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Top 5 videos from HIMSS17

Delivering HIT services in an emergency

Learn how to prepare for natural disasters at HIMSS15
By Chris Nerney
09:51 AM
tornado

When natural disasters strike, roads will close, businesses shut down and municipal services are interrupted.

But healthcare providers must be ready to provide continuing care for existing patients and victims who suddenly require emergency treatment. Failure to adequately provide health services in a disaster scenario almost certainly means lost lives.

The Disaster Preparedness Knowledge Center is designed to help HIMSS15 attendees develop and implement plans that will be ready when disasters strike in their communities.

This new exhibit hall landmark will feature presentations by healthcare providers who will share their experience with recent disasters. The emphasis will be on identifying the steps to take to ensure the continuity of health IT systems in the event of disasters.

“Hurricane Katrina completely debilitated the healthcare system in that part of the U.S.,” says John Daniels, vice president of strategic relations for HIMSS. “Hurricane Sandy also was devastating. And after 9/11, some companies went completely out of business because they had no continuity plan in place.”

While information technology has enabled healthcare providers to improve patient care and internal processes, it’s also created a double-edged sword.

“Because hospitals have adopted information technology, these organizations are dependent on their IT systems,” Daniels says.

This makes healthcare providers – and their patients -- particularly vulnerable during a natural disaster because power outages have the potential to disrupt networks and the transfer of vital patient data.

“So the challenge becomes,” Daniels says. “How can we ensure that doctors, nurses and other health providers receive the information they need when they’re delivering care to patients?”

The Knoweldge Center will also feature exhibits from Iland Internet Solutions, a provider of DRaaS (Disaster Recovery As A Service) solutions; and DataCore, a software virtualization provider.

You’ll find the center in the North Building, Hall B, Booth 7678.

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