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An ACI Case Study in Healthcare to Protect EMR System and Automate Operations


June 5, 2018 - 0 Comments

In a case study presentation Monday June 11th at Cisco Live, you can learn how a large non-profit hospital group with over 17,000 employees rolled out a new electronic medical records (EMR) system (Epic) on an ACI fabric in an application-centric design.  The most widely used electronic health record (EHR) application by hospitals and health systems, Epic supports the electronic records of 190 million patients around the world.

Epic Systems are mission critical for hospitals. They must be deployed securely and meet specific performance criteria for healthcare professionals. Epic’s critical and pervasive role in ProMedica’s operations demanded continuous availability. So it was determined that both of ProMedica’s data centers, which are roughly 20 miles apart, would actively sustain the new application.

“Cisco ACI allowed us to stretch the network fabric seamlessly across both data centers. And it was the only solution that gave us single-pane-of-glass management.”

− Ben Vickers, Director of IT, ProMedica

Not only did the data center network need to be rock solid, it also had to be deployed in a matter of weeks. To attain application certification from Epic, the network environment had to be in place prior to scheduled performance testing by Epic specialists.

Being a brand new network for us, it was a sprint,” says Vickers. “Cisco Advanced Services stepped in and got the network up and running, then our ProMedica team of talented engineers, with assistance from CDW took it to the finish line by moving 3500 servers from the old fabric to the new one.

A key initial task was to map the Epic application topology and define the policy based automation to be used for deployment and security.

It started by transforming the high level logical view of Epic here in Fig. 1

Figure 1 Epic Software Subsystems and Connectivity Mapped

Into an Epic application network profile, ANP,  like this in Fig. 2

Figure 2 Epic Application Network Profile in ACI

As a result, the ANP allows the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller or APIC, to automatically control the network infrastructure at the two sites.

With Epic deployed on ACI, ProMedica IT achieved the following results:

  • Built a consistent, reliable network infrastructure spanning two data centers
  • Established the framework for network isolation and segmentation for better security and data protection
  • Streamlined infrastructure and change management with single-pane-of-glass control

Benjamin Vickers, Director of IT – Network, Messaging, Database and Unified Communications, Information Technology Services at ProMedica will share the challenges his IT team faced, the solution, the deployment, and the results ProMedica obtained with help of Cisco AS and CDW for their ACI deployment.    Learn how Cisco ACI was instrumental for ProMedica to achieve its goals with this and other key corporate applications.

Here is a link to the Cisco Live session.  We would like to see you  next week.

CCSACI-2000 An ACI Case Study in Healthcare to Protect EMR Systems and Automate Operations

For More Info:

Secure, High Availability for Epic EHR Systems with Cisco ACI and Tetration

Case Study: ProMedica

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