Challenged by EHR Modernization
Like most digitally transforming healthcare providers, one of New York’s largest non-profit teaching hospitals had deployed an electronic health records (EHR) system, EPIC, and an Infor Lawson enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution on-premises to help doctors better coordinate patient care.
But in 2013, driven by HIPAA compliance requirements and the complexities of its own growth, the hospital had committed to deploying EPIC and Infor in an off-premises, hosted environment in just 10 months—and for many reasons, it decided the cloud was the best solution.
“Just a few years ago, running EHR off-premises was unthinkable. Aside from
the fear of storing PHI (protected health information) outside the brick-and-mortar environment, EHR vendors weren’t supporting off-premises deployment,” recalls the hospital’s CIO.
Moving its on-premises EHR system and ERP solution to a cloud-based environment would solve some of the hospital’s biggest challenges, like freeing up floor space occupied by its on-premises data center. The move to an off-premises environment also meant it could stop worrying about unplanned power outages that risked bringing its entire system offline.
However, with such a short window to deploy its infrastructure, the hospital’s IT team realized it couldn’t do it on its own. The hospital needed a partner with the expertise and scale to get it done right and on time. More importantly, according to the CIO, “We needed a partner that was culturally aligned with us to build a relationship of trust.”
It didn’t take long for the hospital to partner with Navisite as its cloud managed services partner.
“We saw Navisite as a leader,” the CIO said. “They were also cost-competitive and brought an appreciation for the healthcare industry, as well as a deep understanding of compliance issues. But what was most important was that Navisite doesn’t view its clients as customers but as partners and wants to help them be successful.”
Exploring a Cloud-First Environment
In the initial phase, Navisite deployed EPIC and migrated the hospital’s core Infor Lawson ERP system, along with various ancillary applications to Navisite’s private cloud. As part of this phase, Navisite and the hospital’s IT team worked together to build an accurate portfolio of its applications and support needs to structure the comprehensive cloud-first strategy. First, Navisite cataloged everything from 60 applications—including email, file sharing, intranet sites, lab, cardiology systems and others—as well as the interfaces that integrated them. Then Navisite prioritized the portfolio and quickly implemented platforms, migrating services to the cloud.
Once the systems were migrated, the Navisite team provided functional and technical management for every application the hospital’s IT staff supported as an extension of the IT team.
Improving Outcomes with Technology
Navisite’s robust partnership and services helped the hospital improve its entire operations, leading to expedited delivery of critical services, faster deployment of technology and lower costs—all of which helped to improve patient outcomes.
“I can’t imagine how we would have made it through the migration in less than a year if we didn’t have a partner that could react as fast as Navisite did,” the CIO said.
As the cloud-first strategy took root, the teams at Navisite and the hospital sought to drastically improve patient outcomes right at the center of the hospital, both figuratively and literally. The hospital’s emergency department is a Level I Trauma Center, and its data center is physically adjacent to it. By migrating the various applications and platforms out of that data center, a plan emerged to expand the ER space by minimizing the technology footprint on campus and by reclaiming the critical floor space for the ER.
“The ER was bursting at its seams, and the data center was right in the middle of that space,” the CIO said. “We needed to move the data center to make room for more beds.”
More ER Space with AWS
Throughout the partnership, Navisite employed various strategies to support the hospital’s cloud adoption, leveraging both private and public cloud options to ensure the best fit for every workload. Navisite determined that Amazon Web Services (AWS) would provide the most cost-effective solution for migrating the hospital’s data center—and freeing up space for the ER. While many of the applications and services—such as EPIC and Infor—are hosted in a private cloud, Navisite’s deep understanding of AWS provides the hospital with scalable and fast deployment options for more than 60 applications in a highly secure and resilient environment. These options minimize costs and downtime, while improving technology adoption.
Faster Response During the Pandemic
For this hospital, starting its cloud journey early has made all the difference. Today, the hospital has the ability to quickly turn patient data into quicker and more accurate diagnoses and better customized care. Moving EHR systems and core enterprise applications to AWS also helped to prepare the hospital for the unexpected. When the COVID-19 pandemic swept through New York and the rest of the world, the hospital could quickly pivot to accommodate the new normal.
“Having our infrastructure on AWS has enabled virtual desktop infrastructure that allows doctors to do referrals and visits remotely, rather than having to go back to the office,” the CIO said.
Today, the hospital continues to benefit from lower CapEx and overall lower total cost of ownership—all while continuing to serve patients at a larger scale and with more personalized care.