Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 in Review - Part 1

As I look back on 2009, it was a year of incredible change.

I'll post this in two parts. The first includes Harvard Medical School and State/Federal work. The second will cover BIDMC.

Harvard Medical School

Infrastructure - demand for storage increased 250%. Willingness to pay fell below $1/gigabyte. We installed 200 Terabytes of Isilon clusters for the research community. Power and cooling became real issues in our data center. We virtualized everything possible, retired legacy equipment and began using special cooling techniques for our high performance computing clusters. Network speed and reliability demands increased so we built a redundant network core and enhanced Gig to the desktop support. We gave everyone a 1 gigabyte mailbox. Security investments increased substantially.

Research - Demand for high performance computing increased dramatically. We grew our central cluster resources and software capabilities to over 1000 cores. We enhanced desktop service and offered additional security tools to ensure compliance with federal and state laws.

Administration - Workflow became increasingly important and we implemented document management and office automation tools. Business intelligence demands increased significantly and we added datamarts and web-based reports.

Education - We added inline grading, enhanced mobile offerings (Kindle, iPod Touch/iPhone) , new video infrastructure, and online collaboration tools. We built faculty disclosure of conflict of interest on the web. Increasingly, virtual microscopy using Aperio software has replaced the use of slides and oil. Demand for video and web conferencing has grown substantially and we've deployed WebEx, Adobe Connect, and real time video multicast.

CTO- Novel social networking tools in support of research became a real driver throughout Harvard Medical School.

NEHEN/State projects

The New England Health Exchange Network merged with MA-Share to create a single healthcare information exchange with a single governance for the state. A commitment to exchange data from the CEOs of the payers and providers in Eastern Massachusetts, Meaningful Use, the HIE grants, and Beacon Communities grants have created new momentum to share data among payers, providers, and patients. 2010 should be the tipping point for rapidly accelerating widespread data exchange in the state.

HITSP/HIT Standards/Federal

HITSP and its tiger teams moved from use cases to Service Collaborations/Capabilities to support the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The HIT Standards Committee made standards recommendations to ONC in support of certification and meaningful use. The HIT Standards Committee developed a great camaraderie among its members that promoted lively, multi-stakeholder discussion. Transparency ruled and no subject was awkward to discuss.

Summarizing these three facets of my life - 2009 represented a significant expansion of Harvard Medical School infrastructure and applications, a new momentum for statewide health information exchange via NEHEN, and convergence on standards leading to new regulations guided by completely new Federal priorities.

Not quite the year of living dangerously, but definitely the year of changing everything!


Mark said...

Mel Gibson's got nothing on you man. Love the new suit.

Ahier said...

Massachusetts has given all the states something to strive towards regarding cooperation and collaboration for health IT.

Have a very merry Christmas, and may 2010 be the best year yet!

Chessco said...

Impressive Growth !

I would assume there was also a staff increase.

Interesting information.

Aaron said...

Hi Dr. Halamka. I've enjoyed reading your blog and have a question for you I hope you can address in a future posting. The question is somewhat New Years-themed, since it's about the future.

Do you think that HIT, especially with regard to decision support, will be diminishing doctors' role in medicine in the foreseeable future? When the ability to diagnose symptoms can be written into an algorithm, will we only see doctors for medical procedures? I'd love to hear your thoughts.