Interior Health Transforms Patient Care with Converged Infrastructure

Look at any sector of the global economy today and you’ll find a common theme of striving to do more with less. Healthcare is no exception. But what does more mean when it comes to people’s health and wellness? Most providers would agree that it means making patient care safer and more effective and providing clinicians with tools to work more efficiently and build stronger bonds with their patients.

Doing all this with tighter budgets is no easy task. As highlighted in a white paper posted on Healthcare IT News, keeping up with the demands is precipitating significant change in healthcare IT. On the infrastructure level, we’re seeing a strong move away from technology siloes toward virtualized converged infrastructures. These environments are more efficient, easier to manage, and able to adapt quickly to change.

At Interior Health, we’ve already reaped the benefits of such a transformation, particularly for our MEDITECH environment. We serve a geographically widespread and diverse region covering almost 215,000 square kilometers across the southern interior of British Columbia in Canada. MEDITECH touches nearly every corner of our organization, including electronic health records, lab, pharmacy, health information management, general accounting, human resource planning, and supply chain management. It’s the backbone of our healthcare business.


The problem was our MEDITECH footprint was growing rapidly, from 17 to more than 240 servers in four years. Our previous siloed infrastructure simply couldn’t keep up with that growth or the performance requirements of the latest MEDITECH release. And our small IT staff spent most of their time fighting fires to make sure everything stayed up and running.  If technology was going to be a true enabler and champion of patient care, we had to modernize our infrastructure. That meant adopting converged technologies and increasing automation.

After careful consideration, we selected Vblock Systems as the standard converged infrastructure for MEDITECH and several other clinical and business applications. We were impressed that Vblock Systems were certified by MEDITECH and particularly pleased with VCE’s genuine commitment to working with us to ensure a successful implementation.

Since deploying Vblock Systems, we’ve taken MEDITECH to a whole new level. For example, MEDITECH application response time is now much faster. This helps clinicians with their productivity and responsiveness to patients.  VCE Release Compatibility Matrix (RCM) assurance also helped us increase MEDITECH availability by ensuring release consistency across infrastructure components and without incurring downtime for updates and patches. It also eliminated potential healthcare-related impacts, such as delayed patient care or rescheduled surgeries.

We’ve improved efficiency in IT, too. Instead of days or weeks, we now can deploy new applications in minutes so clinicians and administrators can access the latest features and better serve their patients. Plus, because converged infrastructure management is so much easier than traditional infrastructures, our staff has more time and capacity to take on additional projects and deliver more innovation to the business.

One area of innovation that soon will prove crucial in enhancing the patient experience is a patient portal, which is part of our cloud strategy that we’ve implemented on the Vblock System. With our patient portal, people anywhere in southern interior will gain even more convenient access to healthcare information and services.  While this is just one example, the key point here is that with a virtualized, converged infrastructure, IT can adapt to new business demands more quickly and cost efficiently. Most importantly, we can deliver the services and innovations to provide a positive patient experience, and ultimately better patient care.

Read our case study to find out more about how we’ve been able to bring new levels of performance and efficiency to the entire organization.

About the Author: Mark Braidwood