In The Help Me With HIPAA podcast Secure Your Legacy – Ep 331, David reveals that he is old. Yep, our David is a Grandpa!!! No matter how old you are when you become a Grand-something, you usually feel older than everybody around you once you become a Grand. Congratulations, David, on becoming a Grandpa and we look forward to hearing all the diaper changing stories when you babysit. The world now has three generations of Davids. Wow.
We all know what the general term “legacy” means. For a person, legacy is when a person dies and leaves a mark or good impression on individuals or communities. That mark or impression is their legacy. Legacies are good things in most cases, but when it comes to healthcare computer systems and equipment, not so much. When a piece of medical equipment is not supported and updated with current software and patches it becomes a huge vulnerability to the practice and mainly to the patient care. Think about it. What if the data you are receiving regarding a patient’s vital signs can’t be trusted? How is a doctor supposed to give the best patient care with faulty information?
This sounds like a simple fix… update and upgrade all of your medical devices. Simple until you find out you have to pay for an upgrade or you have to deal with the viewpoint of “It is working, don’t mess with it.” Healthcare practices need to take an inventory of all of their hardware and software and come up with a plan to ensure that they are updated in an appropriate manner. This first time doing this process could be taxing on your budget to replace necessary equipment, burdensome on employee’s time to learn the new process, and lower overall income because of slower patient throughput due to the learning curve.
Work with IT to put a systematic and timely hardware and software inventory review in place. It would be a much less spike in expenses, dip in employee production and overall income if you put a plan in place to periodically upgrade your systems. Sometimes the greatest legacies are the ones that go seemingly unnoticed. Let a smooth, consistent and reliable system be your legacy. Keep listening to The Help Me With HIPAA podcast for tips that might help you protect yourself, your business and your legacy.