Cloud, the chief information officer at
Cloud is leaving NHRMC
Many hospitals have made the Epic change, but few have done so as seamlessly as NHRMC, said CEO and President
"When we went live, we didn't have any major failures," Barto said. "We had to make some tweaks, and we were making enhancements by Day 4."
Considering the scale of the
"I've seen hospitals lose hundreds of millions of dollars because they can't get their bills out," Barto said.
Part of that success is the result of Cloud's foresight. When Barto hired him to lead NHRMC's technology department in
"The network was insufficient, the wireless network was lacking in capacity and the data center was out of space," Cloud said. "We were out of cooling and out of power."
Today, the hospital's servers are housed in a wing behind a nondescript door that could easily be mistaken for a maintenance closet. Help center employees have multiple screens running and can log on to their computers with a scan of their badge. Logging on takes only a few seconds, but if those seconds are saved thousands of times per day, the process is more efficient.
Behind the help center, a glassed room houses 117 actual servers, 843 virtual servers and 117 terabytes of storage. The power supply enters the building from multiple directions, so only a massive outage would force the hospital to use backup power. The floor is elevated three feet and a cold aisle of floor vents keeps the room perpetually cool. Cloud used the term "total redundancy" to explain that every critical component has an available duplicate and all of the hospital's data is backed up in real time in
Cloud acknowledged the leaders at NHRMC for aiding the success of his department of about 170 workers. You expect executives to understand finances, he said, but the hospital leaders also understand technology.
"The world is changing," Cloud said. "Business leaders have to have basic competence in information systems. There's no progress without information flowing."
Cloud said his team asks not only how IT can facilitate hospital business but also about how to improve patient care. And it's not always about saving lives or speeding up diagnoses.
Sometimes, IT has a heart.
"IT in the past has been a hard, impersonal science," Cloud said. "What's softer and more personal than a soldier in
Through videoconference links, the hospital has made that possible. And when tropical storms kept family from visiting patients facing life-threatening complications, the hospital staff arranged video chats.
"Our CEO is always challenging us to use IT to improve the patient experience and reduce the anxiety of family members," Cloud said. "Part of healing is reducing anxiety."
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