Kootenai Health migrates to Nutanix to ease administration and consolidate healthcare records onto a scalable, flexible, dependable platform.
As a regional medical referral center, Kootenai Health provides a comprehensive range of medical services to patients throughout the Inland Northwest.
Kootenai is constantly exploring paths to innovation, to give its healthcare providers and staff members access to the most advanced tools and technologies. To provide a more scalable, agile foundation for its electronic medical records (EMR) and other applications, Kootenai migrated to the Nutanix Cloud Platform, including Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure, Nutanix Unified Storage/Files Storage, and Flow Network Security.
The new solution operates on-premises and lets care providers securely access the applications they need from any web browser, using VDI. The consolidated platform provides centralized, real-time visibility into the state of the provider’s environment for faster, easier administration, and can scale up or down quickly when needs change.
|Scalable business agility
|Real-time visibility from a single, consolidated
HCI gives administrators immediate insight into network performance
|Flow Network Security supports microsegmentation
to help organizations comply with healthcare data privacy requirements
|Leading-edge platform provides scalability and
flexibility to support new services and facilities as needed.
Nutanix provides the real-time visibility we need to assess the performance of our environment and applications, which helps us provide a better experience to providers and physicians. It’s stable, and trustworthy for patient care.
Located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Kootenai Health serves patients through a 330-bed, community hospital. The organization also supports more than 200 employed providers across more than 25 clinical specialties, including family medicine, cardiology, orthopedics, surgery, and more.
The network infrastructure is fundamental to supporting all of Kootenai’s most important clinical applications, such as medical records and administrative tools.
“We’ve had a highly virtualized environment for quite some time, supporting about 14 different EMRs in our environment, including a system for our hospital as well as a variety of outpatient offerings,” said Fulton, Executive Director of Information Technology Services at Kootenai Health.
Kootenai is relentlessly focused on innovation and business agility, and as the organization prepared to upgrade its EMR solutions, its IT team found that the timing was right to enhance its infrastructure as well.
“We made a decision to upgrade to Epic EMR software running on VDI,” said Fulton. “As we were building out the infrastructure that would support our current state and our future state, we started a bake-off to determine which infrastructure would give us the best solution with the most scalable, long-term value for the cost.”
After considering a variety of solutions, Kootenai Health decided to migrate its existing environment to the Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure.
The changeover happened fast, and less than 12 months after the purchase was approved by the Kootenai Health board, the deployment was complete.
“We built a new environment on Nutanix, then rolled it out to the hospital and all of our clinics,” said Fulton. “Then, when it was time to move to Epic, we didn’t have to introduce too many changes at once. Nutanix was an awesome partner, and we had our solution up and running in very short order.”
Residing on-premises, the Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure enables Kootenai’s four dedicated engineers to support 1,100 virtual desktops, utilizing a single, hyperconverged platform.
Now healthcare providers and administrators can access Epic EMR software from any device, via VDI, to update patient records securely, using any device with a web browser.
With Nutanix Files, Kootenai avoided data fragmentation and storage sprawl by deploying a single platform simplifying management with single-click automation.
Kootenai Health recently added Flow microsegmentation to its portfolio to allow its Citrix users role-based access to IT resources. In addition, microsegmentation will help move Kootenai Health closer to the overall goal of zero trust within the organization.
“Using a fully hyperconverged infrastructure instead of securing different elements of the infrastructure – such as storage, compute, and the network – lets us simplify our security footprint and make it more consistent,” said Fulton.
Migrating to Nutanix has unlocked a new level of visibility for Kootenai Health, which translates into simpler management, improved stability, and a superior user experience.
“Performance is always based on the end-user experience, and with Nutanix, we can show them how the environment is functioning based on metrics and data,” said Fulton. “This really helps our discussions with providers and physicians and demonstrates that we have invested in an environment that is strategically sound for the organization.”
Kootenai plans to leverage Active/Active Nutanix Unified Storage in the near future to provide a fully redundant system between both of its data centers.
With Nutanix Unified Storage, Kootenai deployed a single platform that can scale out to hundreds of file servers and thousands of shares to meet their growing data needs. Bite-sized storage infrastructure helped Kootenai to acquire storage capacity and expand later as needed.
The solution has also positioned Kootenai for better business agility, enabling the organization to rapidly expand the solution as its service and technology needs change.
“In terms of agility, the solution has been great,” said Fulton. “We were able to roll out what we scoped to hit our target, and the solution makes it easier to budget for growth. It really helps our IT team as well, when we need to request additional financing. It has demonstrated that we are applying the most advanced technology to improve our data center capabilities.”
Nutanix has provided consistently strong services and technical support for the solution, enabling the organization to unlock the full value of its solution quickly.
“All of our interactions, from sales to implementation and engineering have all been fantastic,” said Fulton. “There’s still a lot to unlock in our Nutanix journey, such as taking advantage of cloud workloads. It has enabled us to meet our current objectives, and provided a path forward.”
With its scalable, future-ready Nutanix Cloud Platform in place, Kootenai Health has established a foundation that can easily grow and evolve as its healthcare service needs change.