The Business Challenge
Children’s of Alabama is in the business of changing kids’ lives. From nurses who
know their patients’ favorite superheroes to care teams that turn medical
treatments into games, there is a collaborative, compassionate spirit
at Children’s of Alabama.
One of the key components of collaboration is the Electronic Medical Record
(EMR). When healthcare providers have round-the-clock access to complete and
accurate information in an EMR, patients receive the best care. EMRs facilitate
rapid diagnosis and treatment, but they’re only worth their salt if they’re
accessible. Children’s of Alabama uses Greenway Health’s EMR called Intergy.
Another key component of collaboration is research conducted by the hospital’s
Pediatric Simulation Center. Research data helps medical professionals
improve their assessment and treatment in several areas such as pediatric
cardiopulmonary resuscitation and diabetic ketoacidosis.
Children’s of Alabama maintains its collaborative environment by ensuring EMRs
and research data are always accessible, as well as other critical systems such
as radiology, lab and telephony. Bob Sarnecki, CIO at Children’s of Alabama,
said the hospital is in perpetual preparedness mode so it can rebound quickly
following a natural or manmade disaster. Ransomware is a particular concern
because cybercriminals continue to target the healthcare industry. According
to security firm Cylance, healthcare organizations were the fourth most common
target for ransomware attacks in 2019, making up 7% of total data breaches
after technology (28%), consumer goods (15%) and manufacturing (11%).
“Like all hospitals, one of our top priorities is making sure we can treat
patients following a disaster,” Sarnecki said. “If EMRs aren’t assessible, our
medical professionals don’t know the full history of each patient, including
chronic conditions, long-term medications and allergies. Having a system
outage would be like flying blind. Yes, you can assess in the moment, but
you need access to EMRs to deliver perfect care, not just adequate care.
That’s why our business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) strategy
must deliver the best possible outcome.”
The hospital’s goal was to recover critical systems, including standalone
EMRs, in 15 minutes or less, but Sarnecki said legacy backup (Avamar and
Dell EMC Data Domain) wasn’t getting the job done. It was slow to recover
standalone EMRs, taking up to 13 hours in some cases.
“We have to be able to deliver care in the moment, not 13 hours later,”
Sarnecki said. “To do that successfully, we have to be able recover fast —
no matter the medium. We currently recover standalone EMRs from disk, but
we may move to the cloud in the future. We needed a backup solution that
would make that journey seamless for us.”
The Veeam solution
Children’s of Alabama replaced legacy backup with Veeam® Availability
Suite™ and ExaGrid. Veeam and ExaGrid simplify, improve and strengthen
the hospital’s DR and BC strategy and reduce recovery point objectives
(RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) for standalone EMRs by 97%
to 15 minutes. Veeam also delivers Cloud Data Management™ if the hospital
moves to a hybrid cloud in the future.
“Veeam and ExaGrid have become our de facto BC and DR strategy, making
our recoveries bullet-proof,” Sarnecki said. “They ensure our most critical
systems including standalone EMRs are always accessible, giving our
medical professionals a full understanding of each child so they can provide
the very best care.”
Veeam backs up nearly 600 TBs across 1,500 VMware vSphere virtual
machines to ExaGrid from Pure Storage and Nexsan storage snapshots.
Backup is super-fast, and recovery is super-short, reducing RPOs and RTOs
by 97% to 15 minutes.
“Veeam also makes us more proficient at BC and DR testing,” Sarnecki
said. “Testing used to take days, but now it takes minutes. The majority
of hospitals have small IT staffs, so they don’t have a lot of extra time
to devote to BC and DR testing. Veeam is a great timesaver.”
Children’s of Alabama is thinking about taking testing to the next level with
another Veeam solution: Veeam Availability Orchestrator. It offers a reliable,
scalable and easy-to-use orchestration and automation engine that completely
eliminates manual testing and recovery processes. It will enable the hospital
to build DR workflows that automate failover and recovery processes, delivering
even more resilient IT operations.
“One of the reasons we chose Veeam is because it’s way ahead of its
competitors — from automated BC and DR testing to Cloud Data Management,”
Sarnecki said. “If our future includes a hybrid cloud, Veeam will make those
recoveries bullet-proof too.”
- Simplifies, improves and strengthens the BC and DR strategy
Cybersecurity threats continue in the healthcare industry with no end
in sight. Veeam helps Children’s of Alabama simplify, improve and
strengthen its DR and BC strategy to ensure medical professionals always
have access to EMRs so they can deliver optimal care.
- Reduces RPOs and RTOs for standalone EMRs by 97% to 15 minutes
EMRs let medical professionals share data and save lives. Veeam and
ExaGrid make sure they’re accessible, along with other key data and
systems such as pediatric research, radiology, lab and phones.
- Provides seamless Cloud Data Management for the hospital’s future
Veeam Cloud Data Management provides easy, secure and reliable cross-cloud
data management and migration in a multi-cloud environment. Veeam delivers
a software-defined, hardware and cloud-agnostic platform so the hospital can
adapt quickly and easily to changing environments over time.