Imelda Hospital Scales for Speed, Cloud and Disaster Recovery Readiness

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    When seconds matter, top Belgian hospital turns to Fujitsu and Qumulo.

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    Set in a beautiful forest near Bonheiden, Belgium, Imelda Hospital is run by 1,700 employees who manage more than 24,000 admissions and 180,000 consultations a year. Providing quality care to so many patients is possible through the staff’s strong teamwork and training, combined with the very latest techniques and technology. As part of the latter, the hospital offers the most modern medical scanning and imaging technology available. This generates an enormous amount of file data, up to 50 terabytes a year, of unstructured data including CT scans, MRIs, X-Rays, and other medical test reports.
    “We provide high-tech or complex care which requires quite some technology,” says Bart Pardon, General Manager, Imelda Hospital. “IT needs to be reliable, secure, and all the rest.”
    Imaging is an essential tool in medical diagnosis, where speed and accuracy of results can be life changing. A streamlined imaging workflow is vital for providers to deliver quality patient care, as it impacts a broad array of services such as operating rooms, emergency rooms, outpatient services, and other providers. Recently the hospital’s storage capacity demands, particularly for its Agfa Enterprise Imaging file data, became a network performance and budgetary concern. Imelda also needed to store a backup copy of their data for cloud disaster recovery reasons and segue towards cloud readiness.
    “We have 1,400 PCs and 300 servers running so there’s plenty of work to be done,” adds Kim Buts, IT Systems Team Lead, Imelda Hospital. “We noticed that the current system was really reaching its limits, and that the doctors had occasional problems with the speed of getting their images on the PACS system. They are used to speed, that when the images come in and they scroll through them, they will all be there in sequence.” “Every now and then {they would) start to get glitches. It was purely because we were getting close to our limits, and that’s why we looked at the marketplace,”
    As they searched for a solution, their team took SMB-connectivity, availability, scalability, and low latency into consideration. Latency is a strong concern in the healthcare industry given the medical team needs to have constant, fast access to diagnostic images to make treatment decisions. In the end, it was clear they needed to go with a software-defined storage (SDS) solution which would enable a connection to the cloud, plus support a hybrid IT environment.
    “Two requirements that were essential were that our production had to remain 100% operational. There could be no impact on performance. There should be no downtime. We also needed to do (the transition) in as short a time as possible,” says Buts.
    The implementation went very smoothly with help from both the Fujitsu and Qumulo sides, plus the hospital’s IT team.
    “We actually made a huge gain in the speed of our system. We have been able to tune our system, really improve it,” adds Buts. “The doctors are happy too! Usually you won’t hear a word from a doctor who is satisfied. Since the migration we have received nothing but positive feedback for the gain in speed. Everyone is happy.” “Thanks to the good monitoring that our technical team has on the system, we can clearly see the evolution, and how we are increasing in the volume that is used,” says Muriel Verreth, IT Manager, Imelda Hospital. “The way it is set up now, we are good for the coming years.”
    Watch this video by Fujitsu Belgium to hear the IT leaders at Imelda Hospital talk about the benefits of their high-performance, software-defined, file storage system.