Located in Batesville, Arkansas, White River Health System is an acute care, not-for-profit health care provider. Nearly 550,000 patients are treated each year in medical clinics, physicians’ offices, outpatient centers and two hospitals. Both hospitals were recognized by the American Hospital Association for their efforts to integrate technology into strategies that improve population health, capitalize on data analytics, boost patient engagement and improve efficiency.
Health care is one of the fastest growing segments in the digital universe. One reason for the explosive growth is rapid innovation in diagnostic imaging such as CTs and MRIs.
As technology improves, diagnostic data grows even more massive, making it difficult to ensure medical professionals have immediate access to it. In many cases, immediate access can mean the difference between life and death for a patient.
Data is growing exponentially in the health care industry. According to the research firm IDC, health care data grows 48.6 percent each year, while data in the digital universe grows 40 percent.
What’s driving this growth? One of the biggest contributors is diagnostic data from CT scanners, MRI machines, ultrasound devices and X-ray systems. As technology advances, diagnostic data grows even larger.
“The challenge is keeping data available nonstop,” said Wesley Evans, Hardware Solutions Manager at White River Health System (WRHS). “Downtime is never, ever an option because a patient’s life could be on the line.”
Diagnostic data plays a vital role in treatment. It helps narrow the cause of an injury or illness and confirm a diagnosis is accurate. It can mean the difference between life and death in many cases.
“Diagnostic data must be hyper-available—there’s no other option,” Evans said. “When data began growing by nearly 30 percent each year, hyper-availability became a challenge for us. There weren’t enough hours in the day to back up 120 terabytes.”
Another challenge was recovering data quickly in a crisis.
“We live and work in tornado alley, so weather is a big issue for us,” Evans said. “Add in the growing threat of cyber attacks, and you’ve got the makings of a disaster. We tested our ability to recover in a crisis and discovered it could take weeks, which was totally unacceptable.”
WRHS deployed Veeam Availability Suite and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) StoreOnce to keep data hyper-available. Soon Veeam and HPE StoreOnce became the centerpiece of WRHS’s DR strategy. Recovering critical systems takes minutes.
“One of the biggest benefits of using Veeam and HPE StoreOnce is the confidence you gain in your data,” Evans said. “We are absolutely certain we can recover in a crisis. That’s a first us.”
Another first for WRHS is intelligent data management.
“We’ve improved data management across our IT infrastructure because of Veeam’s built-in intelligence, advanced monitoring, resource optimization and capacity planning,” said Justin Ragsdale, Network Administrator at WRHS. “For the first time, we can proactively resolve issues that might have escalated in the past and prevented data from being available.”
When a hard drive filled quickly on a server supporting patient health records, Veeam alerted the IT team.
“If Veeam hadn’t alerted us, physicians might not have had access to patients’ health records for several hours,” Ragsdale said.
Veeam and HPE StoreOnce also save money (tens of thousands of dollars per year), which WRHS invests in medical technology. WRHS recently added robotic assisted orthopaedic joint replacement capability to improve patient care. Robotic assisted technology allows surgeons to provide patients with a personalized surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy.
“There’s something else that sets Veeam apart,” Ragsdale said. “Technical support is top-notch; it’s the best we’ve ever experienced. Most support teams read from a script when you contact them, but Veeam’s team is different. They understand hyper-availability and intelligent data management better than anyone. There’s nothing like Veeam. It has no competition.”