Circumventing disaster long before it strikes.

Deaconess Health System in southern Indiana has been a client of OST for more than 10 years. OST assisted Deaconess with its initial Epic implementation in 2009. Deaconess has continued to grow as an organization by acquisition. In addition, they have expanded their offerings to provide Epic to other affiliated organizations using Community Connect model. They provide Epic services to fairly large hospitals around them as well as large ambulatory clinics.  

The Problem

Deaconess has two data centers today that were in the same geographic disaster envelope. If a natural disaster were to occur and take both data centers offline, it would impact their ability to provide patient care at their own facilities and a number of other facilities in southern Indiana. As they started to identify risk, Deaconess began to ask OST for ways to help them reduce that risk. That was how the conversation began: How do we reduce their risk in a disaster event that would affect their regional data centers? In the event of disaster that impacts data center, their ability to provide clinical care to patients may be impacted. Not only would it impact Deaconess owned facilities, but it could impact fairly large percentage of healthcare organizations in southern Indiana that aren’t even part of Deaconess Health.  

Our Solution

First OST conducted an assessment to understand their current capacity needs and environment as well as what their desired state was. One of Deaconess’ main concerns was they wanted a solution in DR that wasn’t just for Epic but could also bring the whole ecosystem online. If OST was to move to an Azure environment, what capacity would Deaconess want the DR environment to support? Does it need to support 100 percent of their applications or just a portion of it? As part of our assessment, OST identified another 25 critical applications, in addition to Epic, that are part of that overall critical patient care workflow.  

The end result of the assessment was a recommendation that they use Azure for the entire DR environment beginning with establishing a tertiary copy of their environment in Azure.  As OST grows that environment and capabilities in Azure, Deaconess will start to reduce its investment in their current DR data center infrastructure will the goal of eventually having a single data center with all disaster recovery in the cloud. 

The Results

A few of the Deaconess Health’s critical applications are not yet capable of running in Azure due to size or platform restrictions. OST proposed a hybrid model where Deaconess will procure a colo space that is cloud adjacent.  This is one of the most unique challenges that OST has architected a solution for.  

OST has built their Cloud Foundation and implemented their DR replica of their production Epic operational database. Deaconess wanted a managed solution as a service. In the event that there is a catastrophic event that causes data centers to go offline, their staff will be concerned with pressing issues. Ultimately, Deaconess desired a solution managed by OST that would allow OST to bring the systems online with minimal involvement Deaconess’ IT staff. 

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OST has the staff and skillset and the certified Epic operational database administrators to be able to manage and handle this work on our Managed Services team. This is a multiteam effort involving the cloud team, Managed Services and members of App Dev involved. It’s truly a cross practice solution at OST. The solution integrates with the client’s application processes seamlessly.

Clients keep coming to OST because we bring decades of business and consulting experience into every project we undertake. If you want help solving for the complex challenges your business is facing, we’d love to start a conversation!