Technology in healthcare is ever changing and evolving on a daily, if not minute to minute basis. It’s hard to imagine the wide range of electronic devices and computer systems hospitals and medical clinics depend on. “IT (information technology) is crucial to patient care,” explains Jamie Johnson, Executive Director of Marshall Foundation for Community Health. “Without computers and internet service, as an example, it would be close to impossible to run a hospital. Now think about all of the other systems like electronic medical records, communications, cyber-security, the list goes on. Every employee, provider and department in a medical system has their own unique technological needs. In short, healthcare is dependent on good technology and their IT department employees.
Martin Daly, Marshall Medical Center’s VP of IT, reports that his department fielded over 30,000 Help Desk requests last year, as well as managed 50 special projects. “That doesn’t include the thousands of electronic devices, equipment and system programs we manage. I have 33 employees and we are constantly working to maintain and improve Marshall’s tech. 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I have an amazing team,” Martin said.
Keeping up with the ever-changing needs of Marshall Hospital and its clinics means constant pivoting and innovation on the part of the IT department. When COVID-19 reared its head in late 2019, Marshall had to find ways to quickly adjust. Suddenly telehealth was no longer considered a luxury, it was imperative for patient care. “Telehealth capabilities were always something we wanted to offer, but other needs kept taking priority, so we weren’t there yet. Then COVID hit, and all of a sudden we had to figure it out, without a budget for it,” explained Martin. “So I reached out to Marshall Foundation for Community Health. We needed iPads for our providers so that they could see patients virtually.” Within days, the foundation had come through. Jamie explained, “We were able to purchase 70 iPads for Marshall, enough for providers, as well as some for ICU patients and their families. At the time, visitation was completely out of the question, and there were patients and families that needed to be able to see each other. Sadly, sometimes for the last time. At least with the iPads, families could see their loved ones virtually and tell them they love them.”
In 2021, Martin applied for another grant. “Jamie and his team made the grant process so easy that I decided to reach out to them again last year for laptops for my field team. Marshall has clinics and offices in El Dorado Hills, Cameron Park, Placerville and Georgetown. The team needed their own computers that they could take with them in order to support the employees and devices. Otherwise, they would have to interrupt other employees so that they could borrow their computers,” said Martin. Marshall Foundation for Community Health’s Grant Committee approved his request for $6,000 for the mobile workstations.
Martin’s staff was grateful:
“It is super efficient during standby to have this laptop, especially if there is a power outage and we aren’t able to remote to our own work computer. In addition to being able to check the queue for any new help requests while I am out and about, it comes in really handy.”
“The laptops are very helpful while working in the field. Having them on hand allows us to update the service tickets we are working on in a timely fashion. It helps that we don’t have to look for an available computer in a clinic, where there is limited computer availability. It also helps to have a backup for my home computer while we are on call or need to work from home.“
“Marshall Foundation for Community Health has been supporting Marshall Medical Center and the health of El Dorado County’s west slope residents since 1974. We understand that a healthy community is a strong community. The healthier our neighbors are, the healthier our local economy is, for example. If folks can’t go to work, businesses suffer. A handful of laptops may not sound like much, but the impact they have made for Marshall’s staff and the efficiency of the workflow created makes a difference,” Jamie concluded.
If you would like to learn more about how you can contribute to the health of our community, visit marshallfound.org, or speak directly to Jamie by calling (530) 642-9984.