Meeting the Challenges of Long-Term Storage
Off-site storage solution delivers scalability, security, retrievability and seamless integration
Maria Parham Medical Center is a 102-bed community
hospital with associated physician clinics in Henderson,
North Carolina. With the area’s largest emergency
department and a number of specialties and technologies
unavailable at other local centers, Maria Parham serves as a
leader in medical care for the region.
The hospital recently decided to transition to a digital
records system, and started with diagnostic imaging.
However, implementing a PACS solution required
careful preparation and planning to handle compliant
storage, protection and recovery of exponentially
increasing amounts of data. Maria Parham selected
Iron Mountain’s Digital Record Center® for Medical
Images (DRCMI) over other solutions for its scalability,
cost-efficiency and comprehensive management of all
aspects of storage, maintenance and data restoration.
With Iron Mountain’s DRCMI, Maria Parham has the
peace of mind that all medical images in its PACS are
safely archived and easily recoverable.
The Challenge: Build the Foundation for PACS Implementation with Reliable, Secure Long-Term Storage Solution
As Maria Parham prepared to join the ranks of hospitals
migrating to Electronic Medical Records, its Information
Technology Department knew its ability to adapt quickly
to new demands would be paramount to creating a
foundation for success. Before the decision to implement
a Radiology PACS, Director of Information Technology
Randy Williams and his staff did not have to address
large-scale medical image archiving. This meant that
Maria Parham was starting from scratch when it came to
archiving and backing up digital medical images.
The new system for managing digital images created
challenges because the ever-expanding number of medical
images required a future-looking approach to manage the
collection, protection, storage and retrieval – no small task for the lean team’s initial foray into the world of digital
medical imaging. Without a compliant solution that could
grow as the hospital’s patient base grew, any investment in
the PACS would not be fully realized. With these criteria in
mind, the IT team at Maria Parham embarked on a search
for a provider to meet their needs.
"We all sleep a lot better at night
knowing Iron Mountain is behind
us. Success is really about long-term
comfort, and Iron Mountain provides
that safety net."
— Randy Williams, director of information
technology, Maria Parham Medical Center
The Solution:Iron Mountain's Digital Record Center for Medical Images Delivers a Hassle-Free, Cost-Effective and Scalable Solution
Maria Parham already worked closely with McKesson for
many of its technology needs and chose to implement the
company’s Horizon Medical Imaging™ PACS solution. When
researching alternatives for collecting and protecting digital
medical images, Maria Parham received advice regarding
both on-site and off-site storage options – including using
a tape library to house the patient image data. However,
these options required significant upfront capital expense
and additional investment of staff time to manage.
Because the PACS system had not yet been implemented, it
was difficult for Maria Parham to predict its exact storage
needs, meaning a flexible solution was essential.
After a thorough evaluation process, Iron Mountain’s Digital
Record Center for Medical Images stood out above the
rest for cost-efficient scalability, security, retrievability and
seamless integration with the McKesson PACS solution.
Iron Mountain’s DRCMI delivers off-site storage-as-aservice
that’s fully managed and pay-as-you-go, making it
more cost efficient than other solutions. Iron Mountain’s
solution also offers on-demand access so images are readily
available to medical staff when they need them.
"We really took a good hard look at all of our options," said
Maria Parham Senior Network Administrator Bill Dyer. "We
compared costs, how safely our data would be stored and
how easy it would be to recover. Iron Mountain’s solution
met all of our needs for storing, protecting, and restoring
our data and offered the price point we needed."
Implementing the DRCMI was straightforward: Maria
Parham estimated the number and size of the studies its
new PACS solution would manage, and Iron Mountain
and the hospital’s IT staff only had to connect a VPN
and install an on-site gateway server. Together, Iron
Mountain and the hospital tested the system to ensure
that it easily stored and retrieved files in a seamless,
hassle-free process. "It was very easy," said Williams.
The Results: Seamless, Reliable and Scalable Back-Up Provides Cost-Efficient Peace of Mind
"We all sleep a lot better at night knowing Iron Mountain
is behind us," said Williams. "Success is really about longterm
comfort, and Iron Mountain provides that safety
net. We have a strong disaster recovery and business
continuity backup plan, so we can feel confident our data
is protected and we can get it back rapidly."
This peace of mind comes from knowing that the
off-site storage infrastructure is managed by Iron Mountain
and Maria Parham’s data is stored in two geographically
separated underground data centers. The storage grid
maintains redundant copies of all data at all times; the
integrity of medical images is constantly verified; and the
system architecture allows for seamless failover to backup
operations in the event of a component failure at either data center. With the DRCMI, Maria Parham mitigates risks,
ensures compliance and has long-term disaster recovery
protection, which is especially important in hurricane-prone
North Carolina. "It's amazing how easy and straightforward
it is. We can get our data very easily and quickly even
though it's not stored locally," said Williams.
Iron Mountain’s unique on-demand managed service
model means that reliability does not come at the
expense of additional burden on Maria Parham’s IT
staff. In addition, Iron Mountain has developed a strong
partnership with McKesson so the two systems work
together seamlessly. "We don't have to worry about
maintaining hardware, replacing hardware due to
obsolescence or managing the archive storage process,"
said Williams. "With Iron Mountain, we didn’t have to hire
additional staff, and the solution frees up our manpower
so we can focus on the things that are most important."
Iron Mountain transforms what is typically a series of
large capital expenses into a budget-friendly monthly
operational expense. The benefits of this model are
scalability and cost-efficiency, and both are of the utmost
importance to Maria Parham.
"If we had built our own solution, it would have cost twice
as much over five years," said Williams. "Iron Mountain's
DRCMI is a very cost-efficient solution, and what's really
critical is that it grows as we grow. As our needs increase,
we can raise our budget incrementally, and Iron Mountain
adapts as we evolve."
Iron Mountain operates in major markets worldwide, serving thousands of customers
throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific.
For more information, visit our Web site at www.ironmountain.com.