As exorbitant amounts of data increasingly become available at physicians’ fingertips to improve patient care, healthcare organizations must develop thoughtful methods for managing how that data is stored. At Atrius Health we have developed a unique approach to virtualization to better care for the 740,000 patients we serve in Eastern Massachusetts.
Virtualization enables organizations to quickly run applications, provide resilience and protection to their applications, store information, streamline processes and integrate mountains of data from several different places. The effectiveness of virtualization depends more upon how technology is used, rather than the technology itself. This is particularly true in healthcare where diagnosing and treating patients relies on many interconnected systems and data streams housed on virtualized systems.
Two years ago, Atrius Health merged three previously independent physician groups and a home health and hospice agency into a single enterprise IT organization. We began a restructuring and consolidation of all IT services, including our electronic medical record, clinical, and business systems. We took our virtualization platforms and coalesced them into a segmented yet interconnected architecture we call the Atrius compute pod (C-POD). C-POD allows faster and more efficient IT systems that better position us to provide the type of care that is best for our patients. Technically, we increased the performance of our systems by multiple orders of magnitude, decreased our physical footprint by nearly 65 percent, and reduced our power consumption by over 80 percent, all while increasing the resources the IT organization can provide to our practice and care providers.
As an organization that takes responsibility for the total cost and quality of care for a significant percentage of our patients, we rely on complex software running on our virtualization pods to support our clinical teams to proactively provide care, manage chronic conditions and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations. To do this, we utilize advanced analytics and natural language processing to integrate medical histories and claims from our patients in a data warehouse. By analyzing patients on a population level, we can identify those who require the necessary care interventions to prevent illness from occurring later on.