Mon General Hospital

Topics: Healthcare IT Management

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Mon General Hospital Case Study - Iron Mountain

Optimizing Storage to Reduce Cost and Enhance Efficiency

CHALLENGE:

Reduce the costs and inefficiencies of managing traditional storage, and better prepare for natural disasters

SOLUTION:

McKesson Medical Imaging Professional Services™ Hosted Storage service, powered by Iron Mountain®

VALUE:

  • Improve response time to radiologists retrieving data from 45 minutes to less than one minute
  • Reduce costs and increase efficiencies
  • Minimize resources to manage storage processes
  • Enhance disaster preparedness by moving data offsite to a safe and secure location

Established in 1943, Mon Gen Hospital in Monongalia County has been committed to providing personalized care and service with compassion and respect to the residents of north-central West Virginia and the surrounding areas. With this commitment to delivering the best care possible, Mon General has been continually challenged to reduce costs and increase efficiencies wherever possible, especially in light of changes driven by healthcare reform. Consequently, when its existing picture archiving and communication system (PACS) storage reached near capacity, it was time to look for a new solution.

“Ten years ago when PACS was in its infancy, we started with tape-based backups. As the years went by, the tapes kept accumulating. We had thousands of tapes stored on our campus, and it was our only backup solution.”

-Mike DeMaske, Imaging Systems Administrator, Mon General Hospital

Manually retrieving patient data from storage was a time-consuming process that could take 30 to 40 minutes for each request. Mon General knew it needed to reexamine this solution to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. The hospital was trying to improve this turnaround time for patient data, especially because the tapes were stored offsite in a building adjacent to the facility, which further impacted turnaround times and increased the risk of the tapes being misplaced.

In addition to improving service levels for the radiologists, Mon General knew the importance of keeping its patient data protected. Therefore, the hospital needed to make sure it had a solution that would help it recover in the event of a disaster.

Storage Reinvented: A New Approach

As a result, Mon General decided to look for alternatives that could help to overcome these obstacles. The hospital conducted interviews with several vendors, and even looked into building its own IT solution, which ultimately proved to be very cost-prohibitive.

During this selection process, Mon General was introduced to a hybrid cloud-based solution by its long-standing medical imaging solutions partner, McKesson. According to DeMaske, the hospital completed several cost analyses with different vendors and McKesson’s Hosted Storage stood out from the rest, saving it approximately $80,000 in the first year compared with the closest competitor.

“McKesson Hosted Storage powered by Iron Mountain was very straightforward,” DeMaske said. “It was a cost per gigabyte. But other vendors had different cost scenarios [...] and it was really hard comparing apples and oranges.”

Results

By leveraging the Hosted Storage solution, Mon General was able to dramatically improve turnaround time for retrieving patient data, while enhancing disaster preparedness, information security and overall efficiency. And according to DeMaske, McKesson and Iron Mountain helped make it a smooth transition.

“We considered implementing a disk-based solution to build out a remote data center. However, when we checked into that further, we were looking at a couple million dollars.”

-Mike DeMaske, Imaging Systems Administrator, Mon General Hospital

Initially there were some concerns about the security and control with a cloud-based solution but, after visiting the Iron Mountain underground facility, Mon General was impressed with both the physical and network security that Iron Mountain provided.

“McKesson has always been the standard that we’ve held all of our other solutions against,” DeMaske said. “Their customer service has always been number one and we always trust that any McKesson partner would be just as good.”


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