Pella Regional Health Center

Topics: Healthcare IT Management

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Pella Regional Health Center case study - Iron Mountain

Streamline Storage Costs in an Era of Exponential Data Growth


Traditional data storage models may hinder cost reduction initiatives, diminish disaster recovery efficiency and strain valuable IT time and resources


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


  • Reduce storage costs by an expected 44%
  • Improve clinician and radiologist satisfaction through timely access to data
  • Minimize time spent on storage management, enabling staff to focus on strategic initiatives
  • Enhance disaster preparedness by moving data offsite

Pella Regional Health Center is a nonprofit healthcare provider that delivers healing services with Christian compassion in the heart of the Midwest. Since its doors opened in 1960, Pella has grown from an acute care facility into a healthcare system that includes a twenty-five bed hospital, outpatient services and seven medical clinics.

Keeping Costs Down

Like the majority of providers in today’s healthcare landscape, Pella has been affected by healthcare reform, which is driving many changes in the way healthcare organizations are reimbursed. With reimbursements declining for providers, Pella was challenged to reduce costs and increase efficiencies wherever possible.

When Pella looked to address these concerns, the hospital realized that its current storage environment was not optimized to meet its growing needs. With new patients and more volume from its satellite clinics, the hospital’s imaging department continued to grow and, in turn, the resulting storage became increasingly complex to manage.

In addition to this growing volume, the hospital introduced advanced imaging technologies, which generated larger file sizes with increased resolution. This required Pella to continually purchase and manage additional storage — putting further pressure on staff and already strained budgets. According to Pella’s IT Support Manager, Ian Moore, in order to keep costs as low as possible, a new approach was needed.

“Our traditional storage model required repeated outlays for large capital purchases. We were purchasing storage ahead of our need; tying up those funds for other uses, and sometimes the storage wasn’t utilized for years later.”

-Ian Moore, IT Support Manager, Pella Regional Health Center

“We needed more storage for our environment,” Moore said. “I had to ask myself if we could do things better, and if there was a better way to save money in the process.”

Additionally, Pella was replicating to a second data center located in the same geographic region as its primary, which left them susceptible to natural disasters like tornadoes.

“If a tornado takes out our main facility, all of our satellite clinics still need to operate,” Moore said. “We needed to have a copy of our data offsite and separated from our primary storage.”

Moving Storage Offsite to Enhance Efficiency, Cost-Effectiveness and Disaster Preparedness

Pella evaluated various solutions that would help minimize the impact to its capital budget, enhance its disaster preparedness and improve service levels provided to its clinicians and radiologists.

During this evaluation process, Pella was introduced to the concept of cloud based storage by McKesson, as they had been using McKesson Radiology™. Pella considered the costs of cloud-based storage, versus the costs to expand its existing environment, and discovered there were significant power, cooling, operational and maintenance costs involved in upgrading its current data management system.

“We did a total cost of ownership analysis with the anticipated costs over five years and calculated a 44 percent anticipated savings over the term,” Moore said.


The hospital implemented a hybrid configuration of the cloud storage solution, enabling Pella to reduce capital costs, and improve disaster recovery and efficiency concerns.

“We were able to keep some storage onsite and archive older data to the cloud,” Moore said. “This eliminated any concerns about network bandwidth, and also allowed us to keep a copy onsite for our own peace of mind.”

By choosing the partnership with Iron Mountain and McKesson, Pella was able to enhance its disaster preparedness and reduce costs. More importantly, Pella was able to minimize the time its IT resources spent planning and managing storage, so it could focus on more strategic clinical initiatives. Lastly, Pella was able to improve clinician, radiologist and, ultimately, patient satisfaction through timely and consistent accessibility to its medical image data.

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