Mercy Technology Services (MTS), the IT backbone of one of the largest Catholic health systems in the nation, today announced the launch of a new health care cloud. Powered by VMware cloud infrastructure and management solutions, MTS’s cloud service is designed to meet the unique needs of a highly regulated hospital and health care market.
For its efficiency, flexibility and cost-effectiveness, cloud hosting is an attractive alternative to infrastructure-heavy enterprise data centers. Yet, health care has shied away from the public cloud due to compliance gaps and security concerns. For health care providers, strict HIPAA patient privacy regulations, coupled with today’s mounting cyber threats, pose unique challenges and are fueling the need for health care-designed cloud hosting environments.
Recently named one of Healthcare IT News’ Best Hospital IT departments, MTS knows firsthand the unique hosting needs of health care. That’s because, as the IT shared services arm of Mercy, a 40-plus hospital health system, it delivers mission-critical technology services daily.
An electronic health records (EHR) early adopter in 2008, Mercy became the nation’s first Epic-accredited provider in 2014 and now extends EHR services to others. With its recognition as an “Analytics Wizard” and the innovator behind Mercy Virtual, the world’s first hospital without beds, Mercy’s track record is one for taking calculated risks to be ahead of a changing health care landscape. As a result, Mercy is equipped to respond to today’s health care needs.
Mercy’s health care cloud is supported by MTS’s HIPAA, SSAE 16 and SOC2-compliant data centers where it hosts Mercy’s roughly 1,200 health care applications, including the Epic EHR for Mercy and commercial customers. Here, MTS will provide the cloud infrastructure for hosting mission-critical apps like the EHR and imaging, as well as business-essential systems like email, file shares or any other health care workload.
Mercy is part of the VMware Cloud Provider Program, and MTS’s cloud service runs on VMware vSphere, the leading virtualization platform for building cloud infrastructures. By leveraging a common cloud infrastructure based on VMware, customers can easily move workloads between their private data centers and MTS’s cloud, and leverage the MTS cloud service for increased flexibility, security, and IT agility.
Helping relieve IT staff of its maintenance burdens, MTS also offers managed hosting services. A fitting complement to Mercy’s health care cloud, these services help hospitals by fully managing their Windows and Linux server operating systems, including application patching, installation, upgrades and hot fixes as well as security, backup and recovery in Mercy’s cloud.
Scott Richert, Mercy’s vice president of enterprise infrastructure, sees the need through the eyes of his peers. “Health care’s tech leaders want to migrate to get the cloud’s benefits without the cloud’s risks, but a good solution has been hard to find,” he said. ”This is the same equipment I’d buy for my enterprise data centers, with the same high service standard we hold for ourselves. Now, with VMware, there’s a way to share enterprise-class cloud hosting with our health care community.”
“Cloud services delivered by VMware Cloud Providers such as Mercy can provide the agility and reliability that make businesses operate more efficiently today,” said Michael Robinson, vice president, Healthcare North America, VMware. “We look forward to supporting Mercy further as it empowers health care organizations with a simple and flexible path to the cloud.”
The new health care cloud and managed services will be available from Mercy Technology Services beginning late spring 2018 and will supplement Mercy’s portfolio of IT solutions, which includes Epic as a service, backup and recovery as a service, imaging as a service, health care analytics and more. Learn more at MercyTechnology.net/solutions/cloud.
Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2017 and 2016 by Truven, an IBM Watson Health company, serves millions annually. Mercy includes more than 40 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, 800 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 44,000 co-workers and 2,100 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In addition, Mercy's IT division, Mercy Technology Services, supply chain organization, ROi, and Mercy Virtual commercially serve providers and patients in more than 20 states coast to coast.
About Mercy Technology Services
Mercy Technology Services (MTS) provides and manages technology solutions for Mercy, one of the largest Catholic health systems in the nation, and now extends services to other health care providers. An early adopter of Epic’s EHR, Mercy became the nation’s first to be accredited by Epic to offer EHR solutions to other hospitals, including Epic in the cloud, implementation and optimization. With MTS’s full suite of health care offerings including health care cloud, managed services, imaging-as-a-service, disaster recovery and BaaS, hospitals can reduce IT costs and risks. MTS’s award-winning data analytics help reduce waste, manage health care’s highest costs and support a model of care that keeps patients healthier.
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