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Home / Case Studies / IT Consulting Services Help a Medical Center Improve Operational Performance and Patient Safety
May 17, 2016 - by Synoptek
Services: IT Consulting
A month-long series of IT failures was the final straw for this remote medical center. Realizing the risk to patient safety, they sought out a partner who could reduce their cost while improving their infrastructure and operational service levels.
Middle Park Medical Center (MPMC), a 25-bed critical access hospital system has been serving patients in the remote areas of Grand and northern Summit County, Colorado, since 1933. Both of their hospitals, located in Kremmling and Granby, are designated as Level IV Trauma Centers. MPMC also operates three family practice clinics, all committed to providing the highest quality community care.
The Month That Broke the Camel’s Back As with all healthcare facilities, MPMC was confronted by rapidly rising IT monitoring, management, and maintenance costs. Outages were not uncommon, delays were frequent, and this puts their ability to maintain HIPAA compliance in jeopardy. Six IT staffers rotated around the clock to manage, remediate, and address the increasing number of system performance issues and outage incidents with their IT infrastructure.
“An IT outage in this environment can be a huge patient safety issue,” points out Trampas Hutches, Chief Information Officer at MPMC. Clearly, MPMC needed a change in strategy to protect their patients, their operations, and their HIPAA compliance strategy. Then came the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. As Hutches puts it, “We suffered a month-long series of outages and other IT challenges.” The time had come to revisit and replace MPMC’s “ancient infrastructure” and find a way to provide constant, effective support. What became most clear was that MPMC would need a highly competent partner to help them replace just about everything and then support the new environment.
This initiative required an extensive search and comprehensive assessment to find the right partner who would combine the design and deployment capabilities as well as the ongoing support resources required. At the end of this process, MPMC made the decision to engage Synoptek.
An IT outage in this environment can be a huge patient safety issue
Solution and Approach
Synoptek began by using their advanced monitoring tools along with their 24×7 Service Desk automation platform to quickly identify devices that required immediate attention. Synoptek also conducted the extensive and intensive discovery process required to establish a baseline for future performance comparison, and to assure that all challenges were properly and effectively addressed by their plan.
Upon plan approval, remediation was implemented swiftly for all underperforming units. Ultimately MPMC’s entire infrastructure was completely replaced and refreshed providing MPMC with the performance and stability they were seeking for their IT environment.
Baseline data collected during the assessment phase was compared to new system metrics which clearly demonstrated noticeable enhancements in many key performance categories. Beyond immediately measurable cost reductions and efficiency improvements, this new IT environment contributed to a significant improvement in patient care, as well as improved security for their electronic medical records (EMR).
“Right now,” announces Trampas Hutches, “our infrastructure is a Ferrari, one of the best IT infrastructures that any organization can have.” Beaming with pride, Hutches adds, “I know of $2.9 Billion dollar organizations that wish they had the infrastructure we have today.” The true measure of any system is how well and how reliably it performs over time. Hutches reports, “We have not had one incident of large system failures like we had before Synoptek joined us. Our EMR system stays up and running all the time.” Knowing that user satisfaction is a most important metric for him and his entire department, Hutches continues, noting, “From a usability standpoint and a physician and staff member standpoint they have the confidence that the system is going to work every time they turn on their computer.”
Significant improvement in patient care, as well as improved security.
Hutches is most impressed by Synoptek’s professionality and responsiveness over time, stating, “Their responsiveness is second to none. Synoptek provides us with a ‘Virtual CTO’. Any time I had any strategic areas I needed expertise in, or help planning for down the road, they were able to quickly and efficiently give us exactly the help we needed.”
Synoptek provides MPMC with a fully managed “IT Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)”, including 24×7 Managed Services and Help Desk Synoptek and Middle Park Medical Center The Relationship is Everything Services. From a cost standpoint? “We have reduced from six IT staff members to two, and from aging infrastructure to the best available. Synoptek’s 24×7 Help Desk services provide quick resolutions to any outstanding user-based issues, getting users back to work and more productive much more quickly than ever before.”
“When they say they care about your business, they really do, acknowledges Hutches. “They make sure you make the best IT decisions, and make sure that you’re taken care of. We’re partnered with somebody who really wants to make sure we succeed. Without IT success and the things Synoptek does for us, we wouldn’t be able to function as an organization.” Regarding the ongoing and growing relationship between Synoptek and Middle Park Medical Center, Hutches concludes, “This improvement in MPMC’s IT operations permits us to now focus on providing excellent healthcare to our communities through safe, personalized and quality services.”
Synoptek and Middle Park Medical Center The Relationship is Everything.
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