July 9, 2019 — Today I met with a team that is critically important to keeping Rady Children’s complex network of servers, computers, applications and devices running smoothly: the IT infrastructure team.

Learning about the vital services provided by IT infrastructure

With the exponential growth of digital technology in health care, our IT staff has become much more than just the people who keep our computers running; they now support the technology that is directly responsible for patient care.

I began this visit hearing from members of the following five distinct IT teams:

  • Technology support services: This is the team that manages all servers (more than 1,500 of them!) at all data centers, including monitoring the Systems Operations Center and overseeing data storage, backup, archiving, image management and disaster/recovery.
  • Customer support services: Members of this team are out in the field keeping devices and workstations up and running at all Rady Children’s sites.
  • Service desk services: I know I’ve called these folks a few times! The service desk analysts are the troubleshooters who support all applications, end user services, MyChart patient access, IT order management and intranet messaging, among other things. This team of five receives about 7,000 calls per month and resolves about 75 percent of them during the first call. Very impressive!
  • Network support services: This team comprises network engineers and technicians that support all internal and external networks, internet access, voice communications and devices, wireless networks, and internal cellular distribute antenna systems (which allow us to receive better cell phone coverage on the main campus). They also support Rady Children’s satellite locations and partnerships.
  • Telemanagement services: Formerly known as PBX, this team includes 13 operators who answer the approximately 26,000 monthly calls into Rady Children’s main line — 24 hours a day,  seven days a week. This team also handles secure text messaging, pager management, overhead paging, and web and on-call paging.

Inside the data center

After hearing about these teams, I had the opportunity to visit the data center on the ground floor of the ACP. This could be considered the IT command center, where a row of monitors displays status updates for all of the Hospital’s data systems. And there is a lot to monitor, considering IT supports three data centers, 350 centralized applications and 8,000 end user devices, all using a whopping 3.2 Petabytes of data.

I also learned that, as technology advances, the space needed for servers and other data storage units will continue to shrink as huge amounts of data can be housed on smaller and smaller devices.

Checking out the server room with Joseph Ambrose

While these teams are not performing surgeries or caring for kids at the bedside, they are just as vital as our medical staff to supporting the Hospital’s ability to provide excellent patient care.

Thank you for all that you do to keep our critical digital infrastructure up-to-date and running smoothly!!