Editorial: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, IT dept. Unprepared for Disaster

Updated 3/4/03 Editor: apparently this was posted in someone else’s name by a disgruntled worker so take it for what it is worth: In early November, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Ma. http://home.caregroup.org/ suffered the loss of it�s computer network for several days. The problem was allegedly caused by the failure of the IT department to practice and to enforce established rules governing the use and unauthorized additions of new software onto the network.

It should be known that the medical center was not forthcoming and open about this network failure. This only became public knowledge when the Boston Globe received an anonymous notice. The BIDMC has had so much negative publicity regarding its finances that it did not want this additional fiasco known.

The BIDMC appears to be attempting to use a one-lane road as a superhighway. Adding system after system and boasting of the terabytes that are pushed across the network. This network was apparently unmonitored and overwhelmed with traffic. Obviously this computer network is not the premier hospital computer network of which the BIDMC often boasts. The BIDMC is now aware that misleading boasts may look good in the computer magazines but do not keep your network up and running!

The IT department needs to be restructured with managers who can concentrate on the computer network and the requirements of the medical center and less on securing their own advantages and political standing within the organization.

Counterparts in the healthcare industry should use this as an example of what can happen when you force out knowledgeable and dedicated long-term employees and fail to replace them with experienced professionals. Perhaps the practice of rewarding inexperienced brown-nosers and friends with supervisory and professional positions is now harming the BIDMC. This IT department is staffed with many employees who are on the outside looking in and waiting to be led to the guillotine. The IT department is obviously unprepared for disasters such as this.

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