The Business Challenge
Rochelle Community Hospital (RCH) has been a cornerstone of the Rochelle community
for more than a century. It was founded in 1913 as a cooperative community project
and continues that way today. For an annual association membership of $25 or more,
members of the community can become owners of the hospital.
RCH is a not subsidized by tax dollars or funded by a parent company with deep
pockets. It’s a small, independent hospital operating on a modest budget. When
RCH sought to modernize its disaster recovery (DR) plan following a tornado,
finding a reliable, cost-effective solution became a challenge.
Like most hospitals, RCH follows the 3-2-1 backup rule for DR: 3 copies of data,
2 different media, 1 copy offsite. After the tornado tore through Rochelle and missed
the hospital by only two miles, 1 copy offsite took on new meaning.
“Our offsite copy was in a data center a short distance from the hospital,” said
Scott Stewart, CIO at RCH. “If the tornado had wiped out the hospital, it would
have wiped out the data center too. While we would have been able to provide
some medical services, most of the hospital’s capabilities would cease to exist. The
nearest hospital is 30 miles, so our community would be in an awful situation.”
That’s when RCH decided to modernize its DR plan.
“We knew the most secure place for an offsite copy was in the cloud, but we had to
make sure our data would be hyper-available,” he said.
Hyper-available data is vital for hospitals, especially in electronic health records (EHRs).
“If our EHR system isn’t hyper-available, it could be a matter of life or death,
particularly during a disaster like a tornado,” Stewart said. “Our health care
professionals need instant access to critical information before treating anyone,
including medical history, drug allergies and lab results, otherwise treatment could
do more harm than good.”
RCH’s EHR system was developed by MEDITECH, which recommended a design to
keep data secure during an emergency.
“The design MEDITECH proposed was too expensive for our hospital and didn’t
meet our hyper-availability needs,” Stewart said. “It’s not only tornados we’re
concerned about. Like most health care organizations, we worry about cyber
attacks too. We have to be confident our data is always accessible.”
The Veeam and Comport Solution
RCH modernized its DR strategy with Veeam Backup & Replication. RCH also chose
ComportSecure for Backup as a Service (BaaS), Disaster Recovery as a Service
(DRaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). EHR data is now hyper-available and
the hospital saves $250,000 annually.
“Veeam and ComportSecure provide the power of protection,” Stewart said. “We’re
confident our MEDITECH EHR data will be protected and accessible in a disaster like
a tornado or cyber attack.”
Veeam protects the MEDITECH operating system volumes and a legacy method
protects the MEDITECH data volumes.
The health care industry was the victim of 88 percent of all malware and
ransomware attacks among U.S. industries in 2016, according to a report from
Solutionary, a security company. Approximately 89 percent of those health care
organizations experienced a data breach in their EHRs.
“This is where we can make a difference,” said Hannah Coney, Business
Development Manager at Comport. “We’ve been helping health care organizations
and commercial enterprises manage and secure their critical data since 1982. As
a Veeam Gold Partner, we’ve had years of experience architecting and installing
Veeam solutions. Together, Veeam and ComportSecure—our cloud service—make
Hyper-available data is the new normal. Data must automatically anticipate need,
meet demand and move securely across cloud infrastructures. This strategy is called
intelligent data management, and Veeam and ComportSecure help the hospital
master it by giving new meaning to the 3-2-1 backup rule.
Veeam makes three copies of the hospital’s data on Hewlett Packard Enterprise
(HPE) ProLiant Servers and stores copies on site on two different media, one
being HPE 3PAR StoreServ. Veeam sends the third copy off site to ComportSecure,
enabling Comport technicians to provide backup as a service (BaaS) and DR as a
service (DRaaS) if necessary.
“The survival of our hospital depends on our ability to recover quickly during
a disaster,” Stewart said. “Veeam and ComportSecure help us rebound almost
instantly, and for $250,000 less than other solutions. That’s a substantial savings
for us. Our IT budget is under $1 million.”
Stewart said RCH applies the savings to improvements that enhance patient care,
such as updating patient rooms and purchasing medical equipment, including the
first MRI machine, which the hospital had been leasing.
“We wouldn’t have been able to purchase the machine without the savings provided
by Veeam and ComportSecure.” Stewart said.
- Modernizes the hospital’s DR plan to support patient care in the digital world
“Efficient communication and collaboration within a hospital is just as important
as the equipment and medications used to treat patients,” Stewart said. “By
modernizing our DR plan, we give our health care professionals instant access to
patient data so they can diagnose and treat people quickly.”
- Protects hospital data against disasters including tornados and cyber attacks
“If a tornado hit our hospital or we were the victim of a cyber attack, Veeam and
ComportSecure would help us recover our EHR system fast so we could continue
providing medical services to the community,” Stewart said.
- Saves $250,000 each year, affording the purchase of a leased MRI machine
“Hospitals seeking to modernize their DR plans should take a look at Veeam
and ComportSecure,” Stewart said. “They’ll be on their way to intelligent data
management, and they might save money like we did. We wouldn’t have been
able to purchase our MRI machine as quickly without the $250,000 savings.”