AS part of the agreement, Mount Sinai
is moving about 100 servers to an HP data centre in the greater Toronto area. HP will provide the hospital with 24×7 help desk and e-mail support, along with enterprise storage and backup and network support services, such as wireless and Internet access, and support for desktops, printers and other peripherals.
“Hospitals are not in the business of computer support, we’re in the business of patient care, so the most valuable use of our resources is providing patient care,” said Steve Noyes, director of information and communication technology at the institution.
Noyes said the deal, an extension of a previous five-year agreement, makes outsourcing financially attractive to the hospital and will allow for expanded services, particularly in the area of electronic patient records. Mount Sinai recently went live with a clinician order entry system for labs and diagnostic tests.
The E-HR, he said, is about more than just storing information electronically – it’s about making resources available that were never available before. HP’s expertise will go a long way toward developing those tools, he said.
“In negotiating the agreement it really was focused on more the partnership than just outsourcing,” Noyes said. “HP brings a wealth of technical knowledge the hospital could never expect on its own. It’s a multinational organization with expertise on almost any technology you could ever dream of, and part of the partnership is the ability to leverage some of that expertise.”
The agreement won’t have any impact on in-house IT staff because there aren’t a lot left, he adds. “Lucky for us it’s not one of these outsource deals where staff is transitioned out of their positions,” he explains. “We’ve been in the position of HP providing outsource services for us for the last five years, so we don’t have that excessive staff that need to be transitioned out.”
What will remain in house for now, at least, is the support of the hospital’s clinical applications used for registering patients and for the lab system.
“That’s very specific expertise,” he said.
Scott Collinson, HP Canada’s director of business development, said HP will be able to apply to this deal some of the knowledge gained from its outsourcing deal with the University Health Network about a year ago.
Collinson said HP and Mount Sinai have engineered a deal that will allow for the sharing of experiences and ideas at all levels, from executives to the people who are working on the engagement, hopefully resulting in new technologies, such as, for example, a digital pen, or the way HP’s printer cartridge technology has been adapted for use in puffers/inhalers.
“It’s endless what we could do with that, so we’ve tried to create the built-in touch point that allows for that type of dialogue and this gives us a virtual test environment we can work with.”
The deal also allows for Mount Sinai to purchase certain services on a pay-per-use or utility basis.
“We understand health-care institutions are on very tight budgets and they want to be able to pay for the things they use so we have enabled a mechanism whereby they can do that sort of thing,” said Collinson.