Customer Story: LCMC Health: Accelerating the Delivery of Patient Care

Compassionate, community-based healthcare

Compassionate, community-based
Delivering exceptional, compassionate
healthcare to the people of Louisiana and
the Gulf South is the mission of LCMC
Health, a not-for-profit healthcare system
with more than 8,000 employees. LCMC
Health hospitals are cornerstones of their
communities, providing convenient and
high-quality healthcare for thousands of
people and playing vital roles in economic
development, research, teaching, and
clinical excellence initiatives.

The Challenge
Enabling state-of-the-art healthcare
The damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina
continues to resonate in the collective
consciousness of New Orleans. In 2005,
the storm decimated the city’s two major
teaching hospitals, University Hospital and
Charity Hospital, with the evacuation of
patients making national headlines.

Ten years later, LCMC Health achieved an
important milestone by replacing both
hospitals with a new facility: University
Medical Center (UMC) New Orleans, a
2.3-million-square-foot, level I trauma
center and the largest teaching hospital in
the state. As the anchor institution of the
New Orleans BioDistrict, UMC New Orleans
represents the evolution of New Orleans
into a regional provider of healthcare
research and services.

Adhering to a tight launch schedule, LCMC
had only three months to deploy and test
a state-of-the-art IT infrastructure before
the hospital opened. LCMC sought to give
physicians, clinicians, and radiologists rapid
access to patient information through Epic
electronic medical records (hosted off site
in a state data center) and GE Centricity
PACS applications, using virtual desktops
accessed from shared thin-client terminals.

“UMC New Orleans is large and we
needed a virtual desktop infrastructure to
centralize delivery, support, and maintenance
of critical healthcare applications,”
says Jason Kennedy, senior consultant
for LCMC Health. “However, accessing
critical data on the virtual desktops had
to be fast, because clinicians don’t have
the time to wait around for desktops to
become available.”

The Solution
All-flash storage for clinical VDI
LCMC’s commitment to providing the best
patient care led it to deploy VMware virtual
desktops and virtual servers on a NetApp
AFF8040, which is in a SAN environment
powered by clustered Data ONTAP®. With
assistance from NetApp partner CMA
Technology Solutions, LCMC deployed
1,500 clinical desktops to deliver Epic EMR
and 300 radiology desktops to deliver GE
Centricity PACS, all within two weeks.

“CMA Technology Solutions was instrumental
in integrating our NetApp All Flash
FAS systems,” says Kennedy. “They did a
great job configuring a mission-critical,
clinical VDI environment and helped us
meet our nonnegotiable deadline for
opening the facility.”

In addition to predictable performance and
low latency for the virtual desktops, the
hospital benefits from storage efficiency
tools such as NetApp deduplication, which
is helping it get the most value from its
SSD storage capacity. NetApp SnapMirror®
automatically replicates changed data to a
disaster recovery site, while NetApp Virtual
Storage Console for VMware vSphere
integrates with Veeam to protect virtual
machines (VMs), giving unprecedented
management capabilities to administrators.
As UMC New Orleans prepared for opening
day, Kennedy was pleased by how quickly
his virtualization team could recompose
the large pools of virtual desktops to
accommodate change requests from clinical
staff. “With NetApp All Flash FAS, we
recomposed the entire pool of 1,500 virtual
desktops supporting Epic EMR in just a few
hours,” he says. “On spinning drives, that
would have taken days to complete.”

With the NetApp SAN, LCMC can now
scale desktops easily, even during peak
times, without compromising performance.
LCMC is now well positioned to consolidate
multiple applications and offer new services
to users.

Business Benefits
Providing superior application
UMC New Orleans has the best of both
worlds: the speed of solid state drives
combined with clustered storage controllers
for high availability and nondisruptive
operations. In addition to enabling superb
virtual desktop performance, NetApp
All Flash FAS is improving I/O for critical
applications such as GE Centricity PACS
and Varian oncology software, sustaining
submillisecond storage latency for more
than 300 VMs.

“We’re providing an excellent working
environment for physicians, clinicians, and
radiologists, making it easier for them to
deliver responsive and integrated patient
care,” says Kennedy. “Our caregivers don’t
always know that NetApp All Flash FAS is
the reason they’re getting such rapid access
to patient data. However, they’ve told us
that our solution outperforms any clinical
environment they have experienced.”

Adapting quickly to caregiver needs
Staff requirements are constantly evolving,
and the ability to recompose large pools
of virtual desktops on the fly accelerates
the rolling out of new features and services
for clinical and radiology systems. This
approach enables IT to respond quickly to
staff requests for capabilities that enhance
patient care.

“By giving us an extremely efficient
SAN environment for virtual desktops,
NetApp All Flash FAS enables us to be
more responsive to user requests,” says
Kennedy. “It also reduces IT management
requirements by about one full-time
equivalent. If we had used spinning disk,
we would have had to set up multiple
small pools of virtual desktops, which
would have been more complex and time
consuming to manage.”

LCMC Success Story can be read in full here.