Are You Overlooking the Importance of Software Updates and Upgrades, Putting Your Systems at Risk?

Managing system updates and upgrades is an area that can get easily overlooked in many healthcare organizations—but it’s critical to maintaining uninterrupted service of your EHR system.

Unlike the updates that your personal computer does behind the scenes, updating and patching your organization’s IT systems takes specialized expertise and particular care. Otherwise, you’ll find your facility at risk for:

Security breaches. Hackers are continually discovering security holes in software and hardware systems. To patch these holes, vendors release regular patches to fix them. If you’re not installing these patches in a timely manner, you could be at risk for a security breach.

Downtime due to bugs. After releasing software, vendors will occasionally discover flaws in their code that expose themselves only in very specific scenarios. To prevent these errors, vendors will release updates, which need to be evaluated and applied as required. If your staff isn’t updating your system regularly, you could experience an interruption of service.

Once you recognize the importance of upgrades and maintenance, there’s one more challenge your staff will have to face. Not every one of the fixes, patches and upgrades is applicable or appropriate for your systems. In other words, simply applying every new release blindly can cause integration errors and system crashes.

Instead, there are two questions you and your staff need to ask yourselves:

  • Which patches and upgrades are applicable to your specific environment?  Every environment is unique, so not every update that’s available applies to your given scenario. Additionally, there’s some risk in blindly applying every update that’s available. This practice can create unforeseen issues, such as system errors and crashes.
  • Once you determine which patches apply to you, how is each patch going to affect your entire system? All of your components—servers, network devices, storage—are interconnected. Each one depends on the other. So when you update one part of the system, it could potentially cause a disruption service in another system. Your staff should have the expertise—and the dedicated time—to evaluate each one of these patches so a simple upgrade doesn’t take out another part of the system.

Does your staff have the expertise to manage these critical updates? Sisu Healthcare IT Solutions manages, evaluates and applies necessary patches and upgrades for our clients to keep their data safe and their systems running without interruption.

If you’d like to talk about how we can help your organization stay up to date and avoid downtime and system crashes, get in touch with us at 218.529.7951 or We’ll schedule a time to evaluate your systems and put together a plan just for your organization’s needs.