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Identifying IT Infrastructures Essay

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Updated: Feb 26th, 2022

In the contemporary healthcare environment, information technology (IT) infrastructure occupies a special place, promoting medical service standards, staff performance, patients’ experience, and well-being overall. IT infrastructure consists of integral and interrelated components such as software, hardware, operating system (OS), network resources, and data storage used to deliver IT solutions and services to customers, partners, and employees. This paper aims at examining the IT infrastructure of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, assessing its strengths and weaknesses, and discussing the nursing informatics’s role within this organization and how it could be enhanced

Description of the Organization

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is an academic healthcare establishment situated in Winston-Salem and founded in 1923 when North Carolina Baptist Hospital opened. The center comprises three entities, namely, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, and Wake Forest Innovations. It is one of the largest employers in the city with over 14000 employees and over 300 primary care and specialty clinics in total and five community and one children’s hospital, as of 2019 (Wake Forest Baptist Health, 2019). Each year, the organization deals with approximately 60000 inpatient admissions and observation patients and almost two million outpatient visits and has about 1500 system-wide licensed beds at its disposal (Wake Forest Baptist Health, 2019). As of the fiscal year 2017, Wake Forest Baptist Health gained $373.9 million benefits to various home community areas, including community health, research, outreach, educational programs and services, and charity care (Wake Forest Baptist Health, 2019). The medical activities of the center include cancer, nephrology, urology, gastroenterology, neurology and neurosurgery, pediatrics, pulmonology, ear, nose, and throat.

IT infrastructure

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center currently possesses the most advanced IT infrastructure that allows it to store and process a tremendous volume of information and deliver high-quality service. In 2014, the organization conducted its assessment of the IT environment, which helped significantly renovate and modernize its infrastructure (Landi, 2017). After evaluating technology solutions providers, executives decided to implement a converged infrastructure method implying the consolidation of networking, computer, and virtualization silos into a unified system to maintain all organization’s applications. The new infrastructure operates based on Dell EMC’s Vblock Systems that provide the infrastructure with Wake Cloud, a software-defined data center, and integrate 1,131 applications onto the shared IT environment (Landi, 2017).

Consequently, the company has enhanced its Epic EHR performance, reduced its maintenance cost, and improved uptime. Additionally, the organization has managed to achieve 96 percent virtualization due to the project compared to 22 percent earlier (Landi, 2017). To realize such outcomes, the IT infrastructure needs numerous storage area networks and around 1,500 servers (Landi, 2017). Finally, the organization uses Intelligent InSites’ operational intelligence software and CenTrak’s Gen2 IR RTLS hardware as part of its enterprise visibility solution (“Improving Organizational Infrastructure,” n.d.). This also enables the Medical Center to demonstrate profound operational analytics capabilities.

The Role of Nursing Informatics

Nursing informatics refers to a field of nursing that incorporates information and computer sciences and nursing to provide data communication management to support the nursing practice and enhance patient care outcomes. Technologies that have been developed as a result of healthcare informatics include electronic medical records (EMRs), computerized provider order entry (CPOE), test results, medication records, among others (“Nursing Informatics,” n.d.). Within the organization, nurse informaticists play an essential role in ensuring patient safety. In particular, nurses and other clinical clinicians are required correct and relevant information to access patients’ anamnesis, lab and imaging results, medication lists, and interdisciplinary staff notes to make appropriate decisions. Furthermore, nurse informaticists substantially contribute to improved communication between team members and the development of up-to-date technologies, which is vital for decreasing patient care delays, medical errors, and healthcare costs. To enhance nursing informatics, the primary focus should be placed on comprehensive and systematic training and education of healthcare providers, especially nurses. This suggests providing the necessary and up-to-date knowledge and skills of personnel and conducting their regular assessment.

References

(n.d.). HIMSS Analytics. Web.

Landi, H. (2017). At one North Carolina health system, transforming the IT infrastructure to meet future needs. Healthcare Innovation. Web.

(n.d.). RegisteredNursing.org. Web.

Wake Forest Baptist Health (2019). STATs [PDF document]. Web.

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