Best Hospital IT 2016: Hyper-convergence keeps the Burgess Health Center team in front of change.....Return to list
NOVEMBER 28, 2016
Best Hospital IT 2016: #5 Small Hospital
Health IT is constantly changing, and the goal of Onawa, Iowa-based Burgess Health Center's IT department to keep pace with the growth and management of health center's infrastructure, says Burgess's director of IT Grady Warner.
Burgess Health Center is currently in the middle of planning what Warner called "hyper convergence": a strategy designed to help his team of four manage cost containment, disaster recovery and more.
Hyper convergence is an infrastructure system with an architecture that integrates storage, networking and virtualization resources. Supported by a single vendor, Warner explained this approach helps Burgess to manage its entire virtual environment and servers with one platform.
Other industries have found success with the model, as it lowers costs and improves efficiency.
"We try to virtualize everything," Warner said. "It's made a big impact on end-user workflows and helps with security, management and server sprawl."
And the success of the program has a lot to do with the strength of Warner's team and their ability to communicate – not just about the positive stuff, but also when things go wrong.
The need for open communication has increased over the past few years, as health IT has become much more demanding, with increasing regulations, said Warner. Another challenge, he said, is that his team is expected to be part of every aspect across the small health center.
With the increasing responsibilities of the department, maintaining IT functions on a daily basis is just the base line. Warner said his IT team is also seen as a "change agent" – handling security, cost controls and project management.
Lately Warner has also been looking more into data analytics to get more quality out of data stored in the system, all while keeping security at the forefront.
"We're trying to be as secure as possible – without impeding patient care," Warner said. The goal, he added, is to "ensure our organization is only in the news for good reasons, and not on the front page for some kind of data breach.”