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IBM Powering INHS Healthcare Information System

By - Source: Intel Press Release

IBM said on Friday that Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS) is using its server and storage technology to power INHS' cloud-based electronic health record services. The solution, called the MEDITECH healthcare information system, is based on IBM System x servers, Storwize and DS8000 Storage systems, SAN Volume Controller storage virtualization technology and storage software.  The INHS system serves 40 hospitals and 750 physicians in the northwest United States.

"INHS chose IBM's data center solution for their cloud to help them address key pressures on their existing IT infrastructure," IBM said on Friday. "The company is experiencing annual growth of 25 percent, and is rapidly rolling out new services, significantly increasing their transaction volume. These combined demands were growing faster than their existing server and storage infrastructure could handle, driving a need to increase system efficiency and utilization."

INHS wanted to reduce the footprint of their data center in terms of physical space, power consumption and cooling requirements. The MEDITECH backbone was provided through IBM Business Partner Solutions-II, and consists of System x3850 and x3650 systems, BladeCenter H Chassis and BladeCenter HX5 servers.

On the storage front, the MEDITECH system uses Storwize V7000 and DS8000-series storage systems, and System Storage SAN Volume Controller software, serving the core system and around 400 ancillary applications. The MEDITECH system also uses IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center software for data reporting and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for centralized, automated data protection.

IBM Global Financing provides financing services for the project, the company said.

"The cloud-based services INHS is providing to their clients demonstrate how our technology can help improve the quality of healthcare services for doctors, medical facilities and ultimately patients," said Jane Munn, vice president and business line executive for Cloud, IBM Systems and Technology Group. "Based on the performance of our System x and Storage offerings for their current data center requirements, INHS is now evaluating adding PureFlex systems to their infrastructure." 

Roughly 95 percent of the system's 1,200 servers are virtualized, increasing system uptime, doubling performance for end-users and meeting the client's service-level needs, IBM said. The system can rapidly respond to changing business needs because storage can be added with no downtime. For end-users, performance is supposedly two times faster and far more reliable.

"The core application we provide to our clients is a comprehensive system covering a full range of healthcare activities -- hospital operations, admission of patients, pharmacy orders, lab services, and patient clinical information," said Chad Skidmore, director of INHS. "Because it covers so many critical aspects affecting patient care, we needed a cloud solution that could provide the highest quality of service, and the performance of the technology IBM is providing is just amazing."

For more information about IBM's System x servers, head here. Additional information about IBM's Storage systems can be found here, and its storage management/backup/recovery software located here.

Kevin Parrish is a contributing editor and writer for Tom's Hardware,Tom's Games and Tom's Guide. He's also a graphic artist, CAD operator and network administrator.

See here for all of Kevin's Tom's IT Pro articles.

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