Technology in the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry has been late in adopting technology. Only a few years ago, many medical facilities relied on paper files for record management, analog phone systems and outdated cabling infrastructure. Due to government regulation, compliance and telehealth trends, medical professionals are now adopting the latest in unified communications.

Client Reference: Texas Health

C2mtech works with hospitals to private practice offices: doctors, dentists, psychiatrists and more. Medical offices can become advanced communication hubs and patient data centers. However, it requires adequate investment in cabling, phone systems and wireless networks to meet new patient demands, lower risk and improve security and performance.

Compliance Standards We Follow

The healthcare industry is governed by multiple laws and standards that seek to protect data and carry severe consequences for violations. New requirements are updated frequently as new security breaches and technologies experience vulnerabilities.

HIPAA, or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, first encouraged healthcare providers to migrate paper records to digital format.

Infection Control Requirements (ICRs) are another significant difference between a medical office and a commercial office. ICR prevents the spread of disease by requiring safeguards such as enclosed cabling pathways. Exposed copper cable, while preferred in some businesses, is not an option for a hospital.

The ANSI/TIA-1179 Healthcare Infrastructure Standard was enacted in 2010 and provides guidance for structured cabling in a healthcare facility. Due to a unique environment (labs, patient rooms and waiting areas) and laws that aim to protect data, the ANSI/TIA-1179 standard should be followed by all medical organizations. The 1179 standard is a comprehensive standard that starts with cabling design. For example, a minimum of two diverse pathways from the entrance facility to an equipment room provides greater reliability of data. It also separates critical applications such as life support paging from less critical, non-emergency voice calls. Failure to follow 1179 standards by an IT department or telecom installer can result in lawsuits, warranty cancellations and more serious outcomes.

Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, reinforced HIPPA and provided incentives for healthcare providers to upgrade IT systems.