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Stratus Continuous Availability Solutions Keep Paperless Orthopedics Practice Running Smoothly

Armen Hareyan's picture

Paperless Orthopedics Practice

Stratus Technologies solutions are enabling medical practice to run completely paper-free by keeping its computerized information systems operating at more than 99.999 percent uptime.

The Orthopedic Center of St. Louis has not experienced any unscheduled downtime since migrating its practice and clinical management systems from a conventional server to a Stratus ftServer 4300. Stratus ftServer system's continuous availability ensures that the center's nine physicians and 77 staff members can retrieve patient records instantly with their portable touch screen "charts." The medical staff views and modifies digitized patient information over a wireless network that connects the electronic charts to the ftServer system. Computerized operations have replaced all but a small fraction of the center's paper records, and without it the medical staff is severely limited, according to IT Manager Ryan Bonner. The center chose Stratus when the conventional server crashed shortly after the paperless system went online.

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"We went completely paperless when we migrated to the Intergy practice and clinical management software from Sage Software, so when the system is down the staff can't look up patient records," Bonner said. "When the first server crashed it was a serious situation. We needed a much more reliable server platform and Sage recommended Stratus. It turned out to be the perfect recommendation for us. Clusters are not as reliable and RAID arrays can go down, but we haven't had any outages since we went with the Stratus server."

The Stratus Technologies ftServer family provides cost-effective access to fault-tolerant technology in markets as diverse as public safety, telecommunications and financial services. In the event of a component failure the ftServer family automatically provides zero failover time and protection for critical data in memory as well as on disk. The ftServer systems are based on industry-standard components and support the Windows and Linux operating systems. Backed by Stratus' ActiveService remote monitoring and maintenance services, Stratus servers provide uptime in excess of 99.999 percent.

Bonner finds Stratus' ActiveService architecture particularly helpful because it amounts to having "another staff member on call 24x7 to monitor the server," he said. The Orthopedic Center of St. Louis' ftServer system is constantly in touch with Stratus' service center, which monitors its performance. If the server has a problem, it alerts the service center, which either corrects the problem remotely or sends a "hot swappable" component to fix it. The orthopedic center's server self-diagnosed a problem and alerted the service center, which automatically sent the replacement component.

The part arrived via overnight delivery the following day and Bonner was able to swap in the new component in a few minutes. The ftServer, which comprises redundant components running in lockstep, continued to run the practice and clinical management systems with no interruption at any time, including during the replacement. When Bonner finished, the server automatically resynchronized and returned itself to full redundant operation.

"Continuous availability is growing into a major need in ambulatory and hospital based practices of all size as they computerize mission critical clinical and administrative processes," said Alan Gilbert, healthcare practice leader for Stratus. "Orthopedic Center of St. Louis chose to run Sage's Intergy EHR application on Stratus, as have more than 75 other medical practices, because ftServer systems deliver industry-leading continuous availability to healthcare IT environments where any interruption in their practice management or electronic medical record systems is simply unacceptable."