Corrections or additions?
This article by Melinda Sherwood was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper
on November 10, 1999. All rights reserved.
For Wayne Misner
or death issue. Misner’s company, Healthcare CIO, is debugging eight
of New Jersey’s hospitals, where even a minor system failure could,
he admits, result in the death of a patient. Misner, who is overly
conscientious about his work, offers this word of warning to other
companies: "As much testing that you do, something will fall
"While most of the hospitals out there are safe," he says,
"there’s bound to be some failures." That’s why a "Y2K
SWAT Team" will be on duty at each of Healthcare CIO’s hospitals
during the final countdown. Misner strongly urges all members of the
medical community to come up with a similar plan. On Thursday,
11, he joins Marge Chertok
and Wendy Rossi
at the Healthcare Industry," sponsored by Technology New Jersey,
at Pitney Hardin’s office on 200 Campus Drive in Florham Park. The
seminar is free. Call 609-419-4444.
Prior to starting his own Y2K consultancy, Misner was vice president
of the New Jersey Hospital Association and CIO of the Carrier Clinic.
A Navy brat raised Oregon, California, Massachusetts, and Hoboken,
Misner used the GI bill to train in data processing. IBM hired him
in 1958, but because computer education was unheard of, he went to
school for hospital accounting at Indiana State University, Class
of 1976. "At that time, working with computer systems, you had
to communicate with accounting people and it was easier for me to
go to school in accounting than it was for them to go to computer
school," he notes.
Misner installed the first computer system at Jersey Shore Medical
Center in 1962 and later at Morristown Memorial. He eventually became
an IT consultant for hospitals "because the CIO of a hospital
is so busy." Healthcare CIO clients include Elizabeth General
Hospital, Christ Hospital, and Atlantic City Hospital. Out of 1,500
hardware devices in South Jersey Health Systems, 153 were not
says Misner. "We went further than testing just the hardware and
software in the walls of the hospitals," he says. "We went
to vendors outside the hospitals so we wouldn’t be without water,
electric, food, or surgical supplies."
Even if a vendor’s response was that its equipment was compliant,
Healthcare CIO put it to the test. "To take one additional safety
step, after the vendor told us it was compliant we had a separate
company come in to test the hardware and software." His advice
to anyone else involved in the Y2K clean-up:
else, but have someone in the office when the calendar rolls over,
and have a disaster plan ready.
are similar for any health organization, from physicians’ offices
to nursing homes to anyone using biomedical engineering devices.
of it can fail," says Misner, "and when we’re talking
we’re talking life and death."
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