The benefits of migrating from Windows XP in healthcare

Laura Ipsen, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Worldwide Public Sector, explains why healthcare providers should migrate to newer operating systems before Windows XP end of support

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By Guest on 21 March 2014
The benefits of migrating from Windows XP in healthcare

Remember when your doctor would enter the exam room with your health history on paper charts?  It’s quite a different world than when we released Windows XP in 2001. Back then, pretty much everyone in healthcare was using a centralised desktop PC for patient records. Using a mobile device for a patient interview was something straight out of science fiction!

Yet that is exactly what’s happening today. Visiting customers and partners around the world today, it’s exciting to see how advances in technology are transforming healthcare delivery. Pediatric Associates and Palmetto Health are two great examples of health organisations that are taking advantage of today’s mobility capabilities so their health professionals can work more efficiently and more importantly, provide better patient care.

Several clinicians at Palmetto Health are doing all their work using Microsoft Surface Pro. “We’re getting better documentation of quality data and it’s not taking all the time away from actually caring for the patient,” says Tripp Jennings, vice president medical informatics officer at Palmetto Health. In fact, Dr. Nick Patel, MD, who also works at Palmetto Health says on average they can see at least two more patients per day.

Today, health professionals like those at Pediatric Associates and Palmetto Health can use mobile devices to access and update the information they need where and when they need it. But this is only possible with the underpinning of a modern infrastructure that helps secure and manage myriad devices and helps maintain compliance with ever-more stringent data privacy regulations.

So if you haven’t already, it’s time to migrate from XP to the new Windows – whether Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 – not just because support of XP ends after April 8th, but because the new Windows can help you modernise your infrastructure to keep up with the opportunities and requirements in healthcare today. Even the research firm IDC confirms that Windows is vital to an efficient and cost-effective health organisation.

Some of you may still be concerned that the legacy applications you’re running in your hospital or clinic won’t work on the new Windows. But I’d encourage you to test that assumption. We’ve built a number of compatibility features into Windows 7 and Windows 8 that simulate XP. We also have a whole set of solutions around application and desktop virtualisation so that you can run an old application on a back-end system and then stream it to a modern device.

We have listened to your feedback and prioritised giving you many options to enable you to keep using your existing applications, while at the same time, taking advantage of all the great new mobile and touch-based Windows applications.

Regardless of where you may be in your transition, we want to make the process as smooth as possible. Even though we’ve been publicising the end of support for XP for many years as per our Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy, we realise some of you still have a ways to go to complete your migration to the new Windows. So we’ve provided loads of resources on our Windows XP end-of-support webpage, and along with our partners, we are ready to help.

The sooner you move to the new Windows, the sooner you can reap the benefits of a modernised workplace and take part in the exciting innovations in healthcare today.

Because now it’s not science fiction for a doctor to come into a patient exam room with a mobile device – it’s an expectation. “I have doctors tell me that when they walk into the room with their Windows 8 mobile device, the cool factor goes up,” says Brock Morris, chief information officer, at Pediatric Associates. “But more than that, there’s an expectation now from our patients and their families that we’ll use technology as a tool in our practice. To them, it’s a gauge of quality—it’s a sign that they’re going to receive a high quality of care.”

Laura Ipsen is corporate vice president, Worldwide Public Sector at Microsoft. This article was taken from Laura Ipsen’s blog post on the Microsoft in Health Blog.

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