Written by Reji Peterson, Channel Storage Specialist at IBM
COVID-19 has put an enormous strain on many hospitals due to the high number of patients that need care. And ironically, though beds in many systems are filling quickly, the pandemic has put many healthcare organizations in a difficult financial position, because the elective surgeries and procedures on which they depend for much of their revenue have been cancelled due to the public health crisis. For healthcare IT, this means systems will need to do much more with less money, putting increased pressure on internal IT to change their processes and find efficiencies.
But that’s not the only pressure being put on healthcare systems. Certainly, there’s been an uptick in virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) adoption to provide access to non-essential employees working from home, but many hospitals had already adopted VDI. Providing remote access isn’t the biggest challenge. What this shift has affected is where workloads live and work processes, particularly in IT itself.
These multiple pressures — the need to cut costs, non-essential employees working from home, the strain of ICUs packed with COVID-19 patients and the cancellation of elective procedures — have changed how day-to-day IT usage affects workloads. As a result, IT is having to figure out how to balance the load, and that means placing some workloads in the cloud where capacity can be more easily and efficiently scaled.
Changing IT Work Processes
As for work processes, many of the tasks in healthcare that used to be completed by people working together in an office. Because so many people are now working from home, we’re seeing healthcare IT increasingly adopt a DevOps approach, which enables them to more effectively distribute and focus on tasks. It’s also spurred a great deal of interest in automation and management toolsets such as IBM Ansible to reduce the workload. The learning curve to adopt Ansible is small, so organizations can quickly automate operational pieces that were previously manual.
Another example of management toolsets that can help during this crisis is the IBM SAN volume controller (SVC), which is an inline virtualization device that logically sits between hosts and storage enabling storage arrays to be managed under a single virtual layer. This capability isn’t restricted to IBM arrays. Non-IBM arrays and even older models can be brought under the SVC management umbrella. It’s simple to add capacity, eliminates service downtime and makes much more efficient use of existing resources, a top priority for every hospital today.
The pandemic has disrupted normal life for every business, and that goes double for healthcare organizations. But there are ways to adapt and IBM solutions can help with that process.
If you’d like to learn more about how IBM can keep healthcare IT healthy, please download “Your Journey to Cloud in Healthcare.”
For more information on how Nordisk and IBM can help you with your healthcare IT journey, contact us today!