ULSS 20 Verona

Improving quality of care with higher system availability and faster access to medical data

Published on 06-Jan-2014

"For a CIO in the healthcare industry, completing such a large-scale project within the budget while dealing with a completely new technology is a triumph. We are confident that the IBM solution will be an essential support to placing us at the forefront of healthcare advances in Italy." - Andrea Oliani, CIO, ULSS 20 Verona

Customer:
ULSS 20 Verona

Industry:
Healthcare

Deployment country:
Italy

Solution:
Flex System, Flex System running hypervisor - VMware, Flex System x240, PureSystems, Enabling Business Flexibility, High Availability , Server Consolidation, Virtualization, Virtualization - Server

Overview

Unità Locale Socio Sanitaria 20 Verona (ULSS 20 Verona) is a public healthcare provider headquartered in Verona, Italy. Serving more than 400,000 people across 36 different municipalities and providing a total of 450 hospital beds, ULSS 20 Verona offers a wide range of medical services.

Business need:
Healthcare provider ULSS 20 Verona receives almost 500,000 inquiries a year. If the team cannot access medical data, callers may not receive – in some cases life-saving – advice.

Solution:
Transformed the infrastructure that supports delivery of digital clinical data by implementing IBM® Flex System™, providing always-on access to medical data.

Benefits:
Enhances system availability and speed of response to enquiries with 100 percent availability of core applications, helping to ensure ULSS 20 Verona delivers outstanding care to patients.

Case Study

To read an Italian version of this case study, click here

Unità Locale Socio Sanitaria 20 Verona (ULSS 20 Verona) is a public healthcare provider headquartered in Verona, Italy. Serving more than 400,000 people across 36 different municipalities and providing a total of 450 hospital beds, ULSS 20 Verona offers a wide range of medical services.

Moving to healthcare digitalization and always-on assistance
When IT failures occur at ULSS 20 Verona, they impact every aspect of the organization. Andrea Oliani continues, “Our reception team receives about 500,000 medical queries a year, almost 300 an hour! If an IT system failure causes a core service to be halted, we are unable to attend to queries from patients and clinical staff as flawlessly as they expect and deserve.

“The existing systems that hosted our four mission-critical applications – hospital admission management, appointment booking system, ERP, medical documents repository – had service issues. The performance, responsiveness and availability of these applications did not meet our hospital’s needs. Each application was hosted on separate servers from different vendors – IBM, HP and Dell – running three operating systems – Microsoft Windows Server, IBM AIX® and Linux – adding complexity and cost to the IT infrastructure.”

Additionally, ULSS 20 Verona needs to comply – by 2015 – with new national regulations concerning the digitalization of medical records for patient data managed by public healthcare institutions in Italy. These regulations include the ability for each individual patient to easily access and manage their own digital medical files independently.

Andrea Oliani adds, “The new 2015 regulations include specific requirements for information availability, and we knew our existing systems would not be able to meet our compliance needs. Not meeting the 2015 deadline for the creation of digital medical files would mean being penalized and, potentially, losing new healthcare opportunities – something that we could not risk.”

Choosing high availability, centralization and cost-efficiency
Looking for a long-term solution, ULSS 20 Verona considered three main factors: availability, cost-efficiency and ease of administration.

Andrea Oliani says, “We opted for IBM Flex System because it offers the high availability, ease of management and cost-efficiency features that are always of central concern for public organizations like ours.”

The solution contains seven Flex System x240 compute nodes. Two of the nodes support Oracle databases; four are virtualized with VMware vSphere ESX software and support applications for digital medical files repository, HL7 and XDS-compliant middleware, outpatient activities, e-prescribing and ERP; and the seventh hosts development, test and control environments. The Flex System chassis also provides highly cost-efficient Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) connectivity via IBM Flex System Fabric EN4093 and EN2092 scalable switches.

The IBM Flex System x240 nodes provide both high performance and outstanding reliability for the organization’s business-critical Oracle database environment. By taking advantage of the integrated IBM Flex System platform, ULSS 20 Verona maximizes database throughput while minimizing capital expenditure and keeping operational costs low.

Implementation of the Flex System was divided into two main phases. In the first phase, ULSS 20 Verona migrated its four mission-critical applications from each separate legacy server onto the IBM Flex System. In the second phase, ULSS 20 Verona implemented a comprehensive suite of new applications to support a centralized medical registry and digital medical documents repository. In total, the healthcare unit consolidated 20 percent of its physical servers and 80 percent of its virtual servers onto the new IBM platform.

The new application environment enables seamless creation of digital medical files, helping ULSS 20 Verona achieve complete compliance with the 2015 regulations for healthcare providers, ahead of schedule.

Offering impeccable service while complying with regulations
By centralizing its once complex, mixed and expensive-to-run applications to the highly available, reliable and cost-efficient IBM Flex System, ULSS 20 Verona now has a single point of control to manage its critical medical services, and is able to implement new services in line with the national healthcare regulations.

Andrea Oliani continues, “So far, we have achieved 100 percent availability of applications, with not even one minor system halt – a terrific result, considering that this directly translates into dramatically improved patient care services and help us to drive greater patient satisfaction.”

The IBM Flex System provides a stable, trusted, high-performance platform to enable the development and implementation of new applications. Critically, the Flex System solution enables ULSS 20 Verona to meet the 2015-deadline for the creation of digital medical, without incurring penalties or fines for delays in complying.

Andrea Oliani concludes, “For a CIO in the healthcare industry, completing such a large-scale project within the budget while dealing with a completely new technology is a triumph. The unmatched centralization, availability and cost-effectiveness of the IBM Flex System were pivotal in achieving this. We are confident that the IBM solution will be an essential support to placing us at the forefront of healthcare advances in Italy.”

For more information
To learn more about IBM solutions, contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit us at: ibm.com/puresystems

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
Flex System, Flex System running hypervisor - VMware, Flex System x240, System Networking, System Networking: IBM Flex System EN2092 1 Gb Ethernet Scalable switch, System Networking: IBM Flex System Fabric EN4093 10 Gb Scalable Switch

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013. IBM Italia. Circonvallazione Idroscalo. 20090 Segrate – Milano. Produced in Italy. December 2013. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, AIX, IBM Flex System and PureSystems are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.