Published on 08-Aug-2013
"IBM gives us a flexible platform. We can increase the size of the EMR environment on demand, and we now have the power and technology required to take on additional projects to continually improve the quality of patient care." - Dave Dully, vice president of IT and chief technology officer, Baptist Health
Baptist Health of Northeast Florida
High Availability , Virtualization, Workload Optimized Infrastructure Framework
IBM Business Partner:
Founded in 1955, Baptist Health of Northeast Florida serves the region with high-quality, comprehensive medical care for every stage of life. Currently ranked as the “most preferred” healthcare provider in the Jacksonville area
Baptist Health needed a highly available, scalable, industry-standard platform for electronic medical records (EMR), ensuring access to the right information at the right time for safe and effective patient care.
The organization deployed IBM® Power Systems™ servers with IBM AIX®, integrated with an IBM XIV® Storage System, IBM PowerHA® SystemMirror®, IBM PowerVM® virtualization and IBM Tivoli® Storage Manager.
The organization improved access and availability of medical records, cut its EMR server footprint by 50 percent, reduced energy usage by 55 percent, and gained a scalable platform for future needs.
Founded in 1955, Baptist Health of Northeast Florida serves the region with high-quality, comprehensive medical care for every stage of life. Currently ranked as the “most preferred” healthcare provider in the Jacksonville area, Baptist Health includes five nationally accredited hospitals (including the region’s only children’s hospital), plus more than 300 employed primary care and specialty physicians; children’s specialty centers; home health care, behavioral health, occupational health and rehabilitation services; pharmacies; and urgent care clinics among other patient care services.
Improving patient care with seamless records management
To help improve the quality of patient care, Baptist Health began implementing a medical record system across its integrated care delivery network. This system was designed to enable computerized provider order entry (CPOE) and full electronic patient charting capabilities for all of its hospital locations. However, in the first stages of the implementation, the organization quickly realized that its existing non-IBM infrastructure was not the right solution.
“We had reached a point where the infrastructure no longer had the capacity—or the capability—to support our goals for an EMR system,” says Dave Dully, vice president of IT and chief technology officer at Baptist Health. “The legacy systems would not allow us to run later versions of the software, which would be needed to meet future regulatory requirements, as well as the needs of our patient care partners.”
Frustrated by outages and slow performance, Baptist Health needed a platform that could support its strategic goals for growth. The organization required high availability and reliability to ensure the accessibility of critical information at the point of care. In addition, the organization wanted to deploy industry-standard technology to help simplify maintenance and support.
Delivering confidence at the point of care
After identifying its key requirements, Baptist Health turned to IBM and IBM Business Partner Cerner to implement a new Cerner Millennium EMR solution, supported by Power Systems servers and IBM storage solutions. By migrating to four IBM Power® 780 enterprise servers and an IBM Power 740 Express server, the organization established a solid foundation for improving patient care with its EMR solution. Plus, it gained a flexible platform for managing future healthcare issues.
“We had a high degree of confidence that IBM understood the critical nature of our business and that there was a well-defined roadmap that showed this platform would be viable for years to come,” explains Dully. He adds that the popularity of the Power Systems technology also helps ensure there will be plenty of IT professionals with the right skills to support the solution.
To help improve performance and ensure reliability for its 24x7 operations, Baptist Health moved to a highly available architecture comprised of Power Systems servers, PowerHA SystemMirror and XIV Storage System—and reduced costs in the data center at the same time. The Power Systems servers are designed for energy savings and provide high-availability features for critical applications like EMR. They enabled the organization to condense its rack-space requirements by 50 percent compared to its legacy HP servers and reduce energy consumption by 55 percent. Since the new solution has been implemented, Baptist Health has improved patient care with less downtime, faster data access and new efficiencies across the organization.
For example, replacing Baptist Health’s previous HP OpenVMS servers with four Power 780 servers running IBM AIX Enterprise Edition has helped improve IT productivity. “From a console operations standpoint, AIX is lower maintenance than OpenVMS,” says Jeff Mendillo, helpdesk and computer operations manager at Baptist Health. “We are still working out minor issues, but since the migration, overall performance and reliability are much improved.”
Ensuring reliability where it matters most
Baptist Health also relies on IBM storage solutions for storing critical patient records. Having already implemented XIV Storage System to back up critical applications, the organization extended the IBM solution to store all of its EMR data and added Tivoli Storage Manager for automated data protection. The time needed for backups is now dramatically shorter, while the organization has also achieved more peace of mind about the ability to recover records in the event of a disaster.
“Our experience with XIV storage has been very positive. The technology has been high-performing and is definitely meeting our expectations,” says Kevin Porter, manager of infrastructure systems at Baptist Health. “The support has been good as well. We have not experienced any significant problems, and for any issues we have had, IBM support has been very responsive and thorough in their analysis and follow-through.”
Feedback from healthcare providers has also been overwhelmingly positive. After a smooth migration to the new EMR system, there have been fewer outages and access to medical records has been faster. All systems work seamlessly to support the patient experience.
Behind the scenes, Baptist Health also uses PowerVM technology for server virtualization, while Tivoli Storage Manager simplifies management of the virtual backups. Baptist Health engaged with IBM Global Technology Services® for planning and implementation of the entire EMR solution and is making plans to migrate other applications to the same technology footprint.
Providing a solid foundation for the future
By working closely with IBM and IBM Business Partner Cerner throughout the one-year deployment process, Baptist Health was able to maximize the value from the IBM solution—from ensuring high availability to meet clinical and regulatory requirements and addressing security mandates to establishing a strong foundation for future growth.
“IBM gives us a flexible platform for addressing patient care application needs,” says Dully. “We can increase the size of our EMR environment on demand, and we now have the power and technology required to take on additional projects to improve the quality of patient care.”
By ensuring continuous access to critical data, Baptist Health has used IBM and Cerner technologies to further its patient care mission. “The end result is that providers have access to the right information and tools where and when they are needed,” says Dully, “and this directly translates to better patient care.”
With success in improving availability, simplifying administration and lowering costs, Baptist Health plans to continue deploying IBM solutions across its organization to get the most out of medical data and improve the healthcare experience for future generations.
● IBM® Power® 780 servers
● IBM Power 740 Express server
● IBM XIV® Storage System
● IBM AIX® Enterprise Edition
● IBM PowerHA® SystemMirror®
● IBM PowerVM® Enterprise Edition
● IBM Tivoli® Storage Manager
● Cerner Millennium EMR
● IBM Global Technology Services®
IBM Business Partner
● Cerner Corporation
For more information
For more information about IBM Business Partner Cerner, visit: cerner.com
For more information about Baptist Health visit: baptistjax.com
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
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