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  Health Care Institute News and Insights
  HCI Leaders Data Center Tour Brings Home Complexity of Managing Explosion of Healthcare IT
  by Site Administrator | Apr 19, 2013
  A few years ago, a simple stethoscope was every doctor’s “badge” of this revered profession. Today, this symbolic token has given way to a new one: an electronic notebook. The digital transformation of health care has taken hold, and what an impact it’s having on hospital server rooms.

In late March, HCI leaders took a break from their strategic planning meeting to tour the Schneider Electric Technology Center (SETC) in St. Louis to gain insight into a modern day data center. Processing power is 5-10 times greater than five years ago. And, more and more of that power is being condensed into smaller and smaller spaces – all designed to support the explosion in electronic health record, picture archiving communications, computerized physician’s order entry, and other essential health care applications.

Tagging along with this increased capacity is the headache of generating enough cooling to prevent over-heating, and maintain a constant, predictable power flow. In many cases, today’s servers can consume more than 35kW (kilowatts) per rack. About 10 racks were situated in one room at SETC – enough to power 20 average-sized homes. Not that long ago larger servers consumed about 2kW per rack.

While at SETC, HCI leaders were shown cooling and heat removal options such as high-density pods with energy-efficient InRow™ units and air containment solutions, facility- and row-based security, scalable IT enclosure systems, and StruxureWare for Data Center software’s bridged view of facilities and IT. They experienced how this integrated approach delivers greater visibility, proactive control, and streamlined management – all designed to ensure maximum uptime and optimal energy and operational efficiencies in today’s hospital. The tour was conducted as part of HCI’s annual strategic planning meeting which was hosted by Schneider Electric in St. Louis.

Leaders of HCI convened in St. Louis, March 20-21, for strategic planning meeting. Participating (L to R) were Lowell Aplebaum (IFMA), Dave Ennis (KHA Strategic Facility Solutions), Bill Gregory (Adelphoi USA), Bill O’Neill (University of Minnesota), Gary Collins, Ron Kalich (Kaiser Permanente), Brian Weldy (HCA), Susan Wadsworth (KLMK Group), Glenn Fischer (Corporate Realty, Design & Management Institute), Constance Nestor (Prescence Mercy Medical), and Jeff Kent (Nemours). Also in photo-Dan Mohrman of Barnes Jewish Hospital