EMC and its VMware unit have assembled a private cloud for the Orange Regional Medical Center to exchange medical data and EHRs securely.
IT giant EMC has built a secure private cloud for ORMC
(Orange Regional Medical Center), a 450-bed hospital system in
Middletown, N.Y., as the medical organization undergoes a major
consolidation of facilities.
ORMC is combining two existing hospitals onto a single 600,000-plus
square-foot campus in Middletown. The new facility will be the first
new hospital in New York State in 20 years.
VMware, a unit of EMC and a leading manufacturer of virtualization software, deployed its vSphere platform
to virtualize 80 percent of ORMC's servers, according to the company.
EMC and VMware announced the deal with the hospital on Nov. 8.
VMware's vSphere allows IT departments to reduce their cost and
complexity through management automation at the service level and
scaling of enterprise applications.
In addition, the hospital system is currently installing an EHR
(electronic health record) platform from Epic Systems, a health care
software company based in Verona, Wis.
"As our business continues to evolve, we needed a solution that
would enable us to transform our IT infrastructure while keeping our
operations running smoothly for optimum patient care delivery," said
Dr. Shafiq Rab, ORMC's vice president for IT and CIO.
"EMC and VMware are providing the private cloud infrastructure to
enable our campus consolidation and transformation to electronic care
processes today while helping our physicians retain access to the
information they need when they need it," Rab said. ORMC chose to
create a private cloud to bring a simpler IT setup for the hospital,
according to Rab.
"Private clouds allow more secure, on demand computing for hospitals
and allow them to be more agile in their IT planning by separating the
need to buy hardware each time they budget for some software," Shahid
Shah, CEO of IT consulting firm Netspective Communications and
author of the Healthcare IT Guy
blog, wrote in an e-mail to eWEEK.
"Instead of forcing all software and hardware purchases to be
coupled, private clouds allow decoupling of the software
implementations from the hardware they will run on," Shah wrote.
"Private clouds are the only real sustainable way of growing the IT
capabilities of a hospital without the commensurate growth in personnel
and significant increases in operations budgets," according to Shah.
"EMC and VMware are tried-and-true technologies with over a decade
of 'it just works' experience, and hospitals should look to this
deployment as a how-to guide on what to do when setting up new IT
environments," he added.
The hospital system also implemented EMC's Clariion
and Celerra storage platforms, featuring SSDs (solid state drives) to help it with storage and retrieval of EHRs.
In addition, EMC's Avamar deduplication software and Centera storage
system allowed ORMC to perform deduplication and boost its backup,
recovery and archiving of medical data.
The EMC and VMware "technologies go hand in hand to reduce our
expense and complexity and will provide us with the control needed for
a secure and trusted private cloud," ORMC's Rab said.
Meanwhile, on Nov. 1 IBM announced that CMS (the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services) will deploy its Federal Community
Cloud. The private cloud allows organizations to use scalable data
centers to manage data at a fraction of the cost, without individual
infrastructures or software licenses, according to IBM.