Agfa HealthCare Selects OnX as Canadian Managed Services Provider

OnX Enterprise Solutions, a leading enterprise data center IT solutions provider, today announced that the Company has been chosen as one of two preferred vendors in Canada to Agfa HealthCare, a leading provider of state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging and IT solutions for hospitals and other healthcare centers.

As an Agfa HealthCare preferred vendor, OnX can provide managed services, data backup, and disaster recovery solutions designed to help deploy Agfa HealthCare's imaging software to hospitals across Canada. Hospitals today are increasingly investing in software solutions to improve diagnostics and care, but often choose not to manage these solutions and data centers on their own. As a part of a joint solution, Agfa HealthCare will manage the diagnostic imaging software solutions, while OnX will supply the infrastructure in the company's managed data centers, including data backup, firewall security, OS management and end-to-end monitoring and reporting. For Canadian healthcare institutions that already have Agfa HealthCare's solution in place, OnX can provide secondary failover and disaster recovery.

"OnX has a very solid record and reputation in the healthcare industry with a dedicated healthcare team and the specific expertise we need from a managed services vendor," said Jeff Merrill, Vice President, Services, Agfa HealthCare North America. "The OnX team understands our issues including the application layer, and is committed to provide the needed support for data security, backup, and recovery, which are important in the delivery of quality care. We look forward to working with OnX's experienced Healthcare and Managed Services team to deploy our diagnostic software to healthcare organizations across Canada."

The healthcare industry is shifting to avoid large capital budgets for high availability and to improve time to deployment. OnX has a long and credible history of providing vital IT solutions to the healthcare industry, where security and high availability are major concerns. OnX's top-tier data center redundancy and SSAE16 certification offer peace of mind to healthcare organizations whose first priority is to keep their patient data secure. In 2014, Branham300 honored OnX Canada with the #5 ranking in the Top 25 ICT Professional Services, #5 ranking in Mixed-play Healthcare ICT Companies, and #17 ranking in the Top 250 Canadian ICT Companies.

"We are pleased to achieve preferred vendor status with a trusted healthcare integrated IT provider like Agfa HealthCare," said Paul Khawaja, President, OnX Canada. "Our focus and investments in providing the highest security measures and data center certification, coupled with our experienced and knowledgeable healthcare team makes us a great fit for clients in the growing healthcare industry. We especially look forward to a fruitful relationship with Agfa HealthCare and to helping them provide the best IT solutions available to their customers throughout Canada."

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Tips to Health IT Professionals for Gaining Competitive Edge in the Job Market

In honor of National Health IT Week Sept. 15-19, American Sentinel University offers tips to health IT professionals for gaining a competitive edge in the healthcare marketplace.

A recent study by HIMSS shows demand for qualified health IT professionals are at an all-time high and a candidate’s skill set is the differentiating factor when filling a position. The skill most desired is that of an IT professional that has clinical workflow and terminology experience. American Sentinel offers specialization in healthcare, giving students a competitive advantage in the clinical IT environment.

“Technology and healthcare are two ever-changing industries. When the two collide it creates dynamic and exciting challenges for health IT professionals,” says Blair Smith, Ph.D., dean of Informatics-Management- Technology programs at American Sentinel University. “Electronic Medical Record (EMR) implementation has become the focal point and while it offers tremendous capabilities, it also creates a multitude of challenges for today’s IT professionals. Those with in-demand skills will find themselves far more marketable.”

At the top of the list of challenges includes data management, application management, BYOD, patient privacy, HIPAA compliance, business intelligence and analytics and risk management. The HIMSS study found that a higher percentage of respondents said that their organizations were interested in either training current employees or hiring recent graduates to fill needed positions, but 85 percent of respondents said their organizations faced barriers meeting their health IT needs. The majority cited a lack of qualified talent and 40 percent of those surveyed said they have open positions for which they cannot find qualified talent.

“Employers want to hire candidates with a health technology degree or certification that are prepared from day one on the job,” says Smith. He says that it’s important for students to choose a degree program that is relevant to today’s industry needs. Smith details some of the must-have skills health IT professionals need to make themselves more marketable in the current healthcare market. “Look for programs that use immersive learning technology to foster program comprehension so that you can immediately apply what you learn to your work to positively impact your career,” he adds. “This will help differentiate you from other candidates and position yourself for a successful career in this fast-growing industry.”

Adaptability to Change. The ability to adapt to changing parameters is very important in healthcare because healthcare reform and government mandates are every-changing. “It’s important that health IT professionals be alert to the latest trends and be prepared for how it will impact your healthcare facility’s plan and goals,” says Smith.

Innovativeness. Healthcare is ever-evolving and health IT leaders will be challenged to think in new ways, adjust to change and lead change while creating new models of care. “The phrase ‘innovate or die’ has never been more true than now as we enter the transformation that is pivotal to the future of healthcare worldwide,” says Smith.

Communications Savvy. The race for information is on and the ability for health IT professionals to be adept at finding new and better ways to communicate greater amounts of data and information will become increasingly important. “The greatest leaders have always been able to rely on strong communication skills. Moving to a data driven culture presents new demands where the accelerated availability of data has rendered the decision of what is useful and what to communicate as important as how to communicate it,” adds Smith.

Applications Know-How. As health organizations begin looking for solutions to measure quality and standards, Smith says that IT professionals will play a critical role to guide them through the technology maze of applications and data management. -Security and Compliance. It is crucial that healthcare facilities be HIPAA-compliant and protect patient health records. This becomes more challenging for IT professionals when information is collected in one place and is required to move from one environment to another, says Smith. This has created a greater need for skills in the information management security side of healthcare.

Risk Management. Most healthcare organizations place a strong emphasis on data management and data security. This critical need to manage and protect this information has created a demand for IT professionals with this particular expertise. “Healthcare needs IT professionals that can create the appropriate structure to govern security and know how to protect information and address breaches from a compliance perspective,” says Smith. He says that it is crucial that healthcare organizations have a plan in place to address the potential losses and breach of information and know how to be protected in the future.

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