“We now have a level of security we never thought possible with the added confidence that the knowledgeable VeriStor team is there looking over everything.” – DEAN UNDERWOOD, ATLANTA WOMEN’S HEALTH GROUP, PC

Atlanta Women’s Health Group, P.C. is the largest OB/GYN practice in the southeast. It is responsible for serving more than 100,000 patients, representing over 250,000 visits annually, and delivering approximately 9,000 babies each year. The health group provides comprehensive OB/GYN care from 30 locations throughout the Atlanta Metropolitan Area and has 460 employees, which include 62 physicians, 16 midwives (CNM), and 11 nurse practitioners (NP).

THE CHALLENGE

Atlanta Women’s Health Group has grown rapidly over the past decade as it continues to add more physician groups to its organization. However, each time a new group is added to its infrastructure, its IT staff also found that it had more and more servers to manage. Soon, server sprawl, with 30 to 40 physical servers, was impacting the health group’s overall system performance and manageability.

Yet, even more critical to Atlanta Women’s Health Group was the need to implement a failsafe disaster recovery solution for assured data availability. With all of its patient records in its online Electronic Medical Record (EMR) solution, system uptime for this organization is vital. Physicians need to be able to access patient medical histories at any time to make critical health decisions. System downtime simply isn’t an option. Atlanta Women’s Health Group’s technical environment includes:

  • 10 TB of stored data
  • 5 TB of replicated data
  • VMware Virtual Infrastructure
  • GE Centricity EMR Solution
  • VeriStor Cloud Continuity & First Call Support
“We were adding more and more groups and soon redundancy could no longer be in the background,” said Dean Underwood of Atlanta Women’s Health Group. “Assuring close to 100% uptime is critical for us, especially when you are running an EMR. Entire medical histories are electronic, so our systems can’t ever go down.”

THE SOLUTION

Atlanta Women’s Health Group began to evaluate solutions that could meet its recovery needs. What the health group found, however, was that most of the available solutions required significant investments in redundant hardware and storage that could be deployed in an off-site datacenter. This would require more time and resources than the health group wanted to invest and the processes would still be much more manual than they desired. That’s when they turned to VeriStor for suggested solutions. Atlanta Women’s Health Group had already engaged with VeriStor to architect a new virtual infrastructure to solve its server sprawl issues, but what they hadn’t considered was how valuable VeriStor’s Cloud Continuity service could be for their secure replication and recovery requirements.

“VeriStor demonstrated how easy and reliable their Cloud Continuity service is for data replication and recovery,” said Underwood. “We would be able to keep our existing IP addresses and failover in a minimal amount of time.”

So once Atlanta Women’s Health Group had its virtual infrastructure architected, it started a statement of work for VeriStor’s Cloud Continuity service to perform enterprise-class data replication, on-demand. The solution would reside in a secure SAS-70 / SSAE16-certified datacenter and be fully managed and monitored by VeriStor Virtual Infrastructure and Storage engineers. The health group decided to initially replicate 1TB of data, primarily for its EMR system. Yet, after seeing the how successful that was, they soon began replicating more than 5TB, covering their entire infrastructure.

THE RESULTS

As a result, Atlanta Women’s Health Group has achieved its goal of complete system recovery in under an hour, which includes their core medical records systems, Exchange messaging, SQL databases, and Active Directory authentication services. With VeriStor’s 24 x 7 network operations center (NOC) monitoring, the health group no longer needs to worry about downtime. Even more, the health group avoided the heavy capital costs of other replication solutions and now has a highly reliable solution for a small, predictable investment.

“For any organization considering cloud-based replication and recovery, I say ‘Go for it!’” said Underwood. “We now have a level of security we never thought possible with the added confidence that the knowledgeable VeriStor team is there looking over everything. In fact, they are so proactive that if I ever do see something on the network that needs attention, they are already on it. VeriStor delivered exactly what we needed.”