are small, pre-assembled, tested and integrated solutions configured in a housing. These micro data centers are ready to house servers, storage and network devices.


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Dominican Republic Live Editor

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