Thunder Basin Orthopaedics provides musculoskeletal care, imaging, surgery and related services throughout Wyoming, operating five clinics and performing surgery at hospitals across the state.
With a focus on patient care and comfort, their IT systems must remain compliant with the Health Insurance Accountability and Portability Act (HIPAA) while maintaining a smooth user experience in order to keep patients and doctors on time.
“You don’t need a computer to see a patient, but if your systems are down it will slow you down,” said Payden McIntyre, IT Consultant. “Now you’re spending twelve hours instead of eight in the office and by the time you see your last patient they’ve been sitting for a few hours and they’re already upset. That’s something we never want to happen.”
Many hospitals need a hardware upgrade every three to five years in order to stay current, which also brings sweeping software upgrades with their own licensing and administration issues. That can add up to significant capital expenditures every few years. In that light, it’s easy to see why some organizations delay upgrades. .
“We pulled the servers out of the hospital where they were located and they were eight or nine years old,” McIntyre said. “I wasn’t certain I’d be able to install future patches and updates on them at all.”
McIntyre was contracted to help bring the practice’s outdated IT systems up to speed. To keep doctors and data equally mobile and available at all times, he began evaluating service providers that could offer HIPAA compliant cloud platforms. After looking into local and national providers, McIntyre chose Lunavi.
Thunder Basin needed a unified IT platform to coordinate and provide services from offices many miles apart. A managed cloud platform and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) from Lunavi delivered the compliance needed for electronic health records while also providing significant cost savings over an in-house purchase and management.
“We currently have 35 virtual desktops and five virtual servers that are hosting everything we need for our practice to stay going,” McIntyre said.
For doctors and other medical practitioners, virtual desktops make it convenient to leave one location and pick up record systems, scheduling, and other essential applications at the next terminal. Whether that means moving down the hall to visit another patient or driving across the state to a different clinic, desktops, applications, and data follow the user wherever they go.
McIntyre also sought out cloud servers to host standard applications like e-mail as well as the clinics’ Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. Cloud was preferable because of its ability to decrease the time for IT to spin up new applications and additional resources.
“Cloud means that right now we have some servers that are just sitting there waiting to be utilized, waiting for Thunder Basin to decide what they want to do moving forward,” McIntyre said. “People aren’t waiting on IT.”
As the single dedicated IT manager for Thunder Basin, McIntyre also appreciates the managed cloud services provided by Lunavi as it saves him time and improves the services provided by the practice.
The cloud environment includes managed hosting, hardware, and offsite backup replication—all aspects that require administration and would take time away from other tasks. Lunavi provides Thunder Basin with bandwidth management as well, connecting one location to other offices with speeds of 1 Gbps and above.
“We never have to worry about the bandwidth from each individual office back to Lunavi” said McIntyre.
The support levels extend to technical issues and individual projects as well. When he needs to focus on something else or is looking for help implementing a new project, McIntyre knows where to turn.
“If there’s ever a problem I can’t solve, I can call Lunavi and people that have even deeper technical expertise are working on these projects,” McIntyre said. “Everything has been smooth sailing.”
Upgrading the systems by moving to an advanced cloud platform has resulted in significantly less downtime, according to McIntyre. Downtime can add significant costs, but it also means that fewer patients get the care that they need, when they need it.
For Thunder Basin Orthopaedics, moving to the cloud has been about more than flexibility and cost savings: it has allowed better service. With managed infrastructure and virtual desktops from Lunavi, the doctors and caregivers at Thunder Basin can focus their attention on patient care instead of on worrying whether their technology will work.