IT Case Study: New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. Corporate Data Center consolidation
HHC, the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country, is a $6.7 billion integrated healthcare delivery system serving 1.3 million of the 8.1 million New Yorkers and provides medical, mental health and substance-abuse treatment services throughout its 11 acute-care hospitals, four skilled-nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 80 community based clinics.
The Corporate Data Center Consolidation Project was part of a $67 million capital and operational funded initiative designed to reduce the footprint of 11 hospital data centers dispersed throughout the five boroughs of New York, into two enterprise data centers that back up and replicate data across the wide area network.
This corporate initiative was designed to reduce cost, improve patient care, strengthen the corporation’s business continuity/disaster recovery plan and provide better data security. The project is projected to save the corporation about $88 million over the next five years in reduced maintenance costs, power consumption, equipment reduction and cooling requirements.
The two centralized enterprise data centers host HHC’s electronic medical-record system, picture archiving and communication systems, and more than 2,900 clinical and business databases that are used daily by well over 20,000 online users. To improve patient care, these data centers provide computerized physician order entry, which allows medical practitioners to electronically input instructions for the treatment of their patients. Our electronic patient registries monitor and improve the health of diabetic and heart disease patients across the 11-hospital system.
Virtualization is one of the energy-efficient technologies being used in this project. This technology allows HHC to drastically reduce the server footprint corporatewide, which reduces the overall consumption of energy for power and cooling and provides ongoing savings. This is a very green technology. In addition, the data center build uses industry best practices such as hot and cold aisles, cold locks and rack blanking panels to improve overall cooling efficiency and keep power costs down.
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“Data center consolidation is one of the most fundamental ways HHC will be able to lower costs of IT operations without compromising our ability to adopt advanced technology and progressive applications that support quality patient care and improve patient safety,” said HHC President Alan Aviles. “By concentrating technology resources into the larger facilities we will be able to operate a more reliable data transmission system that is not only cost-efficient but robust enough to support rapidly changing technology demands for many years to come.”
“Information technology’s mission is to support the needs of our users: clinicians and other staff at HHC. Our systems must be flexible enough to adapt to their demands while at the same time provide them with the data they need as rapidly as possible in a secure environment,” said Bert Robles, HHC senior vice president of information technology and corporate chief information officer.
“Consolidating our operations into two data centers allows us to better manage our overall IT environment with new comprehensive monitoring and management tools, reduce duplicate systems across the corporation, and reduce power consumption with the adoption of the latest technologies in this area.”
With the consolidated effort of the Infrastructure Services, Clinical Information Services, Service Management and Project Management Office, Information Technology Services was able to complete this project within a two-year time frame. The Corporate Data Center Consolidation Project has helped HHC achieve one of its corporate strategic goals, which is to improve patient safety, clinical effectiveness, efficiency, and enable the delivery of improved value to all customers.
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