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System downtime at any medical facility is more than just an inconvenience

100% data availability guarantee helps healthcare facilities improve patient outcomes.

HPE-Primera_Epic-Health-Blog.jpgAlready working at maximum capacity, healthcare professionals on the front lines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, rely on IT systems to be every bit as available and hard working as they are. That is why, for a hospital IT director, a terrible day at the office starts with a call from the chief medical information officer saying: “Systems are down.” Downtime at any medical facility is more than an inconvenience – it can have a significant impact on patient recovery.

IT and data availability are critical for patient care. Because COVID visitation guidelines restrict family visits, healthcare facilities rely more than ever on electronic medical records (EMRs) to provide information about a specific patient’s visit to the facility, and electronic health records (EHRs), which contain the patient’s overall medical history. HPE healthcare solution architect Duane Fafard explains why EMRs are so important, and how even short disruptions to data availability at a hospital can have a big impact on patient health.

“During a system outage, clinicians and nurses may not know which procedures have been approved for the patient, or when they last took medications. If the outage continues through a shift change, patients are at very high risk. With no EMR, incoming staff must rely on verbal or hand-written updates, and potentially dangerous errors can occur."

Downtime in the lab is equally disruptive. A physician can't make an accurate diagnosis or determine the best path forward without test results. Fafard points out that, with lives hanging in the balance, "…the hospital staff needs to decide: Do we wait, go back to paper, or limp through until the system is working again?"

Predictable performance and 100% availability guarantee

ISVs such as Epic Systems have developed sophisticated EHR software for hospitals and other medical facilities. The healthcare application requires four unique compute tiers of infrastructure: a hyperspace presentation tier, multipurpose virtual servers tier, a tier for Epic reporting environments, and an operational database (ODB) tier.

In September of 2019, HPE introduced a mission-critical storage solution that can be used across the four tiers. HPE Primera Storage delivers the extreme resiliency and performance that’s required for apps like Epic EHR software. For most hospitals and urgent care facilities, Fafard recommends the new app-aware storage solution, because organizations can include all four Epic environments on a single array and get predictable performance and scale.

HPE solution architect Aivars Apsite agrees. He and Fafard work closely with Epic, tailoring specific solutions to ensure the new infrastructure will deliver required levels of availability and performance. “HPE Primera lets you say goodbye to disruptions or performance delays, because it’s backed by a 100% availability guarantee,” says Apsite. “That guarantee is standard on all HPE Primera systems. Healthcare IT staff can have peace of mind, knowing their data will be always-on without worrying about 30+ pages of best practices to follow.”

Artificial intelligence in an end-to-end solution

Customers who have turned to HPE infrastructure for resiliency, availability, and end-to-end simplicity now have one more reason to choose HPE Primera: global intelligence. Our end-to-end solutions are equipped with HPE InfoSight – the most advanced artificial intelligence (AI) for Infrastructure. Over the past decade, it has analyzed more than 1,250 trillion data points spanning storage, servers, and virtual machines.[1] Through cloud-based machine learning, it has saved customers over 1.5 million hours by predicting and preventing thousands of disruptions by providing automated recommendations. 

Embedded in HPE Primera, InfoSight also optimizes performance and workload placement in real time. For example, InfoSight leverages community wisdom by comparing performance against other similar systems from the connected HPE Storage installed base. This capability helps customers identify performance outliers and, most importantly, determine how to fix them. By leveraging AI models trained in the cloud, HPE has created the industry’s only end-to-end AI pipeline for self-managing storage. It’s a powerful solution for healthcare facilities.

Apsite points out: "HPE offers an 'and' solution instead of an 'or' solution. Other vendors offer one element of the infrastructure: a server, or storage, or management software. HPE offers all that and takes it one giant step farther with AI. HPE InfoSight not only helps healthcare facilities understand and manage storage, it can help you manage your entire IT infrastructure. That's because InfoSight spans the whole ecosystem, end to end: servers, storage, network, and security. Other solutions can't even come close."

Fafard adds: "HPE InfoSight keeps track of anonymized configuration “fingerprints” of hardware, software, drivers, firmware, and what version of VMware is being used in hospital infrastructures across the world. If one of those hospitals experiences an issue, InfoSight will proactively send anyone with a similar fingerprint a notification of the potential issue – and it will suggest a remedy, such as uploading a patch."

InfoSight can make recommendations for your specific environment, alleviate bottlenecks and guide you to best practices. Dashboards help you identify noisy neighbors, provide visibility into host CPU and memory metrics, and predict where and when you might need to grow.

Mission-critical solutions from HPE

HPE is here to help clients bring together the right expertise and technology solutions to meet their most immediate challenges and unexpected demands. HPE Primera sets up in minutes, upgrades transparently, and is backed by a 100% Availability Guarantee to ensure always-fast and always-on storage for all mission-critical apps.

Learn how HPE is helping customers and communities combat COVID-19.

Learn about HPE InfoSight at:

To learn more about HPE Primera, visit or download the IDC report: HPE Primera Resets Expectations for High-End Storage .

[1] 1 Based on HPE Storage and Servers connected to HPE InfoSight, October 2019



Meet HPE Blogger Matt Morrisey. Matt has been in the storage industry for over 20 years and has worked for HPE for the last 10. As a Senior Product Marketing Manager, he is passionate about showing the world how HPE Primera is redefining mission critical storage. Connect with Matt on Twitter and LinkedIn.



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