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Vertical Focus: Hospitals Scrutinize Digital Storage

The challenge of digitizing and storing decades' worth of paper records is fast emerging as one of the toughest technology projects in healthcare, according to users on both sides of the Atlantic.

"The whole data ceiling is exploding," explains Dr. Zafar Chaudry, IT director at the Liverpool Women's Hospital in Northern England. "As organizations get more 'paper-light,' it is causing exponential growth in electronic data."

It is the same situation on this side of the pond, according to John McKissack, director of facilities services at Baptist St.Anthony's Health System in Amarillo, Texas.

"We have got [paper] records that go back thirty years that we have got to store -- it's a daunting task to look at thousands and thousands of files and think: 'Where do I start?'."

In the case of the Liverpool Women's Hospital, this means tackling some 250,000 paper records that are currently stored at an offsite facility.

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