Intelligent CIO North America Issue 17 - Page 58



Cycle application running on-premises . The move provides all of Seattle Children ’ s physical and remote locations with secure and efficient unified access to health records . About 3,500 clinicians and staff members are using the Epic system concurrently today on the highly secure Virtustream Healthcare Cloud to view patient health information and refer patients .
With this number expected to grow to 5,000 and beyond , Virtustream ’ s cloud solution has been designed to enable easy agility and scalability based on the health system ’ s plans for future growth . While working completely remotely , Virtustream ’ s Xstreamcare services drive successful cloud migration of Cerner and Epic EHR applications to single , unified Epic system . Due to the on-going requirements of the pandemic , Virtustream ’ s consultants and Seattle Children ’ s IT staff migrated the health system ’ s data completely virtually from multiple remote locations .
Merging two separate EHR systems can be a complex project , especially when they are running in two different operating environments . In this case , it was also imperative that staff continue to have uninterrupted access to critical patient and business records during the migration .
Unifying Seattle Children ’ s two distinct platforms on the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud helped the health system achieve more predictable costs and reduce capital expenditures by consuming infrastructure as a service on an as-needed basis .
The hospital selected Virtustream , which works with several leading healthcare organizations , because its healthcare cloud is designed to help healthcare organizations address HIPAA / HITECH and SOC2 + HITRUST compliance . Furthermore , Virtustream ’ s security management and monitoring services provide an additional layer of enterpriselevel protection for Seattle Children ’ s data and applications . And , finally , the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud provides availability service-level agreements up to 99.999 % at the infrastructure level , or less than six minutes of unplanned downtime a year .
With xStreamCare Services , Virtustream operates and manages the infrastructure for the hospital ’ s Epic EHR system as well as many other ancillary and supporting applications . This empowers the hospital ’ s internal IT staff to focus on other strategic projects , including patient care initiatives .
For example , with Virtustream managing the cloud , the internal IT team is able to focus on more patientcentric priorities , including real-time analytics to help manage the business , track infection rates , view patient queues and provide secure access across the health system .
Dr Tim Calahan , Director of Healthcare Product Strategy and Management , Virtustream , said : “ Our goal is always to be our customers ’ most strategic IT partner . With Seattle Children ’ s , Virtustream has stepped in to provide a highly efficient , agile and scalable cloud solution supported by our enterpriseclass security , compliance and expert managed services that every healthcare organization should demand in these times .”
We asked Dr Zafar Chaudry , Senior Vice President and CIO , Seattle Children ’ s , further questions to find out more .
Why was it so important for Seattle Children ’ s to successfully unify two distinct EHR platforms into a single Epic system on the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud ?
Our key drivers were the simplification and standardization of our EHR to a single system with a single version of the truth for our clinicians for decision making . Our drivers to partner with Virtustream were that we didn ’ t want to be in the EHR hosting business anymore ; we wanted to partner with a vendor that had the scale and skillsets backing them .
We wanted a fixed pricing strategy per year , a guaranteed SLA and the ability to ramp up at any time in an agile way . We also wanted to keep our EHR data out of our data centers for added security and resilience .
What are the advantages of having a unified system that provides secure and easy access to patient data ?
The advantages are better system performance ; managed service so we don ’ t get involved ; fixed costs per year ; ability to grow the system on the fly ; no hardware to buy ; no need to hire skilled Epic resources in-house .
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