Information Service Denial (ISD)

Some of my blog posts are titled “Things they didn’t teach in medical school”.

Well I’m tempted to start another series entitled “Things my IT department won’t do for me”.

Years ago a colleague, A/Prof Matthew Links @cancersolutions tried to introduce the Moodle LMS for our oncology unit. It was blocked. No internal hosting and then no access to the external site through a firewall. Ironically – Moodle became the LMS of choice for our organisational learning unit and it is now accessible remotely.

Now we have two new problems – you can’t access any web-service (e.g. an online reference manager)that links to social networking. You can’t Facebook or tweet on hospital time……unless of course you own a mobile phone. Hmmm, I think the number of smartphones per person in our hospital is 1.2 so chances that there isn’t use of social media that is more disruptive than doing it from your hospital desktop are zilch.

The other problem is we can’t use Skype or similar services to support or clinical and educational activities. We have a registrar seconded to a satellite hospital which is 20 mins away by car. We can’t simply video-link them for a journal club. Skype or similar would be the simple solution. The alternatives – full Telstra-based video link or Webex and teleconferencing seem too hard and too expensive. And nobody want to help. Yet, if I were sitting in Tampa I could fly-by-wireless my drone into a bombing strike somewhere in Afghanistan.

It’s time the technology departments of the Australian public hospital system worked out what was happening in the outside world and caught up very quickly…..maybe in a Moore’s Law propotionality.

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