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Hospital IT departments have an essential role to play in assisting hospital staff to manage and care for patients. These systems are so essential and ingrained into modern-day hospitals that it can literally be a matter of life or death if they stop working effectively.

The IT department is not only responsible for managing clinical software and the other processes that help administrative staff to keep patient records and admissions systems ticking along, they also have an important role to play in ensuring medical wards, operating rooms, labor and delivery suites and emergency departments run smoothly.

Some of these functions include billing, registration, health information management, ordering and receiving lab results, and specialist software for things like radiology or IV pumps.

This is in addition to the usual tasks an IT department performs such as providing network infrastructure, IT security, server maintenance, software deployments and so on.

IT departments are also responsible for desktop support and running the help desk. The support staff working in this particular area don’t generally require a clinical knowledge, but support the computers, laptops, printers and other devices in a hospital.

Like in other organizations, they will take phone calls when users have issues and help to work through a solution or escalate to elsewhere as the first port of call. And while they aren’t clinical experts, having a basic understanding of various applications used by different areas of the hospital will help them to escalate specialist software and hardware issues to the right place.

Understandably, help desks in hospitals can be overwhelmed at times when there are many issues on the go at once, or even if there is a widespread outage that is causing mass frustrations and issues for users throughout the hospital. Getting systems up-and-running again when there is a problem is critical. Peoples’ lives depend on it.

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