Healthcare industry is striving to become a top-class service industry like any other service industry. More it has to do with the life of the people that makes it even more important and critical.
As per the current trends, hospitals are merging to provide a world class healthcare service in an affordable price to its patients. The healthcare industry is evolving day by day accompanied with the technology innovations to provide its patients the fastest and the most efficient service. Enterprise software, mobiles, network, processors, storage, etc. all are in the race to contribute to this innovation or upliftment of the healthcare industry.
Here Epic is the front runner in understanding most of the needs of the healthcare industry and has developed a sophisticated suite of the software products that will serve patients better. It has a large suite of products for managing patient, clinical, laboratory, billing, etc. Epic is well known for it’s EHR software and is the industry leader from a long time. Being at top is not easy as they have a very stringent software design and requirements that the ecosystem around it needs to meet. Epic uses InterSystems Caché database for its operational database and it has a requirement of a very high response time from the storage. So whatever the numbers of IOs they should be completed within the stipulated time set by Epic.
In the past few years, the EHR solutions has moved from using SAS drives to SDDs using Flash but using SCSI protocol. Now the storage industry is taking a technology shift for the good. Storage industry is slowly but surely has started adopting the new industry standard i.e. NVMe. NVMe has already begun to make the noise and will eventually replace SCSI for flash based solutions. Most of the storage industry has already started providing solutions around it and IBM too has announced IBM FlashSystem 9100 using its own patented FlashCore Modules having NVMe interfaces as well as support for industry-standard NVMe drives from the other vendors.
IBM Spectrum Virtualize software (popularly known as IBM SAN Volume Controller) is the heart of IBM FlashSystem 9100 capitalizing all the rich and latest hardware technologies that IBM FlashSystem 9100 has. IBM Spectrum Virtualize brings along all the advanced, well known and proven functions like Easy Tier, Remote Mirroring, FlashCopy, etc. with IBM FlashSystem 9100 making it more sophisticated and advanced storage platform.
So how does it make a difference to Epic EHR solution? It does a lot. Firstly, with NVMe interface the performance gets boost. Secondly with IBM FlashCore Modules, lot of storage capacity can be saved using compression that does not have any impact on the application performance. Below is the screenshot of the dashboard of the IBM FlashSystem 9100 demonstrating just a glimpse of the compression and savings when 60TB of Epic’s operational database was created and fully allocated FlashCopy mappings were created.
For more information on Epic EHR solution with IBM FlashSystem 9100, refer this link.
Disclaimer: Above are my personal thoughts and not necessarily of my employer.