Stratus Technologies’ uptime assurance enabled a New York hospital to launch a virtualized cloud computing network that encompasses 200 clinicians at more than 25 clinics, laboratories and group practices in the Hudson River Valley.
Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson, N.Y., chose a virtualized cloud infrastructure to create a single electronic health record (EHR) system that provided a seamless continuum between healthcare providers and the hospital. For the cloud computing program to succeed, healthcare providers needed to be able to access patient records 24×7 without long wait times. The hospital chose Stratus Medical Grade ftServer and ftScalable Storage for the core of the cloud infrastructure to provide the required uptime.
Stratus’ resilient server and storage products, combined with proactive availability monitoring and management services, provide the industry’s best protection against downtime and data loss. On average, ftServer systems experience just seconds of unplanned downtime annually. ftServer systems are also simpler to manage than high-availability server clusters and do not add to long-term IT management overhead. Applications run on the ftServer system the same way they run on standard servers, requiring no code modification, additional staff or special training.
“When we launched the cloud infrastructure, we essentially became a SaaS (Software as a Service) provider for external care providers, as well as the internal medical staff and ambulatory care clinics,” said Columbia Chief Information Officer Cathleen Crowley. “We also had cost considerations to weigh, so server virtualization and cloud computing were the most attractive option. Stratus ftServer systems offered the reliability, simple operation and support for virtualization we needed as a platform for our cloud infrastructure.”
A 2009 Forrester survey of 120 healthcare professionals found availability and response times to be the major concerns about EHR adoption. Stratus server’s fault-tolerant system architecture, with processor lock-step technology, provides uninterrupted application access even if a server component fails. Competing availability solutions that rely on failover cannot guarantee uninterrupted application access. Four Medical Grade ftServer systems in Columbia’s data center host 20 virtual machines running the EHR software and another ftServer runs VMware vCenter Server. Attached ftScalable Storage hosts seven terabytes of data. Clinicians in outlying facilities access the system through Web browsers.
“EHR has enormous potential to improve patient care and cost control, provided IT staff can assure medical professionals that they’ll have fast, reliable access to records,” said Roy Sanford, chief marketing officer at Stratus. “With our long experience in developing technology for continuous availability, we’re confident Stratus’ presence in medical IT will continue to grow as EHR systems like Columbia Hospital’s proliferate.”