How One Healthcare System Optimized Security, Capacity, Response Time and Cost

Large Integrated Healthcare Delivery System

Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, the client is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in the state. It was grappling with many of the same issues facing healthcare providers nationwide. The client provides coordinated, value-based care across the continuum for the people and communities it serves. The client has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top-performing hospitals in the country, ranked nationally in the specialties of endocrinology and gastroenterology and recognized as high-performing in nine other adult specialties, including orthopedics, cardiology and heart surgery.

Outcome Summary

  • Involta delivered a private PULSE SM STaaS solution utilizing enterprise grade EMC VNX storage technology to meet health information management regulations and demanding performance requirements
  • Reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and increased cost predictability
  • Enhanced security protections, reducing the organization’s overall risk profile
  • Ability to dynamically adjust storage capacity based on need rather than investing in building and managing IT infrastructure based on projected demand

The Challenges

Challenging realities facing healthcare

While delivering outstanding care, the client was grappling with challenging realities, many of which are facing the healthcare industry as a whole, including:

  • Aging IT infrastructure
  • Double-digit annual growth in data storage needs due to ever-increasing patient data digitalization
  • Intensifying threat of cybersecurity breaches and data theft – and consequent need for high-level security and privacy protection 
  • Need for data accessibility, storage management and synchronous replication
  • Limited resources to allocate to IT infrastructure and maintenance

Storage solution with growth capacity and management

The client needed a storage solution with growth capacity and management. They needed storage with a high level of security, accessibility and cost-effectiveness. An external provider seemed like a solution to this dilemma. However, concerns about data protection, internal/external HIPAA and HITECH auditing procedures and potential exposure to penalties were a significant barrier.

The Transition

The shift toward IT as a Service


The healthcare IT market continues to operate with tightly controlled budgets that often must compete with clinical upgrades for capital. These constraints have driven a shift toward IT as a service. With the right IT healthcare focused partner, this approach provides numerous benefits, including:

  • Dynamic storage management that delivers performance while maximizing storage efficiency, thus minimizing storage costs. Over 20% of healthcare IT budget is spent on storage, according to Dell EMC healthcare statistics.
  • Scalable capacity to accommodate growth
  • Shift in IT spend from capital expenditures to operating expenditures
  • Cost predictability
  • Reduced internal human resources needed for IT management
  • Increased protection against social engineering and physical compromise as attack vectors
  • Agility and nimbleness to adjust to unpredictable growth

Finding a trustworthy IT Partner


The key hurdle that health systems need to surmount when making the transition to Storage as a Service (STaaS) is finding a trustworthy IT partner. The consequences of suboptimal data security and privacy management practices, whether internal or in an external provider, can be financially devastating. Healthcare data breaches are on the rise because health records are valuable on the black market. In the United States, according to the most recent research from the Ponemon Institute and IBM, the average cost to an organization of a single lost or stolen record containing private information is $408. Multiply $408 by the number of health records in your system. For this organization it would have been upwards of $100 Million. Those are the financial stakes of a breach. This is why the client was wise to exercise caution in selecting an external IT partner.

Implementing a Storage as a Service solution


An Involta PULSE SM Storage as a Service (STaaS) solution designed for healthcare solved the client’s dilemma and (spoiler alert) yielded long term financial and operational benefits. The client engaged Involta as a trusted IT partner with a local presence and expertise recognized nationwide. Involta owns and operates a state-of-the-art data center in Akron, Ohio. The facility, like all of Involta’s facilities, is built and operated to meet or exceed rigorous standards of physical and operational security that provide data confidentiality, privacy, availability and integrity. ITIL processes and annual SOC 1 and SOC 2 audits ensure consistent, excellent service.

Private STaaS solution with enterprise-grade EMC VNX storage technology


Involta delivered a private PULSE SM STaaS solution utilizing enterprise grade EMC VNX storage technology. The EMC VNX offered the technology and security required to meet health information management regulations and demanding performance requirements. Involta’s local presence and proven IT infrastructure expertise offered a broad array of complementary services – from colocation to managed migration – and critical peace of mind.

Solution features:

  • Storage management with Service Level Agreement (SLA)
  • Data moved dynamically based on business need
  • Synchronous replication
  • 24/7/365 monitoring, dispatch and event management by Involta

The Outcomes

Cost savings

  • Reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • Increased cost predictability
  • Minimized capital expenditure on IT infrastructure, shifted costs to operating expenditure
  • Saved Full Time Equivalents (FTE) – third-party storage management reduced IT administration costs

Reduced risk profile

  • Enhanced security protections, reducing the organization’s overall risk profile

Increased scalability

  • Ability to dynamically adjust storage capacity based on need rather than investing in building and managing IT infrastructure based on projected demand 

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