Importance of IT Asset Management in Hospitals

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What is the background behind the importance of IT asset management in hospitals? Are you in trouble because you are not confident that you can manage your IT assets properly in the hospital? Many also want to minimize the administrative burden.

In this article, we will explain the importance of IT asset management in hospitals, hospital-specific issues, and countermeasures. Please use it as a reference to realize appropriate IT asset management.

The number of IT devices used in hospitals is increasing, and there are a wide variety of types. Some examples are as follows:

● Electronic medical record
● Receipt
● Inventory management system for pharmaceutical products, etc.
● Accounting system
● Security software
● PC / tablet to operate the equipment

As the number of IT devices increases, the burden of managing them also increases. In the past, simple management using Excel etc. was sufficient, but now it is not enough. In particular, it is difficult to manage the number of licenses and the expiration date.

Due to these factors, there is an increasing need to fundamentally review the IT management equipment system.

Increasing Interest In Information Security

In recent years, there has been increasing public interest in information security. Not only the spread of IT equipment, but also the fact that information leakage incidents have been reported one after another will be spurring.
Especially in hospitals, we handle very sensitive information such as patients, treatment details, and lifestyle habits. In addition, these records must be retained for a period of time, so care must be taken in their management system.
The data stored in IT equipment is more damaging when leaked than the data stored in paper media, so great care must be taken.

There are hospital-specific challenges in managing IT assets. IT assets handled in hospitals are diverse and difficult to manage. It is mainly classified as follows.

Core system – Electronic medical records and medical accounting systems are applicable. In large hospitals, this terminal may be used in thousands.

Departmental system – There are various departments in hospitals, such as clinical laboratory departments and pharmaceutical departments, each of which has an IT system. Since management is entrusted to the department, it is difficult for the medical information department to grasp the whole picture.

Internet system – It is a system for mail and internet search. It is managed by the Medical Information Department.

Other – Patient information is also accumulated on personal computers and tablets owned by medical staff.

In this way, depending on the form, centralized management at the hospital may be difficult.

There are few human resource who can handle IT

A typical company has an information system department. There are employees who are very knowledgeable about IT, and other employees will inquire about IT-related matters.

However, hospitals have few departments dedicated to IT. Although the medical information department often serves concurrently, it does not mean that human resources who are good at IT are gathered.

This tendency is especially noticeable in small and medium-sized hospitals. Even if we try to increase the number of people in charge, we often lack funds and labor. Also, because of this, even if an IT system that is easy to use appears in small and medium-sized hospitals, it has not been introduced, and the IT environment in the hospital is stagnant.

Currently, in many hospitals, once a failure occurs, it takes a lot of time to recover. In addition, when the human resources who have been in charge of managing IT systems retire, there will be no human resources who can handle them immediately.
In this way, IT system management in hospitals is actually carried out in an unstable state with potential risks.

How to optimize IT asset management in hospitals

We need a system that can grasp the usage status of IT equipment at a glance. It’s a good idea to create an IT asset management ledger, just like a typical company. You can create a ledger in Excel. In order to understand where, what, and how much in the hospital, include the following items.

● Product name
● Device number
● Management number (number assigned for management in the hospital)
● Device classification (names of PCs, tablets, etc.)
● Manufacturer name
● User name
● Software license information
● Version information
● Installation location

If you have a lot of management targets, you may have multiple ledgers for hardware, software, and licenses. Ideally, you should provide as much detailed information as possible so that you can immediately check the information and status of the target device.

Considering Introducing IT Asset Management Tool

You can also create a ledger with Excel, but if there are many management targets, the workload will be enormous. In addition, it is not possible to grasp the real-time usage status of the device.

You can solve these problems by introducing IT asset management tools. Information such as device logs and versions can also be acquired in real time, which will greatly reduce the burden of IT asset management.

Some products also have advanced features such as stopping vulnerable software and dealing with problems with distant PCs. Since IT assets scattered in the hospital can be centrally managed, there will be great advantages in terms of security and cost.

Properly manage IT assets and improve security and operational efficiency

In recent years, due to the increase in IT equipment and growing interest in security, IT asset management in hospitals has become more important. However, there are the following hospital-specific issues.

● The burden is heavier than general companies
● There are few human resources who can handle IT

There are the following methods to optimize management in such an environment.

● Creating a ledger
● Introduction of IT asset management tools

 

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