What You Should Know:
– McKinsey reports that cloud capabilities have the potential to generate a value of $100 billion to $170 billion for healthcare companies in 2030. The cloud enables healthcare companies to innovate, digitize and realize their strategic goals.
Technological Solutions For Improving Patient Care and Health Management
eClinicalWorks is a national innovation leader with cloud-based solutions for electronic health records (EHR), practice management, patient engagement, and population health management. Whether the company is supporting ambulatory practices, specialists, healthcare centers, urgent care facilities, or hospital systems, one thing is certain—more businesses are signing up every day and taking advantage of its comprehensive tools for managing electronic health and medical records. But sustaining a high level of growth demands the appropriate capacity to manage the influx of data and network traffic.
Here’s how eClinicalWorks began working with Microsoft Azure to remove digital roadblocks, deploy new applications faster, and increase customer satisfaction with its healthcare IT solutions:
Identifying Microsoft Azure as the perfect fit: Under its traditional colocation hosting model, eClinicalWorks needed to buy more servers, hardware, and data storage as it introduced new customers. In addition to driving up costs, this process slowed growth and required IT teams to increasingly dedicate time to managing new hardware installations and customer migrations. “We took a step back and asked, ‘Is this the model that we want to live in?’ We decided we wanted to reduce the overall management of our hardware and monitoring of our services by moving to the public cloud,” says Bharat Satyanarayan, Vice President of Technology and Quality Assurance at eClinicalWorks. The company sought a cloud solution that’s compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and could meet the company’s requirements for scalability, security, and storage. Its search led it to Microsoft Azure. The healthcare IT leader has since moved its EHR platform to Azure in a seamless migration to Azure Virtual Machines and Azure Disk Storage.
Tapping into enhanced reliability and Microsoft support: eClinicalWorks’ electronic medical record and practice management system serves as an end-to-end technology platform for providers and is the industry-leading patient relationship management software. Using the Patient Portal and healow Patient Engagement tools, patients can review their personal health records, communicate virtually with their providers, schedule and confirm appointments, access prescriptions, and take advantage of other hands-on services online. Providers can also manage patient scheduling, charting, insurance payments, billing, communicate with patients, and conduct virtual consultations using a single, integrated solution. After evaluating Azure and competing cloud platform providers, eClinicalWorks was drawn to Azure for the straightforward setup, ease of use, and dedicated support from Microsoft experts. The company worked closely with an Azure development team to migrate massive amounts of eClinicalWorks-hosted data to the cloud, including millions of small but unstructured data files, such as faxed or scanned medical documents.
Using Microsoft Solutions: eClinicalWorks manages more than 2,200 Azure virtual machines (VMs) spread over multiple regions, and primarily depends on compute and memory optimization for running its Java applications and SQL Server databases. In a typical SQL cluster, the company has two VMs deployed in zone redundancy and one for disaster recovery in a different region, which enhances the availability and reliability of the application in the cloud. In addition to the on-demand scalability, flexibility, and speed and performance enhancements it gets from Azure VMs, eClinicalWorks particularly values the ability to give customers the same high-quality service without interruptions or data leakage.
Completing its cloud migration and accelerating time to market: Customers can now take advantage of new and continually emerging capabilities including contactless patient check-ins and electronic payments using Azure Event Hubs, while also enjoying more stable and predictable performance with their eClinicalWorks’ solutions. And with the flexibility of Azure and its ability to support rapid innovation, eClinicalWorks is deploying these innovative features into its customer offerings faster than it was able to deliver new capabilities in the past—often in weeks versus months or years. In addition to optimizing its operating speed, eClinicalWorks has accelerated time to market for new physical hardware from three months in its previous colocation model to a maximum of two weeks with Azure, including security and compliance checks. This has already helped the company add new customers and deploy new applications faster than previously possible.
eClinicalWorks is continuing its cloud transformation as it explores deploying more native Azure services for added ease of management, in addition to new applications for technologies like AI and machine learning. “We’re extremely happy that we moved to Azure as the heart of our applications,” concludes Satyanarayan. “Azure has been a big step for us, and we foresee a great future with it.”