CarePoint Health needed to adopt strategic backup and disaster recovery solutions, and ensure that clinicians have reliable and instant access to patients’ digital records and images.
The organisation engaged NTT DATA to host its electronic health record application and PACS images. System management, backup, disaster recovery, reporting and security services are all included.
“We’re now able to focus on the needs of our patients, doctors, nurses and general staff instead of hardware, because we’ve given the experts at NTT DATA that responsibility”.
More than ever, hospitals need to be agile. Clinicians are adopting new technologies to improve patient outcomes. Administrators and IT staff are striving to boost operational efficiency to care for more patients, support new regulations and protect data from security risks and outages.
CarePoint Health, a leading healthcare organisation in northern New Jersey, is managing all these challenges plus rapid growth from acquisitions. The four-year-old organisation already operates three hospitals. As CarePoint adds practices, it’s also assimilating IT gear. By last year, much of the hardware supporting its MEDITECH electronic health record (EHR) system and INFINITT picture archiving and communication system (PACS) images was at end of life and near capacity. Slow system response times, monthly EHR system outages and struggles around HIPAA compliance impeded efficiency and created risk. Lev Goronshteyn, chief technology officer at CarePoint Health, says, “We needed a unified platform and strategy for supporting sustainable growth, backups and disaster recovery”.
After evaluating options including cloud service providers, CarePoint decided to move its 50TB of PACS images to the NTT DATA Unified Clinical Cloud Archive, and to have the vendor host its MEDITECH system as well. “We had narrowed our choices to two hosting providers, but the other one fell short on the security capabilities that we required, and it was more expensive”, says Goronshteyn. “Disaster recovery, intrusion detection and intrusion prevention were add-on services. NTT DATA’s solution includes all those capabilities”.
Migrating CarePoint’s EHR and PACS to the NTT DATA cloud took three months, with significant time spent on testing workflows. “The actual migration was scheduled to take approximately 20 hours but, with NTT DATA, we did it in 10”, Goronshteyn says.
Technicians maintain copies of EHR data at two data centres, and back up PACS images — which grew by 20TB in three months — to four sites. If an outage occurs, applications automatically fail over to another instance. “Our uptime is at 99.99% and, from a clinician and executive standpoint, we’re all at peace in the knowledge that our data is sitting in NTT DATA tier-3 environments thousands of miles apart from each other, protected by multiple layers of digital and physical security”. CarePoint’s improved business continuity and data protection capabilities have also simplified regulatory compliance. “When it’s time for our yearly HIPAA audit, we just call NTT DATA”, says Goronshteyn. “We get our SSAE 16 report, give it to our auditor, check all the marks on the form and we’re done”.
With its new solution, CarePoint can provide better services, and doctors can see more patients in a day. Goronshteyn says, “The first thing that the doctors said after the cutover was how quick the systems are. Response times are at least twice as fast now that we have NTT DATA host our MEDITECH and PACS images instead of managing them on-premises”. And because system performance, reliability, recovery and scalability are no longer issues, IT staff have a sustainable long-term strategy to support growth. “We’re now able to focus on the needs of our patients, doctors, nurses and general staff instead of hardware, because we’ve given the experts at NTT DATA that responsibility. If we need more resources, we’re notified right away, and technicians deploy them in a week or less. Before, it took a month or more to provision hardware”.
Monthly MEDITECH and PACS expenses are now predictable, and CarePoint knows how much it will cost to scale capacity. The organisation has also cut its five-year EHR and PACS expenses by 40%. “Having NTT DATA host our systems saves us more than $2.3 million”, Goronshetyn says. “We avoid extra capital expenditures for disaster recovery technologies as well as software licences for SolidWorks security products and SolarWinds reporting tools, because they are included in the solution”. We can re-utilise that recouped money in our hospitals so we can continue to grow and improve the level of care we provide to the people in our community”.