For this month’s customer spotlight, we’re taking a look at how downtime can affect hospitals.  Tasked with implementing a new EHR system to include ambulatory care, Columbia Memorial Hospital needed to come up with a way to serve over 200 clinicians, in more than 25 locations, giving them access to patient records over a secure Web interface on a 24/7 basis.

Last month Cerner, a supplier of EHR systems to hospitals and physicians, experienced a computer outage affecting a portion of the 2,600+ hospitals that rely on the company to store medical data. The outage lasted 6 hours and during that time, physicians and nurses were forced to write orders and notes by hand, and in many cases, health care providers no longer had access to previous patient data that were saved remotely by Cerner.

Hoping to avoid a situation like the one described above, Columbia Memorial Hospital, a community hospital in NY serving more than 100,000 residents, did their due diligence when implementing a robust uptime solution to support a new EHR system. After determining they were going to use CCHIT Certified software as their EHR software to cover ambulatory care, their next priority was making sure the new EHR function had the uptime to ensure information access for timely patient care and clinical decision support. That’s where Stratus’ ftServer came into the equation.

Stratus’ ftServers keep a hospital’s system running without outages or data loss even in the event of a component failure. Components within ftServer systems operate in parallel with each other to provide automatic redundancy, active system monitoring and automated issue notification. Paired with VMware vSphere software, the Stratus ftServer allows the hospital to take advantage of drop-in fault tolerance while being able to manage their cloud environment with standard VMware tools.

To further simplify things, the hospital opted for Stratus ftScalable storage. Just like the servers, these fault-tolerant storage systems are built for continuous uptime. Duplicate components, integrated automatic controller failover and hot standby features combine with multi-path I/O support to ensure maximum data integrity and protection.

Presently, Columbia Memorial Hospital utilizes four physical ftServer systems to host 20 virtual machines while the attached ftScalable storage hosts 7 terabytes of data. Another ftServer system runs VMware vCenter Server. Most importantly of all, the hospital hasn’t experienced downtime since implementing Stratus’ technology.