I have found that most organizations have departmental silos that manage distinct video technologies and their related services. In fact, some organizations manage these technologies at the entity or even business unit level.
While this may have worked in traditional legacy settings, the evolution of the technologies themselves and the need to integrate them with the rest of the enterprise has been a game changer.
In my opinion, video technologies in today’s world require a full lifecycle approach that is best managed centrally with standardized capabilities.
We have been very successful in employing what my CIO calls the 3 C’s: common systems, centrally managed and collaboratively implemented. We began to use this vernacular for clinical systems but have been able to leverage the same approach for all of our technology decisions.
The benefits have been significant. We are now able to standardize such that we can manage more systems and technology with less resources and investments. This model scales very well and delivers more value as we continue to grow as an organization.
For the purposes of this blog, I will focus on the first two C’s. As our organization grew and started to have a larger geographical footprint, the broad use of video technology started to become a priority. As the use of video technology exploded, it became clear to me that we needed to establish and communicate standards for video technologies.
Since much of the acquisition of these technologies happened in disparate locations across our health system, we engaged with our partners in legal and supply chain to ensure that we were not missing any video technology purchases.
Additionally, we needed to design a centralized support model to allow us to secure economies of scale and optimize the resources. We found that there were video technology resources across the organization that we began to pull together into a uniform group.
At first, this was “pick and shovel” type work. Getting everyone aligned took some time and energy. This was done fairly quickly for what I will call the basic video technology assets like audio visual and video conferencing capabilities. Taking inventory of these assets and looking at life cycle refreshes was not complex.
However, as we started to look at other uses of video across the enterprise, this particular initiative became increasingly more important. We found that there were video technology assets in our operating rooms for continuing education and surgical grand rounds purposes.
Also, there was no standard for patient TV and patient education capabilities across the system. Different groups were using different technologies for digital signage and video streaming/management needs.
There were needs for video walls across the organization. There was also a growing need for the deployment of interventional technologies that included video requirements. Lastly, our new digital hospital pavilion was requiring us to be more innovative; which ultimately drove the need for thinking about future state video capabilities.
Ultimately, we found that our video needs were more expansive than we thought – and growing rapidly.
Once we fully understood the breadth and depth of video technology usage, we sought to find a way to make it easy for our user community to understand the available services and engage with the newly centralized team. We determined that a video services portal was the right way to go.
Over time, we developed a fairly comprehensive portal that allows our user community to better understand what features and capabilities are available as well as the standards that they should choose from if they are going to make an investment in video technology.
Additionally, we established video control rooms that allow a smaller group of technicians to support a geographically diverse set of classrooms and video rooms among the system. We even integrated a scheduling system that allows users to book rooms and ask for white glove serve for higher level executive meetings.
While we have yet been able to specifically measure the benefits of this enterprise approach to video technology, we are confident that we are headed in the right direction. Our goal of providing a broad array of economical services and capabilities is close to being realized. We feel like we have established the right foundation to continue to scale and handle future demands for video capabilities.
John Donohue is associate vice president for enterprise infrastructure services at Penn Medicine.
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