Northwest Radiology Network implements new enterprise solution to dramatically improve medical records management

Armonk 23 September 2008Northwest Radiology Network has gone live with a new virtualized enterprise of IBM servers and storage to support its growing medical imaging needs, giving its four locations an enterprise-class infrastructure which enables its doctors to recover medical image reports faster for analysis and enables remote 24x7 access to its medical image report system.


Founded in 1967, Northwest Radiology (NWR) is ranked as one of the largest physician groups in the Indianapolis, Indiana area. With 180 employees who offer the Central Indiana community comprehensive inpatient and outpatient imaging services such as mammography, ultra-sonography, CT scans, PET-CT scans, bone density scans and MRIs - the Network had a dramatic need to develop a centralized infrastructure where large amounts of data could be stored and shared. A new data centre would benefit the company's clientele; which includes area hospitals and doctor's offices serving thousands of patients each year.

Storing more than ten thousand medical imaging reports and radiographic images each month for doctors to analyse, the Network realized it had single points of failure and at one point a critical report server failed. Northwest Radiology turned to IBM and IBM Business Partner Software Information Systems (SIS) for a more efficient solution to prevent any possible downtime in the future.

SIS recommended and installed a virtualized infrastructure with IBM servers and storage as the heart of Northwest Radiology's Indianapolis data centre. By April 2007, Northwest Radiology replaced eight servers and direct attached storage with just two IBM System x3650 servers connected to an IBM System Storage DS3400. Today, the new servers run 15 virtual servers to ensure the availability of their services 24x7. When the business needs it, a new server can be provisioned in just minutes. With a Fibre Channel on the SAN Disk, the DS3400 not only increased performance but also met NWR's requirement to not have one single point of failure. With three TB of storage capacity, they can meet the demands of increased business well into the future. The systems are also now easily managed from a remote site.

"Uptime is paramount in our business. We selected IBM based on the reliability and flexibility of IBM System x servers and the IBM System Storage DS3400", stated Marty Buening, IT Director, Northwest Radiology Network. "The virtualized infrastructure and the SAN storage array that SIS and IBM brought to the table is improving our service and giving our doctors and staff piece of mind knowing each patient's medical imaging reports are always available."

As Indiana's trusted imaging services provider since 1967, Northwest takes great pride in the expertise, experience, and innovation it brings to the practice of radiology. In an effort to accommodate all of the patient's needs, Northwest Radiology offers a network of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient imaging services throughout central Indiana.

More IBM news is available in the VMW September 2008 article IBM software supports Shared Health's mission to improve patient care through better access to health care data.

Leslie Versweyveld

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