Did you know? The Device Governance Workgroup is managing hardware fleet

August 20, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

In the fall of 2017, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and Medical School Dean Marschall Runge, M.D., Ph.D., endorsed the creation of the Device Governance Workgroup (DGWG) to oversee Michigan Medicine’s hardware fleet.

These are the computers, printers, monitors, and peripherals (mice, docking stations, etc.) that are used daily for work. The DGWG is a team of dedicated clinical, research and administrative leaders who meet monthly to assess hardware funding requests, explore device replacement and depreciation policy, and evaluate the most efficient and cost-effective ways to manage device inventory throughout the enterprise.

Before its existence, there was no governing body in place to oversee how many devices are purchased, assigned, allocated or replaced. There were no barriers in place to limit the number or type of computing devices a department might acquire — and expect to be supported.

Recognizing the need to be more cost-efficient and mindful of how many computers or printers are really needed in an area — especially as Michigan Medicine expands and creates new clinics and health centers — the DGWG was formalized to survey the environment and make strategic recommendations regarding the device fleet.

“We aren’t enforcers of who buys what,” noted Marna Flaherty-Robb, chief nursing information officer and co-chair of the DGWG, “but we are committed to analyzing the financial impact to the institution with regard to the number of devices out there and how they are being used.”

Her co-chair, Ranjit Aiyagari, M.D., Michigan Medicine’s chief medical information officer, added: “Our goal is to establish standards for institutionally owned devices. In order to minimize our cybersecurity risk exposure and grow in a fiscally responsible manner, we need a centralized approach for managing our hardware inventory.”

Improvements to date

The DGWG completed a survey pilot earlier this year to determine unused and underutilized devices which are seen as those used for less than 60 minutes each day. This was in coordination with the initial migration of devices to Windows 10. Reports helped determine which devices did not need to be upgraded because they had to be retired or could be removed altogether.

Another successful initiative involved changing the default settings on Windows devices to print to multi-functional printers in black and white rather than in color. This represented a significant cost savings as each department is charged a premium for pages printed in color that do not need to be. The DGWG has additional plans for printer rationalization, specifically regarding the number of printers per location. If there are multiple printers in an area and some are printing fewer than 50 pages a month, they may be consolidated so that some can be relocated to other departments with a greater need.

Device rationalization

Per co-chair Flaherty-Robb, “Our dedicated committee will be meeting with executives and device users to encourage identification of opportunities for reduction of assets where possible and for streamlining controls and inventory to save money for other strategic work.”

For a description of the workgroup’s objectives and a list of members, please visit the Device Governance Workgroup project page.