In one of my previous blogs, I talked about the top three benefits of an open, standards-based server architecture for Epic EHR. This time around, I’d like to highlight Hackensack University Medical Center (HackensackUMC), as one of the hospitals leading the way with this approach.



HackensackUMC is a top-rated, 775-bed, non-profit teaching and research hospital based in New Jersey. Like many other healthcare organizations that use Epic EHR, it previously had Epic deployed on two computing platforms: virtualized x86 servers for the end-user computing environment, and RISC-based platforms for the backend environment (Caché database tier).


Challenge: Against the backdrop of fast growing data volumes, increasing performance requirements and competition for patients from other healthcare organizations, HackensackUMC wanted to reduce its costs while at the same time enabling scalability to accommodate future growth. Its previous environment ran counter to these objectives in terms of hardware/software cost, support cost and maintenance cost. Not only did it require separate groups of administrators with expertise to support the two distinct computing platforms, but it also needed to maintain separate processes for disaster recovery and business continuity.


Solution & Benefits: HackensackUMC decided to standardize its Epic deployment on a virtualized x86 server infrastructure for end-user and backend environments as well as its storage subsystem. It measured a 50 percent reduction in TCO with the new environment and 40-50 percent reduction in operating costs (related to hardware, software and OS support). 


In addition, HackensackUMC achieved a 70 percent reduction in the datacenter footprint of its Epic deployment. Virtualization of the backend environment enabled the organization to move workloads around more easily and improved application up-time with software features such as DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler) and HA (High Availability).


Finally, to ensure the environment was secure, HackensackUMC relied not only on administrative and technical safeguards, but also sophisticated technical safeguards such as advanced DLP (Data Loss Prevention), in order to mitigate the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive information such as protected health information.


To learn about this project in more detail, visit here.


Have you deployed Epic EHR on a standard, x86 architecture or are you considering this approach? Please feel free to share your observations and experiences below. You can follow me on Twitter @CGoughPDX.



Chris Gough is a lead solutions architect in the Intel Health & Life Sciences Group and a frequent blog contributor.


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