Small Hospitals Can't Afford to Skimp on Tech

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media , August 2, 2011

“It’s not a question of can we do it; it’s question of how,” says Elizabethtown CIO Brett Sicola. “We have to make this happen. You’re going to come up against obstacles. Figure it out, work your way through, come up with a plan. We will get there, step by step.”

One step in the plan for Elizabethtown is to purchase technology with an eye to the future. The organization has more telemedicine units than it can use on a regular basis and it definitely has more fiber-optic connectivity than it needs. For now, at least. An early investment in smart pumps with wireless connectivity is one example. “We couldn’t necessarily take full advantage of that today.

It is used for drug updates to the libraries; it is used to send information to a centralized reporting server—someday, when we’re ready, we’ll integrate with our EMR,” Sicola says. “One step at a time.”

“We want to have as many things in place as we can so that when opportunity presents itself we’re ready,” Hooper says. “We’re getting technology purchased and installed and ready ahead of time so that when things change in the future or we need to add things in the future we’re already ready to go.”

“We have products that will grow with us in the future,” Sicola says. “Part of our strategy has been implementing health information technology that fits our culture, fits our business model, and is compliant with all of the standards,” Sicola says.

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