TriZetto’s New QNXT Configuration Solution Enables Healthcare Payers To Rapidly Change, Launch Products For Success In Post-Reform Market

TriZetto announced the general availability of an integrated technology solution and advisory service that automates and accelerates ongoing configuration and migration tasks for healthcare payer customers of the company’s QNXT TM core administration system. Some 70 health plans use TriZetto’s QNXT system to administer the benefits of approximately 20 million Americans.

The new QNXT Configuration Solution enhances the ability to configure the QNXT platform for new lines of business, new plan designs, and federal and state mandates. Over the past few months, TriZetto has worked with the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) to jointly develop the QNXT Configuration Solution.

An independent licensee of the BlueCross and BlueShield Association, HMSA covers more than half of Hawaii’s population and is a longstanding QNXT customer.

“We anticipate TriZetto’s QNXT Configuration Solution will automate workflow and simplify configuration build processes that are manual today. With this solution, we will greatly reduce keying in configuration data as well as the data-entry errors that can happen as a result,” said HMSA senior manager Marsha Magnussen.

“Certainly, health plans choose TriZetto’s QNXT system because it’s a single-system solution that streamlines enrollment, premium billing, claims processing, customer service and other administrative functions,” said Tom Kearns, senior vice president of consulting services at TriZetto. “But they also choose this platform because it offers flexibility and scales to address changing business requirements. The QNXT Configuration Solution helps ensure that our customers can scale fast, frequently and with fewer manual touches.”

With the Affordable Care Act (ACA), HMSA had to modify hundreds of plans to meet federal requirements for preventive screenings and other medical services. The payer also had to stand up more than 30 ACA-compliant gold, silver and bronze plan options for Hawaii’s state benefits Exchange. TriZetto’s new configuration solution should enable HMSA and other healthcare payers to modify current benefit plans and launch new plan designs in hours instead of days, and days instead of weeks.

“We expect TriZetto’s QNXT Configuration Solution to improve our speed-to-market and flexibility, and we need both to efficiently respond to healthcare reform,” said Linda Katagiri, senior vice president for Member Services at HMSA. “The number of reform mandates – today and for the foreseeable future – makes TriZetto’s solution indispensable for HMSA. With the QNXT Configuration Solution, we will be able to deploy full solutions to test environments and test more thoroughly using Claims Test Pro. We can then move those tested solutions to production, ensuring quality, which ultimately leads to happy customers.” 

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Cognizant to Acquire TriZetto - Creating A Fully-Integrated Healthcare Technology And Operations Leader

Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH), a global leader in information technology, consulting and business process services, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire TriZetto Corporation for $2.7 billion in cash, subject to customary adjustments. Based in Englewood, CO, privately-held TriZetto is a leading provider of healthcare IT software and solutions.

"Healthcare is undergoing structural shifts due to reform, cost pressure and shifting responsibilities between payers and providers. This creates a significant growth opportunity, which TriZetto will help us capture," said Francisco D'Souza, CEO of Cognizant. "We are excited that the integrated portfolio of capabilities across technology and operations will uniquely position us to help clients drive higher levels of operational efficiency, while re-imagining care for the future. We look forward to welcoming the TriZetto team into the Cognizant family and creating a truly differentiated and sustainable foundation for healthcare."

Cognizant expects this acquisition to accelerate significantly its market position and strategy of delivering innovative healthcare software and solutions to a wide range of healthcare clients. TriZetto and its 3,700 employees will be a part of Cognizant's existing healthcare business, which currently serves more than 200 clients, including 16 of the top 20 U.S. health plans and four of the top five pharmacy benefit management companies. Healthcare currently represents approximately 26 percent of Cognizant's revenue.

"TriZetto solutions enable the healthcare interactions of millions of people in the U.S. every day," said Jude Dieterman, President and COO of TriZetto. "Our agreement with Cognizant advances our vision of simplifying healthcare for everyone. We believe the combination of Cognizant and TriZetto's talented employees and innovative technology and operations will have a meaningful impact on the way health is managed and care is delivered."

"Cognizant and TriZetto have had a long-term relationship, having jointly served a number of healthcare clients to date," said Gordon Coburn, President of Cognizant. "This acquisition is a natural fit for us. It represents a great opportunity to integrate services across our three horizons—traditional IT services; high-growth businesses such as management consulting, business process services and IT infrastructure services; and emerging delivery models—and provide even greater value to our clients."

"The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Cognizant's non-GAAP EPS, excluding one-time transaction costs and adjustments," said Karen McLoughlin, CFO of Cognizant. "That earnings benefit is expected to increase over time as we realize significant revenue synergy potential from the combination of these businesses."

Cognizant intends to finance the transaction through a combination of cash on hand and debt, and has secured $1 billion of committed financing in support of the transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014. The purchase agreement provides for customary closing conditions and purchase price adjustments including, without limitation, adjustments for items such as cash, indebtedness and working capital.

Cognizant was advised by Credit Suisse, UBS Securities LLC and Centerview Partners. Legal counsel to Cognizant was provided by Latham & Watkins LLP and Nishith Desai Associates. TriZetto was advised by JP Morgan Securities LLC and Goldman, Sachs & Co. Legal counsel to TriZetto was provided by Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

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BayCare Health System Recognized for Achievement in Electronic Medical Record Adoption by Leading Global Organization

BayCare Health System's progress in adopting an electronic medical records (EMR) system was recognized by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), a global organization known for thought leadership on improving health care through information technology (IT).

Electronic medical record systems can improve patient care, increase patient safety, enhance medication safety and increase efficiency. BayCare Health System reached Stage 6 of 7 in the EMR Adoption Model developed by HIMSS Analytics, a non-profit subsidiary of HIMSS, that collects and analyzes health care data. The adoption model identifies and scores hospitals using an eight-step scale (0-7) that charts the path to a fully paperless environment. Less than 20 percent of U.S. hospitals and health systems tracked by HIMSS Analytics have reached Stage 6 as they convert to a fully automated/paperless medical records system. The ten BayCare hospitals recognized join only three others in the Tampa Bay area that have achieved this milestone.

BayCare Vice President and Chief Information Officer Timothy Thompson commented, "BayCare's IT strategy has been focused on providing a better care environment for our patients through meaningful information. This recognition by HIMSS validates our leadership position in information technology, not just in Florida but across the U.S. Our achievement enables us to offer health care providers better access to important health information. It also puts relevant information at our patients' fingertips through the MyBayCare.org portal."

Stage 6 hospitals have achieved a significant advancement in their IT capabilities that positions them to successfully address many of the current industry transformations, such as meaningful use criteria in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; claims attachments for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; pay for performance; and government quality reporting programs.

The BayCare facilities recognized for reaching Stage 6 are Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony's, St. Joseph's, St. Joseph's Children's, St. Joseph's Hospital-North, St. Joseph's Women's and South Florida Baptist.

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Nucleus Independent Living Enables Rapid Response to Care with CellTrak™

New solution platform enables apps that make data actionable.

Nucleus Independent Living a Non-Profit Health Service Provider of Community Support Services, serves the communities of Mississauga, Oakville, South Etobicoke, and 2 Supportive Housing sites in Toronto. Funded by Mississauga Local Health Integration Network and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Nucleus embraces and has adopted the fundamental concepts of the Independent Living philosophy.

Nucleus was seeking a trusted partner to provide technology that would link resources and real-time alerts while delivering care. The technology needed to allow staff to link back to experts in the office to give rapid response to care issues. The strategy was that the staff in the field would link back to the office to direct them or contact resources to deliver the right care seamlessly with a simple to use mobile application that would work in and out of cellular coverage areas.

Beverley John, CEO/Executive Director, Nucleus Independent Living sat down for a post implementation interview to share her thoughts. "While technologies provide many benefits they can be disruptive in their implementation. Working with the CellTrak team we were able to get up and running with an easy to use solution for the entire Seniors Division care staff. It was important to us to leverage the current investment we have made in technologies that we use and add on new capabilities that would provide actionable data and improved workflow for our care team".

Home and community care is at the forefront of improving the access to healthcare across the care continuum and continues to be a major focus area for growth in staff and focus across healthcare. Homecare services include both medical and skilled nursing services and personal care services; including bathing, condition management, wellness, nutrition, and transportation services. Home health care can also include other services such as medical equipment and supplies, physical therapy and psychological services. The new CellTrak solution provided many benefits for Nucleus including but not limited to the following;

Fully mobilized workforce; Safety for staff; Improved quality; Late visits better managed; No shows are identified and managed immediately; Real two-way communication; Status change- new info can be shared and received in real time; Instant reporting; Increase privacy and security; Timely documentation; Locations and health conditions are kept private and secure; Data mining via portal/pulse: trends can be monitored and addressed promptly.

Nucleus was keen to use the new Alert Driven Management capabilities of CellTrak. This new feature includes the ability to set operational, clinical and systems alerts that improve quality and risk management for clients and staff. Alert driven workflow improves the agency efficiency in care delivery and preventing errors. Agency offices are sent targeted, actionable alerts via email and text to get real time insight into the performance of any visit. If an agency is dealing with underperformance issues or workforce scheduling challenges, alerts are sent to operations as to why this is happening, finance gets alerts on travel time and mileage optimization while systems receives alerts on device usage, data and security.

"Nucleus Independent Living was our initial project with Goldcare as the EMR system. With the integrated solution the new capabilities enable further enhancements in care delivery and quality that the team at Nucleus implemented very efficiently," shared Michael K. Wons, President and CEO of CellTrak Technologies, Inc.

CellTrak offers a family of mobile solutions built on the needs and input from the healthcare continuum. With solutions that start with an easy to use mobile device to empower your workforce to dynamically manage care delivery, care planning/coordination, and care team collaboration. CellTrak includes portal applications that provide real-time visibility and action for your entire care team.

Importantly, CellTrak enables any size agency a custom fit solution to allow more time spent on care and less on paperwork and redundant work. Together, CellTrak and leading Homecare providers across the globe partner to provide safety and better care for those in need.

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Agfa HealthCare Selects OnX as Canadian Managed Services Provider

OnX Enterprise Solutions, a leading enterprise data center IT solutions provider, today announced that the Company has been chosen as one of two preferred vendors in Canada to Agfa HealthCare, a leading provider of state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging and IT solutions for hospitals and other healthcare centers.

As an Agfa HealthCare preferred vendor, OnX can provide managed services, data backup, and disaster recovery solutions designed to help deploy Agfa HealthCare's imaging software to hospitals across Canada. Hospitals today are increasingly investing in software solutions to improve diagnostics and care, but often choose not to manage these solutions and data centers on their own. As a part of a joint solution, Agfa HealthCare will manage the diagnostic imaging software solutions, while OnX will supply the infrastructure in the company's managed data centers, including data backup, firewall security, OS management and end-to-end monitoring and reporting. For Canadian healthcare institutions that already have Agfa HealthCare's solution in place, OnX can provide secondary failover and disaster recovery.

"OnX has a very solid record and reputation in the healthcare industry with a dedicated healthcare team and the specific expertise we need from a managed services vendor," said Jeff Merrill, Vice President, Services, Agfa HealthCare North America. "The OnX team understands our issues including the application layer, and is committed to provide the needed support for data security, backup, and recovery, which are important in the delivery of quality care. We look forward to working with OnX's experienced Healthcare and Managed Services team to deploy our diagnostic software to healthcare organizations across Canada."

The healthcare industry is shifting to avoid large capital budgets for high availability and to improve time to deployment. OnX has a long and credible history of providing vital IT solutions to the healthcare industry, where security and high availability are major concerns. OnX's top-tier data center redundancy and SSAE16 certification offer peace of mind to healthcare organizations whose first priority is to keep their patient data secure. In 2014, Branham300 honored OnX Canada with the #5 ranking in the Top 25 ICT Professional Services, #5 ranking in Mixed-play Healthcare ICT Companies, and #17 ranking in the Top 250 Canadian ICT Companies.

"We are pleased to achieve preferred vendor status with a trusted healthcare integrated IT provider like Agfa HealthCare," said Paul Khawaja, President, OnX Canada. "Our focus and investments in providing the highest security measures and data center certification, coupled with our experienced and knowledgeable healthcare team makes us a great fit for clients in the growing healthcare industry. We especially look forward to a fruitful relationship with Agfa HealthCare and to helping them provide the best IT solutions available to their customers throughout Canada."

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Procura Attains Mobile Milestone Topping 3 Million Mobile Healthcare Visits

The Procura Group of Companies announced today that a new record has been achieved with their industry leading mobile healthcare solution securing their position as the most successful provider of mobile community and home care services worldwide.

Today, the Procura Mobile platform has successfully supported the delivery of 3.4 million visits. Additionally, the growth in mobile device use on the Procura platform is growing faster than any other mobile solutions with 1 million visits served every three months. This is forecasted to increase to 1 million visits per month by 2015. The Procura Mobile platform has been in use globally since 2011 providing a mobile solution for home and community care providers across the globe. As the innovators in mobile, Procura continues to bring great technology that allows providers perform their care in the home through the convenience of a mobile device. The Procura Mobile platform supports healthcare visits across a wide range of devices, form factors and operating systems.

"Procura has always seen the use of mobile devices as a critical component in the delivery of the vision of Population Healthcare Management," stated Scott Overhill, CEO The Procura Group of Companies. "Our dedication to blending technology across the continuum of care reflects our vision of healthcare to focus the right tool for the right purpose. As an example, our smart phone solution is ideal for personal support services and routine nursing visits."

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CellTrakCARES Feeds the Hungry and Helps Fill Food Banks this Holiday Season

CellTrak Technologies, Inc. the leading provider of mobile technologies for home and community care market located in Schaumburg, IL and with Canadian operations located in Cambridge, Ontario, and UK operations in London England, has been in business since 2006.

Today CellTrak is used daily to deliver millions of successful and compliant homecare visits throughout the markets it serves. CellTrakCARES, a volunteer outreach program launched in 2009 is built on the staff we have across the globe to give back to local community as well as international. This holiday season the group has given more than a 100 hours of volunteer time, built a wall of food for donation and sent food across the globe. After the Philippines typhoon disaster CellTrakCARES sent a donation to Feed My Starving Children to purchase the food to fill the care packages that volunteers create in teams.

CellTrakCARES volunteered their time in groups to pack up meals for feed my starving children (www.fmsc.org) all over the world. Teams of employees volunteered their time to assemble, package and ship the easy-to-prepare food blend. Over a few weeks and seven shifts of teams they packaged 714 bags of food. That totals 154,000 meals, and enough to feed 427 children for an entire year. While the formula they assembled was designed to save the lives of severely malnourished and starving children, the ingredients also improve the health, growth and physical well-being of children who are no longer in immediate danger of starvation. Since the donation was given for the food supplies, our team was able to package the food based on our donation this year. Employees in our Canadian office built a wall of food for a donation at the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank in Cambridge Ontario (www.cambridgefoodbank.on.ca). At the Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank, their services extend beyond simply providing food. They are more than just “a food bank”.

They provide both emergency and proactive services that help people either recover from or avoid another crisis. Our team “wall” totaled more than 200 pounds of food. As the number of families that need assistance continues to grow, our support is needed more than ever.

“The CellTrakCARES program is consistently giving back to the local communities in which we operate. This effort is an organization commitment. The employees who volunteer as part of the CellTrakCARES program are dedicated to making a difference and we couldn’t be happier to see all of our accomplishments through out the year” shared Michael K. Wons President and CEO of CellTrak Technologies, Inc.

CellTrakCARES is comprised of the employees of local businesses focused on volunteering and giving back to the communities where they work and live. While everyone is busy and bustling around the holidays, it is important to spend time helping support those who may be in need.

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Ark Uses CellTrak™ for Comprehensive Assessment at the Point of Care

UK Leader Ensured of Highest Level of Personal Health Information.

London based Ark Homecare offers a continuum of homecare and healthcare services from basic care support in the home to specialized nursing. The peace of mind of their customers and their loved ones is Ark’s highest priority and achieving their mission within a constrained resource environment requires intelligent deployment of technology. Operationally Ark’s goal as a homecare provider is to provide better outcomes more cost effectively for their clients. Achieving these objectives requires improved operational efficiencies without substantial capital investments.

After evaluating market options, Ark selected CellTrak Technologies and Coldharbour systems as their solution partner for their integrated mobile solution at the point of care. By implementing an easy to use clinical assessment on a mobile device, CellTrak transformed how their field staff delivers care and improved compliance to the councils concerned about appropriate payment. Ark recently began using the CellTrak mobile care platform on new Samsung Note 3 devices which transformed their point of care assessment process while allowing for more time for care. Staff can utilize mobile to document care, capture signatures, dictations and photos at the point of care.

Through the CellTrak quality and risk management portal real-time alerts are triggered through the assessment to assess care and direct workflow across the entire organization. “We are able to start initial and follow up assessments at the point of care. We are also printing completed and easy to read assessments for the clients to leave at their home.

Signature capture features are being used to sign electronically and streamline the completed visit process.” Tracey Rodaway, Finance and IT Lead for Ark Healthcare To maintain and support their mission Ark chose CellTrak to automate their full clinical assessment process. Once a multi paper based assessment process is now accessed in one easy to use app on the mobile device.

The paper form is now a fully automated interactive tool, accessible anytime. Leveraging technology facilitates auto population, prompting and providing guidance in completing assessments, allowing for more person to person time with the client. The full clinical assessment includes client data, environment and risks associated with a client. Assessments are broken into 23 sections, for example, but not limited to medication risk, personal and contact details, and environment.

Ark is currently using Coldharbour to obtain the episode of care needed for each client. When they needed an easy way to capture data at the point of care and feed into their Coldharbour system, they felt mobile would be the best. CellTrak was able to deploy their HealthLink Integration Manager interface to create a real-time bridge into the Coldharbour system to the home of where care is provided. HealthLink provides the glue that connects multiple information sources, point of care devices and health information exchange partners.

“The interface development between CellTrak and the Coldharbour application is unique. This was a cornerstone requirement from the outset to allow our corporate clients a seamless interface from both applications capable of handling and verifying the volumes of data our largest clients generate. The culmination of the systems provides a genuine best of breed solution that has proven to be highly scalable and feature rich in the provision of mobile point of care solutions, “shared Mike Moreton, Sales Director for Coldharbour Systems.

Ms. Rodaway, added “The integration between CellTrak and Coldharbour allows for our schedules to be updated in real-time on staffs mobile devices. This feature allowed staff more time for visits and providing even more care for the clients. This feature allowed for an immediate response and coordination of staff to locations. We were excited and ready to get CellTrak and Coldharbour working together for a complete visit record.”

Assessors at Ark start the care delivery process by evaluating each client and creating the client specific plan of care. A carer is then dispatched to follow the care plan for the client in need. CellTrak quality and risk management portal supports assessors in ensuring safe quality of care as well as supporting staff in the client’s home. Portals identify variance to care allowing for early intervention to decrease acute care visits and exposure to preventable readmissions.

Receiving actionable data from the home in real-time is key to reducing emergency room visits and avoidable hospital readmissions for high-risk population of seniors and individuals with acute and chronic illness. Compliance can be easily demonstrated to their councils to show care services were delivered at a specific time, in that home, for that client. CellTrak facilitates positive and improved outcomes from operations, carers and most importantly, their clients.

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A Proposal To Increase EHR Satisfaction Using Education

A recent study presented at the 2013 HIMSS conference revealed through the survey of 4,279 clinicians that EHR satisfaction has declined from 39% in 2010 to 27% in 2012.

While many organizations and publications have speculated about what has caused the decrease in satisfaction, I’d like to suggest we dedicate our resources to solving the problem instead of simply discussing the causes. Like so many transitions in the past, I wonder if the solution could simply be a matter of education? The study cited that the number of clinicians using EHRs who claimed to be “very dissatisfied” increased by 10% during those two years. This begs the question, are all users dissatisfied with their specific program, or may the dissatisfaction be caused by change itself? After all, physicians and nurses are being forced to change a long standing practice of paper charting.

According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project 20% of Americans did not use the internet and 13% did not have access to a computer in 2010. Outside of those numbers there are many medical professionals who are simply uncomfortable with computers or do not have strong typing skills. If a nurse is learning how to navigate a keyboard while simultaneously having to learn a system, it’s not surprising that he or she may be dissatisfied with the change. The disruption in workflow could be greatly improved by teaching nurses and doctors how to integrate EHRs into their daily tasks while still in the classroom.

Academic electronic health records programs, like EHR Tutor, allow students to gain exposure to EHRs before entering the workplace. Learning how to use electronic charting while still learning how to do the basics of their job, teaches students to be just as comfortable with a computer as they would be with a pen and piece of paper. This is something that may help ease the transition to electronic charting in the future.

In addition to being generally dissatisfied, the number of users dissatisfied with the “features and functionality” of their EHR system increased from 51% to 61%. One pain point seemed to be the fact that the features and functionality in many EHRs do not align well enough with clinicians’ workflow. Workflow can be determined by meetings with key stakeholders, shadowing medical personnel during their workday and conversations with designated doctor or nurse champions. The process works best when input from the people who will be using the system is carefully considered and fully utilized. However, improving workflows will not solve the entire problem.

For example, let us examine a problem like “alert fatigue”. In many systems, alerts pop up with warnings about drugs that may be unnecessary or elementary for a prescribing physician, or with a warning that a field is missing data that may not be relevant to the patient. An alert may also appear after a particular issue has been handled. While the alerts may seem logical to a programmer, they don’t necessarily make sense in the field. Thankfully, there are more and more schools offering courses on healthcare technology, which provide a foundation of knowledge for future developers and analysts.

Centers like the Training Hub for Operative Technologies in Healthcare at Imperial College in London offer full programs dedicated to healthcare technology. For current developers, Coursera.org offers free courses including “Health Informatics in the Cloud”, “Interprofessional Healthcare Informatics” and “Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship”, all of which examine the real life work of medical professionals in relation to the technology they use. This is a knowledge set that is absolutely necessary for a programmer trying to design a system for those very people. By having companies sponsor those classes or conversations, we would open the lines of communication and enhance the education of program developers.

Along with a decrease in satisfaction regarding features and functionality, the amount of clinicians who said they would not purchase their current EHR system again if given the chance increased from 25% to 38%. This cannot be solely the fault of developers; some of the onus must fall on consumers themselves. Instead of hearing the lament, “If only I would have known…” after an EHR implementation, we can begin by making sure medical offices do know what they are getting with any particular system and what they should expect when shopping for an EHR. Educating consumers is imperative. For example, the level of computer skills and familiarity with technology needed when using different programs may be a huge factor for a practice with less computer savvy practitioners.

Reading the reviews on EHRCompare.com quickly revealed that AdvancedEMR can be difficult to set up and implement for less technologically inclined staff, whereas Practice Fusion seems to be less customizable, but easier to use (based on user reviews alone). Using EHRCompare to research multiple EHRs, a user can search by specialty, setting, and hosting preference. Then, all applicable EHRs will appear with an overview of features along with user reviews. That information not only gives consumers a great place to start, it teaches them what questions to ask and what to look for. What are some pain points a consumer may not have thought of? How do the program specs translate to office usage?

Another great resource is the Health IT government website which has a full list of all certified EHR systems: http://oncchpl.force.com/ehrcert/CHPLHome. It has a large checklist of features for each product, allowing consumers to see, at a glance, what is available and what is missing. That way, consumers know all the details even if the EHR sales rep did not disclose them all. Knowing what to look for can help buyers purchase the best system for their particular practice.

Overall, any change in procedure involves a long, arduous education process. While there are technical problems to overcome in the present, many problems can be prevented with simple education in the future. Using the resources available we can make sure new medical professionals, EHR programmers and consumers all have access to the best resources and knowledge base possible. This is something that can only lead to improvement.

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IBM Helps Inland Northwest Health Services Deliver Cloud-Based Healthcare Solution

IBM have announced that Inland Northwest Health Services is improving patient care via their cloud-based electronic health record services delivered to physicians and medical facilities with IBM server and storage technology.

The solution based on IBM System x servers, Storwize and DS8000 Storage systems, SAN Volume Controller storage virtualization technology and storage software, ensures high reliability, availability and efficiency for the EHR services INHS provides to 40 hospitals and 750 physicians in the northwest United States.

"The core application we provide to our clients is a comprehensive system covering a full range of healthcare activities -- hospital operations, admission of patients, pharmacy orders, lab services, and patient clinical information," said Chad Skidmore, director of INHS. "Because it covers so many critical aspects affecting patient care, we needed a cloud solution that could provide the highest quality of service, and the performance of the technology IBM is providing is just amazing."

INHS chose IBM's data center solution for their cloud to help them address key pressures on their existing IT infrastructure. The company is experiencing annual growth of 25 percent, and is rapidly rolling out new services, significantly increasing their transaction volume. These combined demands were growing faster than their existing server and storage infrastructure could handle, driving a need to increase system efficiency and utilization.

In addition, INHS wanted to reduce the footprint of their data center in terms of physical space, power consumption and cooling requirements. With the IBM solution, roughly 95 percent of their 1,200 servers are virtualized, increasing system uptime, doubling performance for end users of cloud services applications, and meeting or exceeding all of the client's service-level requirements.

With the flexibility of the solution, INHS can rapidly respond to changing business demands because new storage can be added with no downtime, resulting in no loss of service to INHS customers. At the same time, the amount of capacity in the data center has increased while floor space has been reduced by 28 percent and overall power consumption has held steady.

For end users at the organizations served by INHS, performance is two times faster and far more reliable.

"The cloud-based services INHS is providing to their clients demonstrate how our technology can help improve the quality of healthcare services for doctors, medical facilities and ultimately patients," said Jane Munn, vice president and business line executive for Cloud, IBM Systems and Technology Group. "Based on the performance of our System x and Storage offerings for their current data center requirements, INHS is now evaluating adding PureFlex systems to their infrastructure." The solution, provided through IBM Business Partner Solutions-II, consists of System x3850 and x3650 systems, BladeCenter H Chassis and BladeCenter HX5 servers.

For storage, the solution uses Storwize V7000 and DS8000-series storage systems, and System Storage SAN Volume Controller software, serving the core MEDITECH healthcare information system and about 400 ancillary applications. It also uses IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center software for data reporting and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for centralized, automated data protection. IBM Global Financing provides financing services for the project. The combined solution has enabled new levels of uptime and stability, increased business agility, faster end-user performance and greater operational efficiency -- critical benefits for what INHS describes as the largest single instance of the MEDITECH MAGIC software environment currently running in the world.

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