Patient safety compromised by severe IT outages

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Patient safety compromised by severe IT outages

A third of healthcare and IT professionals say patient safety was compromised by a severe outage of administration or clinical systems in the past year, a survey found.

The survey of 83 professionals at the Health Informatics Conference in Melbourne also found the average length of a severe outage was 4.1 hours, although most lasted less than an hour.

Most of those surveyed reported performance issues, including lack of availability, on the day their organisations deployed their most recent healthcare application.

iSoft/IBA was the most common healthcare information system deployed by respondents.

"Healthcare information systems are expected to play a central role in improving healthcare outcomes and reducing costs, yet many Australian healthcare organisations lack the basic tools to ensure their major IT applications can be relied upon to deliver 24 hours a day, 365 days a year," said Craig Little, vice-president of sales operations for APJ at Compuware.

"Organisations need to break the vicious cycle where the poor performance of existing information systems leads to resistance among healthcare professionals towards the adoption of new technology."

Little said that deploying application performance management tools could help reduce the impact of system downtime.

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