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

Thu, 09/26/2013 - 10:01pm
IBM

IBM today 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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