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In the world of healthcare, data is critical. Imagine finding yourself in a hospital. Perhaps it is for something routine. Or maybe it’s for something much more dire. The ability of the hospital to provide information about your condition, patient history, and medication allergies could be the difference between a short visit and a longer stay. It could also truly be the difference between life and death. And keeping all that data safe from those that might use it for nefarious purposes is the charge of every hospital.
The larger the hospital, the more difficult the challenge to provide proper storage for medical data. Mercy Hospital System is the fifth largest Catholic health system in the United States. They have facilities in nine different states and have helped millions of patients. The technology arm of the system, Mercy Technology Services (MTS), is the backbone that provides access to computer systems and medical records. Without MTS, Mercy wouldn’t be able to provide the care they are known for and sought after by those in need.
MTS uses a variety of technology solutions to help meet the needs of both patients and the medical professionals that treat them. In order to keep pace with the ever-growing amount of information being generated in their hospital system, MTS has turned to NetApp for help. MTS and NetApp have partnered to implement NetApp All Flash FAS as the storage system for both MTS and Mercy Hospital.
Flash storage provides the fastest data access available today. This ensures that any information needed by doctors and nurses in the hospital system can be retrieved quickly. Reducing the time between data request and access means that patients spend less time waiting on medical professionals. It also means that critical situations can be resolved before they become truly dire for the patient. The lightning speed that NetApp All Flash FAS provides to MTS means that professionals are never waiting long to get the data they need to make their decisions.
NetApp All Flash FAS also allows MTS to help Mercy deliver cutting edge technology in the medical field as well. New initiatives like Mercy Virtual Care allow professionals to serve a wider array of patients in need without the need to travel. Allowing specialists to be reachable via telehealth services means that remote patients or those on the other side of the country can get the care they deserve to treat any ailment. In order to power Mercy Virtual Care, MTS uses NetApp All Flash FAS to power the analytics and data retrieval that doctors and specialists need to examine patient cases, histories, and suggested treatment options. Mercy Virtual Care allows patients to get the care they need, and NetApp All Flash FAS allows Mercy Virtual Care to get the data needed to make it happen.
NetApp All Flash FAS also helps keep doctors up to date on treatment decisions for patients. Tests produce results that must be stored. Treatment suggestions produce data that helps determine effectiveness. All of the information must be carefully stored and indexed to ensure that it is available at a moment’s notice to doctors. The All Flash storage available to Mercy means that doctors can have critical updates when necessary and determine if a treatment is helping a patient’s condition. This speeds recovery time as well as helping doctors serve more people without waiting around for paper charts and updates.
Mercy Hospital can also count on NetApp All Flash FAS to help patients when they leave the hospital as well. Preventative care is crucial to ensure that wounds heal and chronic conditions are managed effectively. With the ability to index large amounts of data and analyze it for patterns, medical professionals can provide preventative care instructions that have the best possible chance of success based on previous data collected by the hospital. This helps doctors “get it right the first time” and speed patient recovery. Preventative care also helps ease the stress level of patients and keep them home instead of in the hospital.
Lastly, NetApp All Flash FAS has the security tools needed to ensure proper ownership and governance of data. With regulations like HIPAA require patient data to be secure at all times. Hospitals must not only provide security but also ensure that any questions down the road about the security can be answered in a reasonable amount of time. NetApp All Flash FAS gives MTS the tools needed to keep patient data safe and sound and guarantee that security for the life of the patient’s data.
This kind of innovation can revolutionize an industry dedicated to helping those in need. NetApp and MTS have provided the backbone needed to help medical professionals concentrate on their job. Mercy Technology Services has been nominated for a 2016 Innovation Award. The key categories for judging show how MTS is providing a flexible storage solution that gives concrete business results to Mercy Hospitals and is simple enough to provide features without a significant investment in time and resources to implement.
If you’d like to learn more about MTS and NetApp, as well as see a video about their solution and vote for them as a 2016 Innovation Award Finalist, please check out their Customer Story here.
Note: This post series is sponsored by NetApp