Time to Get Out the Paddle Defibrillator? April 8 is ‘Code Blue’ for Windows XP

8 Oct 2014 by Insight Blog

A heart made of transistors

David Mayer, Senior Manager of Practices — Office Productivity, knows that technology isn’t really about technology. It’s about people – specifically, how people use their machines and processes to get their work done. And though others may only think that malfunctioning systems can mean life or death, for those in healthcare, those risks can be very real.

“Unsupported systems are NOT compliant, unsupported systems by definition are insecure and pose a risk not only to the data they hold, but the network they reside on as well.”

- The U.S. Office of Civil Rights,
 Responsible for enforcing HIPAA

That’s why David “gets it” when he hears that some hospitals, health systems, clinics and doctor’s offices haven’t yet heeded the Microsoft clarion call for Window’s XP “end of life.” David and his team have helped more than a few companies make the move away from XP and on to a newer Windows operating system.

“It’s not about being deficient, it’s about some very real challenges that make the world of health care information technology especially perplexing,” he said. “I’ve heard that some 35 to 40 percent of Windows XP desktop users are still wed to the system.”

What may be only a minor irritation for some industries, will likely be a costly disruption for organizations ruled by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Insurability Act). According to www.bestpracticestore, some 75 percent of rural hospitals operate Windows XP.

Maybe you’ve been keeping an eye on the Windows XP End of Life Countdown Clock and are growing increasingly anxious about finding a simple solution to a complicated issue. David offers some tips for getting out of the gate and getting compliant.

Tip #1: Identify what – if anything – is holding you back.

There are some concrete reasons why the transition to Windows 7 or 8 may not be a slam-dunk. For many healthcare organizations, legacy systems like billing, time and attendance or labs and other patient records are run on Windows XP– and upgrading these systems concurrently costs real time and money.

From Microsoft:

“Fire up your browser and go to the Download Windows 8 Release Preview page. Click on the Download Windows 8 Release Preview button. You’ll download the Windows 8-ReleasePreview-UpgradeAssistant.exe file. Run the downloaded executable file to immediately trigger the Upgrade Assistant. This will check your applications and hardware for Windows 8 compatibility issues.”

Solution?

Contact your software suppliers and ask them for updated media or the appropriate download site to install the latest version of their product, that is compliant with Windows 7/8

Tip #2: Determine if your hardware is capable of running  Windows 8.

You’ve been humming along with Windows XP for years. You’ve invested hundreds of thousands in laptops, screens and power cords. Your machines have served you well. How do you know your hardware can make the leap to Windows 8?

Research the range of modern laptop, tablet and desktop hardware available today that run Windows 7/8. By giving your end users a modern experience – perhaps more similar to what they use at home – you can get them excited about the change and encourage adoption.

Solution?

Use the same tool referenced in Tip #1 to check your hardware capabilities. Windows 8 Release Preview page.

Tip #3: Determine if your humans are capable of making the change.

Uncertainty about the big picture in healthcare may have people clinging even tighter to what they think they can control. How do you help people make the change?: Create a sense of urgency, address the fears and communicate clearly and constantly.

Solution?

Implementation is critical to the success of the adoption of any new technology. Insight’s services teams have delivered solutions to thousands of clients in countless installation scenarios. Whether it’s large-scale systems deployments or a limited deployment window, we work with you to ensure your IT implementation is executed with maximum efficiency.

Ask yourself – or better yet, ask us: Will Wednesday, April 9 really be the “end of the world” for your organization – or a nearly seamless transition to a stronger platform for the future?