Palomar Pomerado Health moves to the forefront of digital health care with IBM storage virtualization

Armonk 11 April 2008Palomar Pomerado Health (PPH), the largest public health district in California, has gone live with a new virtualized information infrastructure which is enabling PPH to manage and store electronic medical records for the very first time, dramatically improving the availability of critical information and create a more manageable storage infrastructure.


PPH serves more than 500.000 patients in North San Diego County and is recognized for its cardiac care, women's services, cancer, orthopaedics, trauma, rehabilitation and behavioural health services. PPH has major expansion plans including another hospital and moving toward fully automated medical records to better serve its patients. With the goal to add a new, customized computerized physician order entry (CPOE) programme next year, the hospital needed to upgrade its current IT infrastructure to set the stage for a secure, reliable information infrastructure.

To create the new information infrastructure, PPH consolidated mission critical applications over to two IBM System p5 590servers to run its clinical software, and support additional users to dramatically improve server availability. The hospital also implemented a virtualized storage environment based on the IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC). To maintain the flexibility to assign the most cost-effective storage systems based on user requirements, the hospital implemented a tiered storage system. The IBM DS6800 and DS4300 storage arrays augmented an existing IBM Enterprise Storage System and were configured in the SAN. Each storage system was assigned to a tier, based on performance and cost helping to eliminate the need to over-provision storage. SVC also helps improve storage availability by enabling storage system maintenance to take place without disrupting users.

"With our goal to fully support electronic medical records and additional technologies to best serve our growth and our patients, it is essential we run a data centre that is highly available and resilient to failures. IBM's storage virtualization solution is making our vision a reality", stated Paul Engberg, Director of Technical Services, Palomar Pomerado Health. "IBM's storage virtualization solution coupled with our IBM UNIX server solution gives us flexibility in managing our growth. We need to save certain health records for decades and storage virtualization will play a role in helping us accomplish much needed archive capabilities at a significantly reduced cost."

In the future, PPH plans to add a second SAN to mirror data for disaster recovery to help restore operations in a matter of hours which would enable PPH staff to continue to provide quality health care with very little disruption in unforeseen disasters.

IBM's storage virtualization solution is a key tool in allowing customers to improve the cost efficiency of their data centres. SVC is designed to migrate data from older to newer disk systems without disruption to applications, so it helps customers start that migration immediately and disconnect their older, less efficient storage much more quickly.

SVC is designed to simplify implementation of a tiered storage infrastructure and improve performance of lower tier storage, moving data without disruption - which makes it easy to match data types with the right storage, and to move data when requirements change. Together, these abilities of SVC make it easy to blend different types of storage for a lower overall energy footprint; and SVC helps increase the utilization of storage and reduce requirements for additional storage in the future. SVC is designed to pool storage volumes from IBM and non-IBM storage systems into a single reservoir of capacity for centralized management, helping to improve storage utilization and reduce storage growth rates. This ability can reduce the total amount of storage hardware required, which helps reduce the energy usage of the storage configuration.

Storage Virtualization in Action is an ongoing IBM Storage campaign to showcase some of the cross-industry examples of how customers are using IBM's storage virtualization solution in real-world environments.

Palomar Pomerado Health, California's largest public health district is North County's most comprehensive health care delivery system, nationally recognized for clinical excellence. Facilities include Palomar Medical Center, Pomerado Hospital, the Jean McLaughlin Women's Center for Health and Healing, Villa Pomerado, Palomar Continuing Care Center, Escondido Surgery Center, Palomar Pomerado Behavioral Health Services and Palomar Pomerado Home Care. As the largest employer in Inland North County, with more than 3000 employees and 700 physicians, Palomar Pomerado Health was named San Diego County's Best Place to Work in 2006.

More IBM news is available in the VMW March 2008 article Regional health care provider standardizes on Bycast storage software as part of IBM's Grid Medical Archive Solution.

Leslie Versweyveld

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