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Wellmont Health System reduces radiologists' access time to critical images to seconds

EMC : 27 November, 2007  (New Product)
Wellmont Health System has strengthened its information lifecycle management strategy by deploying an EMC information infrastructure solution to manage its growing library of digital medical images such as X-rays, ultrasounds and MRIs.
The new system has enabled Wellmont, the premier healthcare provider in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and Southeast Kentucky, to reduce access time to these critical images from 30 minutes to seconds.

Rex Lewis, senior SAN/UNIX engineer for Wellmont, said 'EMC is our single source for integrated SAN, NAS, and now archiving and disaster recovery solutions. We partnered with EMC to initiate best practices supported by industry-leading storage solutions. We have successfully and cost-effectively met our diverse healthcare information management requirements.'

Wellmont Health System's integrated healthcare delivery system is comprised of more than thirteen owned and affiliated hospitals dedicated to delivering top-quality, comprehensive healthcare and wellness services across the Tri-State region. This broad reach across multiple communities and specialties requires patients' medical images be online and available to doctors 24-hours a day, granting instant access to critical medical images when an emergency strikes.

As part of its information lifecycle management strategy, Wellmont has deployed 542 terabytes of storage capacity across EMC Symmetrix, EMC Celerra, EMC CLARiiON and EMC Centera. This multi-tiered infrastructure successfully supports the organizations most critical applications, providing unsurpassed access speeds, continuous availability and affordable data protection for information at all points in its lifecycle.

Previously, Wellmont's historical medical images were stored on optical disks in one central location. For a radiologist to compare a current image with a historical image, an IT operator had to search the shelves of optical disks, find the right disk, mount it in the jukebox, and provide access to the radiologist. Retrieving one of these images took approximately 30 minutes, and if an image was corrupted, a backup copy was not available. To provide hospital staff with a more efficient, safe and cost-effective method to store, access and view these images, Wellmont selected Centera as its online central archive.

'EMC Centera has given our radiologists instant access to historical images,' said Lewis. 'It has enabled them to be even more efficient when treating patients, and provides a cost-effective, secure method for complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements for data protection.'

Centera helps Wellmont manage its rapidly expanding digital data archive of new images, providing rapid access, content authenticity and petabyte scalability to fully accommodate the organization's growing demand for archival storage for Microsoft Exchange and other key applications including those from Agfa, docSTAR, Eleckta, Emageon, GE Healthcare, McKesson and Philips.

To support this automated file system archive, Wellmont has also deployed EMC DiskXtender. When the archiving policies set for the McKesson Horizon Patient Folder are met, DiskXtender migrates information to the Centera, and also archives all Microsoft Exchange messages to Centera as they are processed by the e-mail system.

'Our archive has grown by almost 1500 percent since 2003,' said Lewis. 'It is absolutely critical to our business and our bottom line that our information infrastructure be scalable, affordable, and tiered to protect all our critical information at the right service levels.'
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