In the healthcare industry, time is the difference between life and death. Which is why we at VMware have taken a leap forward in assisting medical staff in saving time. We have launched our first application-oriented analytics system, Care Systems Analytics that is aimed specifically at the healthcare industry.
We have geared vCentre Operations Manager (vSOM) to extract key information from the Epic electronic medical records system, an EMR system that interacts with other healthcare systems 1.25 million times in a month to exchange patient information. Our American colleagues are using vSOM to extract key metrics from Epic, analyse them and present results on a dashboard. For example, a doctor or an IT manager can check the amount of time it takes an emergency room doctor to call up a patient record. If there is a delay that could cause a possible impairment to timely delivery of care, IT managers receive an alert and get on the case before doctors or nurses in the emergency room call in to complain of long wait times.
Similar monitoring can take place in other parts of the hospital, including the admitting office, the operating room, and workstations where doctors making their rounds checking patient charts. Each can be geared to the schedules and expected latencies that are tolerable in each area of operations.
At VMware we believe that we are all a part of patient care and as such have hired a number of healthcare experts during the last three years. They may have previously thought of themselves as IT staff or operations managers in a healthcare facility, but now they’re working on a system with only one goal – to improve patient care.
Include? (VMware now has a CTO of healthcare solutions, Frank Nydam, a VMware veteran employee of 10 years, and a chief strategist for healthcare, Bill Hudson, a former CTO of Kettering Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. Four or five other specialists are part of the vCloud for Health Care Solutions unit as well, Koerner says.)
Healthcare professionals in the U.S. are using vSOM to collect data and analyse it, in the healthcare field. They’ve started with the Epic electronic medical records system with its 315 users. vSOM can monitor queries for records, understand behaviours and set thresholds of acceptable response times. For example, it’s not uncommon for EMR systems to see a spike in activity at 8 a.m. Monday morning as a fresh shift starts the workweek in hospitals. Knowing what the response time of the Epic system should be at that time helps the IT staff understand the health of the system and spot trouble when it starts to develop.
IT staffers are using our vCloud for Health Care Solutions product (that includes vSOM) to monitor whether response time latencies are normal or are lengthening. If they are getting longer, vSOM collects other data on the infrastructure that may supply clues about why that’s so. Is the network moving data normally? Is the number of queries abnormally high, or are I/O response-times abnormally slow? The answer can point IT in the right direction to improve system performance.
A healthcare professional in the U.S. has said that his eight years in healthcare information systems, combined with our key position in the data centre, put his company in a position to produce specialised analytic systems for healthcare and other vertical markets. At VMware we have also developed sales units orientated toward government and education.
We know that what vCloud for Health Care Solutions can do now doesn’t define what it will be able to do in the future. This is just the starting point. In its next phase, it will integrate results from VMware Log Insight, a server log analysis system, which will allow further analysis of healthcare system performance.