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A Practical Example of Intelligent Enterprise Storage

A regional radiology group upgrades to intelligent storage for increased growth, efficiency and availability.

By Phil Bianco and Lou Spadafora, Melillo Consulting, with Sundip Arora, HPE

 

Like many other industries, healthcare has been seeing a massive increase in data captured in the past five years, and it is expected to continue on a steep growth trajectory in the future. In radiology, this growth in data is the result of more advanced, high-resolution imaging (including 3D imaging), long data retention requirements and an ever-increasing dependency on digital communication devices.

 

AT A GLANCE

Client: South Jersey Radiology Associates (11 offices; 50 radiologists)

Business Challenge: Segregated on-prem storage environment unable to support pending PACs software upgrade; managing data growth was challenging and cost-inefficient.

Technology Solution: A Storage Area Network (SAN) with HPE Nimble Storage and HPE Proliant Servers; managed through a VMware Hypervisor.

Results:

  • Gained the ability to take advantage of cloud benefits (scalability, availability, speed) while maintaining on-prem infrastructure.
  • Built-in HPE InfoSight with AI-driven predictive analytics automatically resolves 86% of Tier One support issues.
  • Updated storage array allowed the organization to offer additional features and benefits to its clients.

 

Hospitals and healthcare facilities rely on picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) to securely store and digitally transmit electronic images and clinical reports to all relevant care providers. Using PACS software, this data can be accessed by multiple individuals simultaneously using HIPAA compliant end-point devices. HIPAA also requires healthcare organizations to maintain a secure, remote data backup system to minimize risk of data loss.

Beyond HIPAA requirements, the ability to manage and protect from and recover from cyber-attacks, ransomware, for example, is critical when you're dealing with sensitive patient data. Cost reduction is another concern for healthcare providers as it is in other industries.

It was at this point that South Jersey Radiology Associates (SJRA), a regional healthcare provider, contemplated growing beyond the 11 offices and 50 radiologists they were supporting. The SRJA IT team, led by Chief Information Officer Tony Musillo, recognized the need to upgrade their current storage architecture. Additionally, its PACS platform provider had recently released a new software version which required more advanced functionality than SJRA's current storage array could provide.

This highlighted another reality, the SJRA infrastructure was aging. Newer storage technologies could improve operational efficiency, reduce cost and provide even greater value to the thousands of patients and clinicians SJRA serves across the region.

"We realized that we had to upgrade our infrastructure to support the new PACS software release and began to evaluate a number of different technology manufacturers," explains Tony Musillo, SJRA's Chief Information Officer. "The PACS software rep recommended HPE Intelligent Storage solutions based on several other successful implementations he had seen, so we added HPE to the list."

HPE recommended Melillo Consulting to develop the software strategy and provide deployment for SJRA. Melillo is a long-term HPE Platinum Partner with more than 30 years of experience and it had built a strong footprint in the healthcare sector, with specific expertise in electronic medical records (EMR), PACS and other major healthcare applications.

"Our team at Melillo is very experienced in the healthcare sector and we would invest the time and resources to fully understand the needs of SJRA," says Lou Spadafora, Melillo's Business Development Director who headed the sales effort. "We worked closely with SJRA to understand their current PACS architecture and developed a solution we knew could support their business over the next five years."

To accomplish this, the Melillo team began by conducting a discovery workshop to understand the pain points and challenges, whether it's performance or growth.

"We asked, 'What are the business goals? What are the technology goals of the software? can we get engaged with the software vendor?' They loved our approach; this is how we deliver solutions," says Spadafora.

Prior to Melillo meeting with the healthcare provider, they were using a storage technology that was limiting their data to individual servers - it was not a shared storage environment. SJRA's original storage infrastructure consisted of two physical data centers which served branch locations using multiple, redundant servers and storage arrays. Melillo solution architects recommended migrating the organization to a single, centralized Storage Area Network (SAN).

"We brought in HPE Nimble Storage and HPE Proliant Servers as our solution, transforming their environment into a storage area network (SAN), where multiple servers could connect and share data enabling SJRA to expand with minimal IT investment and drastically reducing their capital investment by implementing the solution," says Phil Bianco, Melillo chief technology officer. "This provided two things they needed: increased performance for their end-users and greater simplicity managing the storage infrastructure for the IT team at South Jersey Radiology via the Nimble array."

The new shared storage environment translated to lower operating costs, greater efficiency and the ability to scale quickly as needed. In addition, all server storage components are now managed through a VMware hypervisor where performance and capacity can be centrally monitored from a single pane of glass.

"We are continuing with SJRA through this journey as their business grows and as they add more 3D images to their storage. This has been really a great platform to build upon. And we'll be there as their needs change," says Spadafora.

"One of the things we are very proud of is that SJRA is the only organization in the region to be recognized with a Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence Award from the American College of Radiology," says Musillo. "That focus on excellence extends to the partners we choose to work with us, and it's clear that Melillo shares the same focus. We feel extremely lucky to be working with them."

 

Contact Melillo Consulting to plan your intelligent data storage journey.

The journey to greater data agility and digital transformation obviously requires agility, scalability - but it also requires greater visibility and security. Melillo Consulting can help your company develop and execute a strategic intelligent data storage plan that incorporates your legacy and future data storage needs. Contact Melillo Consulting at info@mjm.com or 1-800-TEAM-MJM (832-6656) to arrange a call with one of our data management experts.

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