Baptist Health to select Data General's advanced NUMA servers to sustain expansive growth

Montgomery 10 January 2000Baptist Health has chosen AViiON servers from Data General, a Division of EMC Corporation, to accommodate both its rapid growth and its increased commitment to the community it serves. Data General's advanced NUMA technology has enabled Baptist Health to substantially upgrade its Hospital Information System (HIS) in order to support hundreds of new users and additional hospital beds, as it has been extended from a single hospital to a health system including over 1100 beds, 1500 users, and multiple sites.


Because Baptist Health had experienced enormous growth over the last five years, it needed proven technology from a partner it could trust. The organisation had recently purchased four hospitals, a same day surgery centre, a nursing home and a clinic in Central Alabama, and thus required a transition of all its new users to one Hospital Information System, which is McKessonHBOC's Pathways Care Manager and STAR 2000 products. Data General provided a solution which would support Baptist Health's need for scalability, high-availability and control, and equally accommodate future growth. In addition, Baptist Health's facilities operate from one computer room, making it imperative that the systems are available on a 7x24 basis.

As a result, Baptist Health's new platform combines four of Data General's highly available AViiON AV 25000 Non-Uniform Memory Access or NUMA servers running DG/UX, integrated with the McKessonHBOC Pathways Care Manager software and offering EMC CLARiiON storage solutions. Both Data General and partner McKessonHBOC have been working with Baptist Health for approximately 15 years. Data General is an IT leader in the health care industry, providing simplified computing solutions which enable health care organisations to build reliable IT infrastructures and adopt new technologies.

"The high-availability features of Data General's AV 25000 ensure that the users can stay on-line to support the growing community for twenty-four hours a day. As a result of the NUMA upgrade, Baptist Health users already have seen faster response time at their workstations", commented Bill Colmer, CIO at Baptist Health. "Data General's proven leadership in NUMA technology, and experience with McKessonHBOC implementations, convinced us that it would be the right choice. In addition, the fact that Data General is offering the flexibility to use DG/UX and Windows NT within the same system in the future was a critical factor in the final decision."

Data General offers customers the flexibility to run UNIX and NT in the same system through AVFlex, a comprehensive set of services and products which allows users to initially configure systems to meet the present day needs and easily reconfigure when business or application conditions change. In such way, Data General is highly committed to delivering advanced yet simplified computing solutions to customers in health care and other industries to help them successfully manage rapid consolidation and change, as it is stated by Mike Parise, vice president, global marketing at Data General. "Our NUMA systems deliver new levels of control, scalability and high-availability, allowing users to focus on the growth and expansion of their businesses. We are delighted to be working with Baptist Health in this exciting period in its development."

Baptist Health's innovative technology platform consists of four Data General AV 25000 NUMA servers, and EMC CLARiiON storage systems. Three of the NUMA servers are used to run the McKessonHBOC Pathways Care Manager solution, for the facility's Hospital Information Solution (HIS) needs. The last and remaining AV 25000 server is utilised for Y2K testing, IT training as well as professional services. Baptist Health opened its doors on July 29, 1963 as the Montgomery Baptist Hospital, with 131 doctors on the staff and a total bed capacity of 127. From that moment forward, Baptist Health continued to add new services and facilities, beginning with the opening of Meadhaven as a nursing home adjacent to the hospital. This was later converted into an emotional health/addictive disease facility.

In the late 1960s, the hospital opened the first intensive care unit in south central Alabama. Since then, it has added five additional units, including a state-of-the-art regional neo-natal intensive care unit. In 1994 and 1995, more facilities were added to meet the changing needs of the area, such as a Women's Pavilion; two open-heart operating suites, which allowed Baptist to become the second provider of frequently demanded open-heart services in Montgomery; the Chest Pain Center, which provides the latest technology in the rapid diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease; and the Breast Health Center, a multi-disciplinary approach to total breast health. In 1994, Baptist Health Services equally undertook the management of the Crenshaw Baptist Hospital in Luverne, a 63-bed rural health care facility.

In the fall of 1998, Baptist Health grew tremendously with the acquisition of several Columbia facilities in central Alabama, now named Baptist Medical Center East, Prattville Baptist Hospital and Nursing Center, Selma Baptist Hospital and Montgomery Surgical Center. The organisation has more than doubled its number of employees and patients served. During the years, the original Montgomery Baptist Hospital has evolved into a real multi-faceted corporation, the largest health care system in central Alabama. And still, the Baptist Health continues to look ahead, to grow with and meet the needs of an ever-changing south central Alabama.

Data General, in turn, for the past 20 years, has been a leader in providing high-technology enterprise solutions to the health care industry, and now has systems in use at more than 3700 hospitals throughout the world. The company's health care solutions include clinical imaging systems; document imaging for medical records and business office departments; Internet and intranet networks tailored for the health care environment; wireless Point-of-Care solutions; IT infrastructure systems for the health care enterprise; and decision support and business intelligence.

Leslie Versweyveld

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