Technology has completely transformed healthcare. It’s not hyperbole, it’s reality. The adoption and standardized delivery of electronic medical records (EMRs)/electronic health records (EHRs) has dramatically improved patient care, reduced errors, accelerated reimbursements, and decreased costs. But the use of EMRs, coupled with the implementation of ICD-10 codes, has created an exponential increase in clinical data for healthcare organizations. Storage requirements can easily reach hundreds of terabytes, even petabytes. Applications such as record management, document imaging, and physician order entry are all driving demand for storage. Because these applications are used by personnel throughout the healthcare enterprise to treat patients, the reliability, recovery, and availability of that data is paramount.
Under pressure to comply with the Affordable Care Act, one of my first tasks as Director of Information Technology Services at Mt. San Rafael Hospital was to design and implement the hospital’s first EMR system. Without a full-featured EMR infrastructure, the hospital would lose out on valuable government incentives, and as the various government programs matured, the hospital could potentially be stripped of funding.
We had a lot of ground to cover. We were still running servers in broom closets, with hundreds of independent desktop PCs scattered throughout the hospital. Managing our massive (and growing) dataset proved to be far beyond the capability of our ancient IT infrastructure. When an independent consulting firm came in and told us we had only a 20% chance of going live with this system by our proposed deadline, the gauntlet was thrown down, and I began my search for a solution that could help us bring our IT into the 21st century. To move forward into the future of digital healthcare, I knew we had to make smart, strategic partnerships.
Shortly after beginning our digital transformation process, I was invited to join The Neural Network, a CXO advisory board facilitated by NetApp. This group of healthcare executives advises NetApp and its participating partners on how our industry uses data and IT. Council members also share lessons learned and best practices to support our ultimate goal of improving patient care. My exposure to NetApp prior to joining The Neural Network was minimal, but through my participation in this group, I was introduced to NetApp’s dedicated healthcare team. I learned about the innovative strategies that NetApp has implemented across all industries, particularly in the healthcare sector. The more I learned about NetApp’s technology and its people, it became clear that we had a shared commitment to the improvement of patient care.
Since implementing our organization’s new, fully-virtualized EMR infrastructure built on NetApp All Flash FAS, the benefits have been tremendous. The enhanced data availability, scalability, and improved efficiency help us accommodate growing patient data while keeping budgets under control. NetApp technology has enabled us to reduce costs by 56% percent and improve uptime from 59% to 99.99%.
But it’s about more than just the technological innovation: it’s about the partnership. NetApp is our valued business partner that is just as committed to our organization as we are. Other vendors just want to sell you a product and be done with it—no feedback, no follow-up, and no commitment to our industry. NetApp simply outshines all the rest. I know I can reach out to anyone on the NetApp healthcare team at any time with questions or share ideas for improving patient care. NetApp is fully invested in our organization and in helping us be as efficient as possible. Choosing NetApp was the smartest strategic buy this organization has ever done. The fact that we went from servers in the closet to being named one of the Most Wired Hospitals in the country by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine three years in a row is a testament to that success.
We’re so excited for our future with NetApp, and I can’t wait to see what’s around the bend. I’ve never been prouder to be a NetApp partner, Neural Network CXO Advisor, and now, a new NetApp A-Team member.
A big shout out to the NetApp Healthcare Division team for its endless commitment to improving Healthcare IT!
Meet the NetApp A-Team
Check out the SlideShare below to get to know the members of the A-Team. Look for expanded bios in their blog posts right here on NetApp’s Blog. Follow them on Twitter, check out their personal blogs, and share what’s on your mind.