Danielle Brown

How to Simplify Your Storage Strategy in Healthcare

In our recent customer success stories we’ve shared with you, This Hyperconverged Virtual SAN Solution Saves Lives and Colby Sawyer College Delivers Continuous Data Availability with DataCore Software, we wanted you to see how our software-defined storage solutions enhance data centers across various  industry verticals.

IT is always looking for ways to do more with less, and you’ll see this applies to the following healthcare scenario.

Mission Community Hospital Faces Increasing Storage Complexity

Serving the San Fernando Valley for more than 50 years, Mission Community Hospital (MCH) is a two-campus acute care facility and owned and operated by Deanco Healthcare, LLC. MCH has been known for providing high-quality, affordable healthcare with a full range of medical, and surgical, mental and 24-hour emergency care services.

Prior to DataCore, data storage was always a headache

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However, the top priority of MCH was on health, not IT, which resulted in their storage strategy quickly becoming complex.

“Prior to DataCore, data storage was always a headache,” explains Dustin Fennel, chief information officer at Mission Community Hospital. “We always needed more disk space, we were always looking for more capacity, and the whole capacity management and storage provisioning process was very disjointed. Our environment was one with a lot of direct-attached storage.”

Impact from System Downtime in Healthcare

Like all verticals, healthcare has its own set of unique elements and challenges — the most important of which is related to system downtime.

It’s not a revelation that downtime costs money. However, in a hospital setting the risk can be greater than just financial costs because downtime has the potential to impact patient health and well-being.

Imagine the impact of downtime when trying to register a new patient in the ER, when pulling up an MRI in a patient room, or requesting medication from the on-site pharmacy.  All of these tasks depend on reliable backend IT systems.

Although system downtime is a component of any IT environment, it is especially critical for hospitals to invest in business continuity strategies that minimize the amount of planned and unplanned downtime whenever possible. Hospital executives know this is especially an issue when they cannot afford a large IT staff – as an example, take a look at the MCH story shown below.

Case study Healtchare datacore

Business Challenge:  Capacity Management, Storage Refresh, Cost-effectiveness & Simplicity

Mission Community Hospital had been running their existing data center on older servers. There were some virtualized VMware servers, but even those were out of date using direct-attached storage (DAS). The issues, including outages, made it impossible for the small IT staff to manage.

Management for storage capacity also remained a consistent issue, which ultimately led to complexity and inefficiency at the hospital.

The hospital’s IT department had never considered a more strategic storage environment until Dustin Fennel, Chief Information Officer at Mission Community Hospital, came on board. Prior to that, storage was just an afterthought.

Fennel tells us that as a community hospital, a large IT budget is not prioritized. As a result, the small IT staff needed a solution that was not only cost-effective, but easy to manage.

DataCore SANsymphony™ Solution

With DataCore SANsymphony™ running at MCH, it has been a game-changer for storage management.

As a cost-effective solution as well, DataCore’s software platform is not only improving the hospital, but supporting its future growth. Thanks to DataCore’s ability to make the physical storage completely “agnostic,” hardware can continuously be interchangeable – and how does that help Mr. Fennel, you ask?

“Because we are not tied to a particular vendor,” said Fennel. “We can always just get the best storage for what we are trying to accomplish – whatever makes the most sense in terms of price point.”

Benefits from High Availability and Near Zero Downtime

Now the hospital has the business continuity that it needs by eliminating downtime with high-availability storage (HA) and faster application performance.

“Any downtime would negatively affect patient care. Eliminating downtime has been a big advantage, and downtime was a big issue before DataCore,” added Fennell.

For more information, please read the detailed case study here!


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