Data Center Design Articles
Improving Patient Care with On-Demand Data Centers
July 07, 2005
With increased focus on patient safety, cost pressures and government regulations, it's no surprise that leading healthcare providers are adopting innovative information technology solutions in an effort to ensure quality care. Hospital IT departments have been evolving rapidly from serving only administrative functions to playing a central role in re-engineering the way patient care is delivered.
As today's cutting-edge IT applications are rolled out to physicians and nurses, there is a growing expectation that patient data should be digitized and made accessible on demand. Many hospitals have already begun this effort with doctor's notes, prescriptions, and other written records.
Even the most robust of IT infrastructure designs, however, are limited in the ability to maintain high availability unless matched with a robust physical infrastructure. Unfortunately, outdated buildings and infrastructure, bad wiring, faulty cooling systems and
"cable chaos" permeate today’s healthcare data centers.
As a result, forward-thinking IT professionals are embracing a Network
Critical Physical Infrastructure (NCPI) solution built to ensure optimal availability. Healthcare IT leaders today are recognizing how APC’s InfraStruXure system can open the door to an all digital future.
Compare the Advantages of an NCPI-based On-Demand Data Center to Typical Legacy Systems:
|Legacy Data Centers
"On-Demand" Data Centers
|Permanent, facility-based, complex web of multiple vendors, not predesigned as a system or tested until installed at customer site. Usually requires outside consultants to design, operate, service, and maintain.
||Standardized, Rack-based Design Approach - Designed, engineered, and pre-tested at factory to work as an integrated data center system
|"Cottage-Industry" typically comprised of four or five unique manufacturers, with multiple consultants required to integrate components together. Can take months to design, build and commission.
||Complete, Modular and Integrated System - From a single source provider reduces time to deployment. Available as pre-packaged or configure-to-order solutions
|Cooling is dependent on raised floors, which can only cool up to 3 kW/rack.
||In-Row Cooling with Containment System - kW/rack and makes raised floors optional.
|A typical data center utilizes 30% capacity after 10 years because many will be oversized for uncertain future IT growth curves. In addition, redundancy is obtained expensively through designing/purchasing two systems.
||Scalable, N+1 Rack-based Design - Minimizes over-sizing and allows
"pay-as-you-grow" approach for expansion "on-the-fly." Offers ability to easily move facilities for future expansion or relocation.
Benefits of "On-Demand" Data Centers for Digital Hospitals
From patient records to bandwidth-intensive X-Rays – the new
"Digital Hospital" places demands on IT infrastructure. With downtime in modern healthcare measured in seconds, not minutes or hours, an On-Demand Data Center can:
- Offer higher required uptime for healthcare and clinical applications that increasingly rely on the data center.
- Allow instantaneous recovery through self-servicing versus
"waiting for service to show-up."
- Help to reduce the #1 cause of downtime – human error – with a design offering features such as hot-swappable modules and intelligent cable management.
HealthCare IT Evolves from Administration to central role in reengineering patient care. To improve agility, an On-Demand Data Center can:
- Accelerate design and deployment of data centers and Disaster Recovery sites for compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 2005 requirements.
- Decrease design and deploy time from months to days.
- Provide a single contact for all network- critical physical infrastructure issues including power, cooling, rack, management and services.
New IT Technologies such as blade servers offer key advantages – yet with critical IT challenges. To address these availability challenges, an On- Demand Data Center can:
- Cool and power up to 20 kW per rack making it ideal for demanding high density and blade servers applications.
Market drivers such as HIPAA place pressure on healthcare professionals – lead to adopting IT solutions to ensure quality care. To lower overall TCO, an On-Demand Data Center can:
- Reduce capital and operating costs though "Right-Sizing".
- Allow for consolidation of equipment to reduce IT footprint and decrease data center space/floor costs.
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