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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 214
Registered: ‎02-18-2010
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Re: 72% of traffic still using Internet Explorer 6: Upgrade Plans?

@GrahamOH - I wasn't able to get to this either

 

@JohnE - Please do re-post the link so we can all read this! Thanks!

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Pharmacy OneSource
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎02-19-2010

Re: 72% of traffic still using Internet Explorer 6: Upgrade Plans?

The article I was referring to is on the second page.  I was trying to make is easier to read from the thread.  I'll posting a link to the site and the PDF.

 

http://www.jointcommission.org/NR/rdonlyres/D9C61B56-2259-44E7-9DB1-861FE8C6CCFA/0/jconlineApril2810...

 

Or

 

http://www.jointcommission.org/Library/jconline/jco_04_28_10.htm

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 214
Registered: ‎02-18-2010

Re: 72% of traffic still using Internet Explorer 6: Upgrade Plans?

That is really interesting. Thanks for pointing that out JohnE.

 

So...

 

I'll pose this question to our members, will the Joint Commission's recommendation to upgrade from IE6 have any effect, or do you see upgrades still being something distant?

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VIP
Posts: 94
Registered: ‎02-26-2010

Re: 72% of traffic still using Internet Explorer 6: Upgrade Plans?

Unless the Joint Commission is going to have their surveyors look at a sampling of computers to check our browsers to make sure that they are not IE6 when they are here as part of a survey, this recommendation will have zero effect on our upgrade plans.

 

After reading through the article, it appears to me that this is not a recommendation that hospitals upgrade their web browsers based on any specific guideline, but more in that it requires users to upgrade their browser to be able to use the full features of the website.

 

Announcements like this make me unhappy. One of the first principles of web design is to be able to design a webpage that can "degrade gracefully" for any browser, as the web designer really has no control over the user agent that will be used to visit the site (JavaScript may be turned off, the user may have a user-defined stylesheet, it may be a custom or modified browser, etc), so when I hear an announcement like that, it is implying that I should not visit the site on my Blackberry, as it is not one of their defined browsers.

 

What I find especially irritating is that I suspect that the traffic demographics that the Joint Commission is getting to their website is probably pretty similar to the demographics that Pharmacy OneSource gets as their market base is essentially the same group of users (i.e. hospitals and other inpatient settings) and according to your web analytics that you still see a significant percentage of your traffic using IE6, which would imply that the Joint Commission sees a significant percentage of traffic in IE6 as well. At our institution, we are all using IE6, and we do not have to ability to upgrade our browsers, nor the ability to install a different browser, so this just leaves us stuck.

Graham O'Hea, Pharmacy Systems Analyst
Occasional Advisor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎03-01-2010

Re: 72% of traffic still using Internet Explorer 6: Upgrade Plans?

TJC's recommendation will not mean anything to our health system's IT dept.  It is very doubtful IE will be upgraded until we upgrade from XP.  At the end of March, almost 58% of the world market was using XP so there is not a rush to change yet.  Since MS, supposedly, is cutting off all support for XP in April of 2014, we will probably get upgraded in Feb. or March of 2014 Smiley Wink

 

 

(I'm not sure what TJC means by saying Google does not support IE6.  My work pc uses IE6 and I use Google on a daily basis without problems.)

Regular Visitor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-25-2010

Re: 72% of traffic still using Internet Explorer 6: Upgrade Plans?

MSFT's share of browser market has dropped below 60%. Losing out to Firefox and Chrome: http://lnkd.in/Xtk4RM. The actual market share numbers are now quite different and speak to consistent trend for MSFT browsers - MSFT is now 59%, Firefox with 24.59% and Chrome coming in at 6.73%. Two things are starting to happen here: (1) consumers are moving to new browsers more quickly, which implies we are seeing that the traditional concerns are no longer holding back people from making the switch away from IE; and (2) MSFT needs to embrace better support of open standards within its browser or it will continue to lose share. It will be interesting to know from the group what the barriers to switching to a new browser platform if it provides the same level of security and better performance?
VIP
Posts: 94
Registered: ‎02-26-2010

Re: 72% of traffic still using Internet Explorer 6: Upgrade Plans?

@KajOPP- I know that IE's marketshare has been declining steadily from its height at 95% in 2003 (just before FireFox was released). However, the marketshare that is being considered here is the whole market, while the growth of FireFox and Chrome has been driven mostly on the consumer side. Importantly, this is not driven specifically from the business side of the market, and when conservative-minded hospitals are considered, will never allow any but the default browser for employee use.

 

Sadly, security and performance do not seem to be a factor in deciding which browser will be used. To be fair, I don't know that our web-based EMR has been tested on anything other than IE6, and I suspect that there is a lot of fear whether it will provide the same level of functionality on another platform, as it could be exploiting quirks in the Trident engine that IE uses (I went to a presentation by one of our physicians here a while back where he was demonstrating the functionality of our VPN on various browsers. Unsurprisingly, IE provided full functionality as did Safari from the VPN Mac portal, while FireFox, Chrome, and Opera either had limited or no functionality for certain tasks).

 

HospitalPharm joked earlier in this thread that they will be upgraded from Windows XP two months before extended support is cut off for it. In reality, I don't think this is a joke for some of the hospitals out there. IE6 is the default browser for XP, and that is going to be the biggest barrier more than anything else.

Graham O'Hea, Pharmacy Systems Analyst
Regular Visitor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-25-2010

Re: 72% of traffic still using Internet Explorer 6: Upgrade Plans?

Graham - thank you for the detailed response and highlighting the fact there are applications built into the IE and Safari browsers, which create barriers to upgrading browsers from the current version of IE 6.0.  This dependency will eventually need to be addressed as MSFT cannot continue to support older versions of its browser (IE 6.0 being one that I think most would want to move away from just to address the security issues).  However, I also suspect there will be a push in time toward different versions - eventually the experience that consumers are gettng with alternatives will play a role in the decision making process of even the most conservative IT environment.  However, it does mean that we still need to innovative around the short-comings of IE 6.0 for the near to mid-term as we wait for the sea-change to occur within the industry.

VIP
Posts: 94
Registered: ‎02-26-2010

Re: 72% of traffic still using Internet Explorer 6: Upgrade Plans?

I don't want to keep beating an old thread to death, but as I was running around this weekend helping to get prepared for a relative's wedding, I noted the number of businesses out there that are still using Windows 2000 and IE5. Standard support ended in 2005, extended support end in about three weeks (July 13, 2010) as of the time of this post.

 

I realize that these represent a tiny minority of total users out there (especially when considering "home" users, while the marketshare will be bigger when considering only the professional sector, where Windows 2000 was aimed), and operations such as a florist's shop is less tragedy-prone when mission-critical systems fail and largely outside of the healthcare sphere that we focus on this forum, but I was completely blown away when I saw this, and couldn't believe that anyone out there would still be basing their business operations on the computer equivalent of the steam engine.

 

I guess I am only bringing this up to illustrate that as a technologist, I tend to obsess over computers. I use Linux at home, am A+ and Network+ certified, can program in a half-dozen languages, spend my workdays creating relational databases, crunching numbers and manipulating data, dream up new ways of connecting and creating networks, can accurately explain on a technical level how subnetting works, and cannot wait until Google Chrome OS comes out. But I am not an average user (I would venture most of the people on this forum are not average users), and the priorities of the average user, whether a home user, a business user or the manager of business users, are not the same priorities that I hold to be important when it comes with regards to computers and things like upgrading the system, applying patches, and doing diligent updates.

Graham O'Hea, Pharmacy Systems Analyst
Regular Visitor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-25-2010

Re: 72% of traffic still using Internet Explorer 6: Upgrade Plans?

There is a natural inertia that is inherent within people and this is especially true with technology.  The adage of "if it ain't broke, don't touch it" seems to still be a fundamental principal of the upgrade process in software.  This is a shame as in many cases there is a driving need to upgrade software to capture the efficiencies and security advantages that come with the ever evolving improvements as technology progresses.  It seems that home users are more likely to not make the necessary changes for fear of the impact that it will have with their current experience. 

 

I do not blame them in this regard, as there were always issues with upgrades in the past - fortunately, we as an industry are getting better at taking care of this side of the process.  However, the sad reality is the longer people delay the process the more likely something catastrophic will happen with their computing experience - and this is not related to a simple crash, but more along the lines of being targeted by the unscrupulous who will use the security holes to gain advantage.