Hospital IT will be forced to change, claims Dell exec

Hospital IT

Heads of hospital IT departments will be forced to change the way their IT infrastructure runs, according to a senior executive from Dell.

A survey commissioned by Dell, and carried out by HIMSS, released today showed that hospitals in the UK are under increasing pressure with budgets for IT, with 70 to 80 per cent of what they do have going towards just keeping the lights on.

With half of respondents believing their budgets are only going to get smaller, Renzo Taal, director of Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences in Europe, is calling for departments to innovate and look for new ideas now to improve efficiency rather than wait until they are pushed.

"It is down to a basic budget, if it is being slashed, hospitals cannot cope with scaling out [or] the power costs," he said during a conference call with the press.

"Some CIOs will see that coming and adjust [their infrastructure] and others will just be forced."

The major suggestions from Dell focused on creating a uniform infrastructure using technologies such as virtualisation and tiered storage to deal with the increasing amount of data hospitals have to cope with.

"We need to change the paradigm [of] non-standard systems, fragmented environments and lots of storage pools creating resource restraints," added Taal.

Zafar Chaudry, chief information officer (CIO) at Liverpool Women's hospital, has recently gone through the changes with his facility's infrastructure and was pleased with the results.

"We have gone from 50 servers to five or six virtual ones," he said.

"There has been a massive drop in power usage, we are able to tier our data and now we have optimised our storage all with only one server guy managing the environment."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.