California Hospitals Upgrade Information Technology Systems as Part of Seismic Retrofit Projects
California hospitals could spend billions of dollars for information technology system upgrades and new data centers as part of an effort to comply with state seismic retrofit requirements, ComputerWorld reports (Brewin/Thibodeau, ComputerWorld, 2/16). California law requires that all hospitals guarantee by 2008 -- or by 2013 if the buildings are expected to remain in use 30 years from now -- that their buildings will not collapse in a significant earthquake. By 2030, hospitals must be able to withstand a major earthquake and continue functioning immediately afterward (California Healthline, 1/16). Gerald Nussbaum, a consultant at Kurt Salmon Associates, said that IT expenditures could account for $2.4 billion to $3.6 billion of hospitals' seismic retrofit spending. Health systems and hospitals incorporating IT projects into their seismic retrofit upgrades include:
Sutter Health, which plans to spend $1 billion over the next 10 years on IT upgrades, including new bandwidth and storage capacity to meet future processing demands and support data-intensive medical systems, according to Chief Information Officer John Hummel;
El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, which will replace its data center by March 2005. The hospital also will consolidate more than 150 computer servers onto two large servers and install a matching pair of servers at a new disaster recovery site in Sacramento; and
White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles, which will upgrade and reinforce its data center (ComputerWorld, 2/16).