The genesis and evolution of Systems Integration in the OR

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The genesis and evolution of Systems Integration in the OR

June 02, 2020
Health IT Operating Room

In addition, remote monitoring means IT staff can detect potential issues before they arise, preventing workflow disruptions in the OR. Anything that advances proactivity in an OR is valuable. Period!

From a hygiene and infection prevention standpoint, the ability to eliminate the antiquated legacy in-OR routers is highly desirous. By moving to an IP network based solution, hospital ORs can eliminate the traditional matrix routers within each OR which generate heat, noise, and dust due to cooling fans on the legacy equipment.

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A key takeaway regarding the evolution of Systems Integration is not only about what and how the process works, but also about who is involved in the process. Because Systems Integration solutions are becoming network-based, that is, involving networks and servers—the decision-making has expanded from surgeons and OR managers to include CIOs and other healthcare IT professionals.

So, what started as a surgeon- and medical device manufacturer-driven industry has evolved into an industry with IT professionals in the driver’s seat.

Industry shift requires vendor re-evaluation
The shift toward a network-based protocol in systems integration is having an impact on a health system’s vendor selection. There are new factors to consider when choosing a partner.

Historically, surgeons and OR managers were likely inclined to tap into their minimally invasive device manufacturers for a systems integration solution. After all, they had an established relationship and the trust that comes with that.

But in reality, while these vendors have expertise in minimally invasive devices, they very often do not have the proven IT legacy that’s required for the kind of scalable, vendor-neutral offering that healthcare facilities need in a quality systems integration solution.

This is where IT staff can be of great value. The best systems integration solutions today involve sophisticated technology, beyond the purview of most surgeons and OR managers. The information that's being moved around via a systems integration solution is being controlled by IT technology. So it is no surprise that the IT departments have become highly involved in making the decision for which Systems Integration vendor to pursue.

Hospital administration, CIOs, and IT departments weigh many considerations and explore critical technology-driven questions when evaluating Systems Integration vendors. For example, they might ask, ‘Does this solution fit within our existing enterprise imaging strategy?,’ ‘Is this solution vendor-neutral and able to integrate with our existing systems?,’ ‘Does this vendor offer other solutions, like a PACS or VNA, to work toward a desired single-vendor IT approach?,’ and, ‘Is this a scalable and future-ready solution that won’t require repeated infrastructure overhauls?’

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