nutanix

Doctors’ Center Hospital

Doctors’ Center Hospitals of Puerto Rico Standardizes on Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform

Business Needs

Delivering high quality clinical applications access and services with limited IT budget. Improving performance of the new MEDITECH EMR application for remote facilities. Providing physicians with access to patients records 24/7. Nutanix Prism Management Solution

Benefits

  • Obtained a high performance solution at 1/3 the cost of Cisco/EMC
  • Decreased latencies for MEDITECH EHR system for remote facilities
  • Simplified storage management
  • Reduced datacenter footprint from 8U to 4U, saving on power and facilities costs
  • Enabled the launch of new desktop mobility initiative for all physicians using a BYOD (bring your own device) approach
  • Hyperconverged Systems Eliminate Application Latencies and Simplify Management at Four Local Hospitals

Company Background

Doctors’ Center Hospitals (DCH) is a healthcare conglomerate that provides high quality medical and surgical services across Puerto Rico. DCH currently operates four hospitals, located in the cities of San Juan, Carolina, Manati, and Bayamon, and two ambulatory clinics in Dorado and Arecibo.

Pedro Rios is the IT director for Doctors’ Center Hospitals. He manages the IT infrastructure for all four healthcare facilities with a combined total of 692 beds. “I am responsible for integrated technology operations for over 1,500 IT users, including physicians and radiologist,” noted Rios. “I oversee data center management, strategic planning for administrative, operational, and clinical systems, vendor relationships, technical support, financial monitoring, and disaster recovery planning. I also manage our operating budget and direct activities of 18 IT staff. Our team is responsible for bringing patient care information to our clinicians promptly and accurately, where and when they need it using the right technology.”

IT Challenges

Doctors’ Center Hospitals had been relying on an EMC direct-attached storage (DAS) solution. “We just used to be a network attached storage (NAS) facility,” Rios explained. “We only used the hard drive space we had on our servers. This approach worked adequately for a while, but we were rapidly outgrowing that environment. We wanted to centralize our data center operations for all of the different hospitals. Running all of our applications from one site would simplify things for our small IT team.”

The Hospital’s IT department recently purchased additional bandwidth in an attempt to improve application performance. “Every time we added new applications to one of our remote hospitals, we had to increase the bandwidth of our network,” explained Rios. “But bandwidth is very expensive in Puerto Rico. We are currently spending over $7,000 each month for our wide area network between hospitals. We increased our bandwidth from 20 MB to 50 MB, but unfortunately, application performance for MEDITECH did not improve.”

Choosing Nutanix

Doctors’ Center Hospitals starting looking for a powerful 3-tier storage solution right after launching its MEDITECH EHR system. “We first heard about Nutanix when they announced the joint venture with Dell,” noted Rios. “We also noticed that Nutanix was named as a ‘visionary’ in Gartner’s Magic quadrant. All of the reviews we read confirmed that Nutanix was a high performance, cost-effective solution.”

The healthcare organization performed a virtual POC with Nutanix during the month prior to purchasing its first unit. After the very successful demo, they purchased a Nutanix NX-3460 system. Doctors’ Center Hospitals is now running the MEDITECH EHR system on Nutanix. In addition, three of its sites have now deployed VMware Horizon View virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) on the Nutanix platform. “We are subject to the same HIPAA requirements in Puerto Rico,” Rios stated. “With the virtual desktops, patient records are all stored centrally in a secure way. VDI helps us more easily meet our compliance regulations.”

When we eventually replace all of our legacy systems, we will have moved from 8U of legacy servers and storage, down to just 4U of Nutanix, enabling us to save a significant amount each month on power, facilities costs, and labor.”

Space and Power Savings

“We are very limited on infrastructure space, since the centralized server room for our hospitals is quite small,” Rios said. “The compact 2U Nutanix systems are a perfect fit for our data center. When we eventually replace all of our legacy systems, we will have moved from eight rack units of legacy servers and storage, down to just four racks of Nutanix, enabling us to save a significant amount each month on power, facilities costs, and labor.”

Lower Costs

“Just like every healthcare institution in Puerto Rico, we have to operate with limited IT budgets,” Rios shared. “Since every dollar counts, we have to make smart decisions on the type of technology we buy. Nutanix came in with a very cost-effective proposal for our MEDITECH and VDI environment. The Cisco UCS and EMC storage proposal was three times more expensive than the Nutanix solution for the same amount of capacity and power.”

Eliminating Latencies

“Nutanix is providing excellent performance for all of our virtual applications,” Rios said. “Our MEDITECH client is working much better now, with latencies consistently below the threshold of 3-5 milliseconds. We previously tried to improve system performance by adding bandwidth between our sites, but that didn’t solve the problem. Nutanix is providing all of the performance we need, without having to pay for the additional bandwidth.”

Ease of Administration

“I really like the Nutanix management simplicity,” explained Carlos Maysonet, corporate system administrator for Doctors’ Center Hospitals. “I don’t have to look around for the ‘who, what, and where’ of problems anymore—I can just go into the Nutanix Prism management console and see everything I need in one interface. We are using Prism for its analytics, and to see our usage and alerts. It helps us stay on top of our infrastructure status. With Nutanix, we just implement the solution and it works. We haven’t had the need to call Nutanix support yet, since the systems manage themselves.”

Relying on CP Corp

Doctors’ Center Hospitals enlisted the help of Nutanix partner CP Corp for the purchase and implementation of the solution. Alfredo Mena is a senior business consultant at CP Corp, Nutanix’s first Channel Partner in Puerto Rico. CP Corp has a strong reputation in the region for bringing innovative technologies to the region. For example, they were the first VMware Channel Partner to bring virtualization to Puerto Rico.

“When Doctors’ Center Hospitals saw how Nutanix performed during the demo, they were convinced it was the right choice for their environment,” noted Mena. “When they gave us their approval to purchase the first system, they told us we had to install it within 15 days. Pedro admitted that he was quite surprised that we could actually meet the aggressive deadline!”

Supporting a New Mobility Initiative

The Nutanix systems are now enabling Doctors’ Center Hospitals to launch several new IT initiatives.

“We are running a desktop mobility pilot, where we will be providing notebooks or tablets to all of our physicians,” Rios noted. “We are deploying MEDITECH EMR on VDI, and application virtualization with vCenter. Twenty physicians are using the system now, and if all goes well, we will expand access to 200 of our attending physicians over the next few months. In the near future, we are looking to move more of our financial and radiology applications to the virtual desktop platform. None of this would have been possible if we hadn’t migrated to Nutanix.”