Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre Safeguards Patient Data with Dell EMC Data Protection for VMware

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Co-authored by Cynthia Cooper, Senior Advisor, Customer Reference, Dell EMC and Sal De Masi, Director, DPS Practice, North America, Teknicor

Founded in 1891, Ontario’s 319-bed Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) sees 435,000 patients a year, including 84,000 emergency visits. These patients incur 1.3 million laboratory tests and 176,000 imaging tests. More than 2,100 babies are delivered and 13,000 surgeries performed. With this volume of patients, RVH generates massive amounts of patient data that needs both management and, importantly, comprehensive protection.

In 2015, RVH decided that to realize its strategic plan and prepare for continued data growth in years to come, it needed to upgrade its IT infrastructure. For help, it called in its long-time electronic health records (EHR) partner Teknicor, a full-service international IT solutions provider with offices in Toronto, Boston, London, Dublin and San Juan. Teknicor has a reputation for unmatched end-to-end execution and has been recognized with numerous Dell EMC partner of the year awards (2014–2017).

Teknicor knew RVH’s IT infrastructure well, from the data centre to nurses’ stations to patient bedsides. That’s because, several years before, it helped RVH deploy its MEDITECH EHR software system — one of the hospital’s biggest sources of data along with imaging.

Moving to a Modern SDDC Model

But Teknicor also knew that incremental improvements in the data centre would fall short of the future flexibility and, especially, scalability it would need, so RVH agreed to implement a recommended software-defined data center (SDDC).

As part of the SDDC deployment, Teknicor also recommended comprehensive, fully automated Dell EMC data protection using the “better together” Data Domain storage with Data Domain Boost software, plus the Data Protection for VMware software suite. This SDDC-oriented approach to data protection was especially critical because RVH’s virtual infrastructure consisted of as many as 1,000 virtual machines.

With the integrations of Data Domain and DD Boost, RVH was able to accelerate its backup speeds. So, combined with deduplication that the hospital previously lacked,

Reducing Backup Windows

RVH’s new Dell EMC data protection has also helped reduce its backup window to where multiple full backups are performed on the same day. This enables RVH administrators to achieve shorter recovery-time objectives (RTOs) and recovery-point objectives (RPOs) — both important criteria for critical applications, especially its MEDITECH EHR solution.

In addition, RVH is conserving storage space on its Dell EMC Data Domain space. This gives the hospital a much lower cost per terabyte in terms of storage of its virtual machines on backup disks than before.

Agility and flexibility are important benefits, too. With the tight integration of both the Dell EMC Data Domain hardware and the Data Protection for VMware software suite, RVH administrators can invoke the “instant access” feature in this solution should a virtual machine in the production environment be corrupted. This allows them to access and use the backup virtual machines stored in Data Domain in a degraded fashion until they can restore the production versions.

Big Savings in Money and Time

At this point, RVH has saved money that was previously being spent on continually adding storage because they couldn’t deduplicate. Now those cost savings allow the hospital to redirect dollars into other IT areas and give time back to administrators to take on other challenges.

At RVH and other healthcare providers Teknicor supports, data availability translates into giving them greater confidence in treating patients.  In the event of a ransomware or other malicious attack, being able to reproduce data that ultimately belongs to patients directly translates into being able to provide them with better access and better care. It’s extremely important for healthcare IT staffs to understand that.

Check out a short video about the Dell EMC data protection solution that Teknicor developed for RVH.

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1 Forrester report, commissioned by Dell Technologies, ‘Priorities & Purchase Process of Medium Size ITDMs’, February 2019.

2 Forrester report, Exec Summary: ‘Faster Server Refresh Cycles Boost Innovation and Security for Mid-Market Businesses’, May 2019.

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