Broadband and the Medical Center

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 9:15pm

The following was sent in by the New Shoreham Broadband Committee:

As you know, the New Shoreham Broadband Committee has solicited information from the Rescue Squad and the Block Island School about the problems they encounter because of poor internet service. Now we have received the following information from Dr. Mark Clark, Medical Director of the Block Island Medical Center.

Dr. Mark Clark reports:

Almost everything the Medical Center does requires connectivity. Our slow and unreliable internet service slows us down many times every day resulting in longer waiting times for patients, poor efficiency and challenges to quality.

Specifically, our slow and unreliable internet service adversely affects or completely disrupts the following essential processes: 

- Patient registration

- Patient scheduling

- Access to electronic health records

- Access to lab results

- Access to radiology results

- Back up of patient records

- Software updates to the patient records and radiology software systems

- Transmittal of x-rays and ultrasound images for interpretation by radiologists on the mainland

- Creation of a patient portal which would allow patients to access their own test results and records at the medical center

- Access to patient care databases for evidence based care

- Ability to web conference for consultative services for both health care and administrative or staff development purposes

- Ability to run different computer services at the same time

- Slows down the ability to generate timely and accurate billing

These are some typical examples. On a daily basis our providers are waiting at frozen computer screens trying to accomplish any one of a number of tasks for patient care such as electronically sending a patient’s prescription, trying to complete a patient’s care note, consulting with a mainland radiologist or accessing an essential lab value. 

Often, while we are waiting our patients are waiting. Screens freeze, we stop, reboot and try again and all the while our patients are waiting. Every mainland medical facility needs and has solid and reliable Broadband, (fast internet) service. Our need for reliable and fast internet is even greater.