IT’s Transformation from Cost Center to Revenue Generator: Lafayette General Health

Healthcare organizations across the country typically have one end goal in mind – to provide as many people as possible with the medical services they need.

But this can be a challenge for fast-growing organizations, particularly those expanding through acquisitions which involve multiple large facilities such as hospitals and clinics. The challenge is often compounded on the IT infrastructure side, where server and storage environments can be scattered in silos across multiple locations. This makes it both costly and difficult to efficiently manage the technology foundation that health professionals – and their patients – depend on each day.

Such was the case for Lafayette General Health (LGH), a regional health network in south-central Louisiana comprised of eight hospitals and more than 40 clinics, along with multiple affiliates. In just four years, LGH acquired seven hospitals and over 20 clinics. Because LGH’s infrastructure was siloed across the various facilities, it was unable to scale without scheduling for planned downtime.

LGH turned to Dell EMC Isilon scale-out storage as the foundation for a data lake to serve its entire network of hospitals and professional centers. The Isilon data lake supports a range of applications, including Nuance PowerScribe, Cerner radiology PACS images, McKesson Cardiovascular PACS images, home drives, department file shares, virtual desktop and user profiles. More than 4,000 radiologists, clinicians, hospitalists, and administrators access Isilon daily. LGH uses Dell EMC Isilon InsightIQ® for performance monitoring and reporting.

With Isilon, LGH created a data lake that supports rapid business growth by scaling easily. This also enabled IT to take on a new role as service provider, hosting clinical applications for other independent hospitals and transforming from a cost center to a revenue generator. Plus, Isilon accelerated image retrieval for clinicians, to help improve patient care.

LGH now has a storage and server infrastructure that can scale easily and non-disruptively to handle growing volumes of data, including picture archiving and communication system (PACS) images, emails, and file shares. Before implementing this solution, IT struggled to schedule time even for simple updates because they required downtime. That problem has now disappeared.

Isilon’s ability to scale easily also enabled IT to transform into a service provider organization. Through LGH’s Healthy Link initiative, IT now hosts EMR and other advanced clinical applications for smaller local hospitals that cannot afford to comply with U.S. healthcare IT regulations.

IT has regained time, too. Isilon requires far less system administration to handle different data types in the data lake, freeing up resources for other important tasks.

William Landry, LGH’s director of information systems infrastructure, explains, “Every second that we can improve our user experience is huge. Those seconds add up over time, and if we can give back even five minutes a day to our clinicians, it drastically improves patient care across our organization. The more time they’re face-to-face with a patient instead of on a computer, the better.”

Click here to read more about Dell EMC’s work with Lafayette General Health in this customer profile.