The Epic software suite, from Epic Systems Corporation, is a market leader for electronic health record (EHR) solutions. And with issues such as modernization of patient records management and cost control driving the evolution of the American healthcare industry, Sirius has successfully helped dozens of healthcare clients implement Epic environments across their organizations.
Guthrie Medical Group (Guthrie), located in north-central Pennsylvania and south-central New York, is a non-profit integrated health care delivery system that currently includes three hospitals, more than 450 physicians and mid-level providers, 29 regional provider offices in 23 communities, home health and home care services, and a research institute. Guthrie manages more than 1,000,000 patient visits a year.
Guthrie had been running its Epic electronic health record (EHR) software in an HP OpenVMS environment since 2002. Their most recent HP OpenVMS server was acquired in 2009. But in early 2014, HP announced that they would stop supporting OpenVMS in 2020, and Epic announced shortly thereafter that they would end their support of the operating system in 2015. Because Guthrie upgrades its software every 12 to 14 months, the company decided the time was right to migrate its workload off of OpenVMS despite its entrenched history.
In late 2013, Sirius consultants held a Sirius E.P.I.C. (Evaluation, Planning, Implementation, Completion) Workshop to analyze Guthrie’s current infrastructure situation and migration requirements, and recommended an IBM Power Systems infrastructure solution that would match the company’s needs and provide an Epic roadmap the company could rely on for the future.
Sirius bundled a solution that included a combination of IBM Power Systems servers based on POWER7+ processors, along with IBM Storwize V7000 Disk Systems, IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center (TPC) for managing heterogeneous storage infrastructures, and IBM Hardware Management Console (HMC) appliances to manage the Power Systems servers.
Since installing the new Power Systems servers, backup and recovery time has been reduced by approximately 66%, and batch processing jobs are running at least 20% to 30% faster.
In terms of application performance, Guthrie is seeing significantly better response times, and a performance improvement on its fat clients.
In order to meet the Meaningful Use requirements of the Affordable Care Act, Guthrie must process data that extends across all physicians and at different measures—batch processing jobs that reset a lot of triggers and take a lot of time to run. High-priority jobs run for up to 48 hours, and Guthrie has seen a significant reduction in processing times.
The savings are impressive as well. Maintenance over three years has been slashed from almost $350,000 to less than $10,000, and software license fees were reduced from more than $1.75 million to just over $1 million. And because of the Power Systems servers’ and Storwize V7000 storage systems’ more efficient designs, power and cooling savings are projected at more than $75,000 over three years.