Case Study

Hanchuan People’s Hospital

Largest non-profit hospital in Hanchuan City relies on Stratus® everRun® for high availability of its critical digital information systems

Founded in 1950, Hanchuan People’s Hospital is the city’s largest nonprofit general hospital and the clinical education base of numerous medical schools, including Tongji Medical School of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Medical School of Yangtze University and Hubei Polytechnic Institute. The hospital was officially trusted by Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University in June 2011 and was verified as a “Third Grade Hospital” by the Health Department of Hubei Province in 2013.

Hanchuan People’s Hospital consists of two divisions. The North Division is a 34-acre facility with 1,250 available beds, 28 clinical offices, 14 medical technology offices and 26 specialized outpatient clinics, which handles 450,000 outpatient visits, 13,000 surgeries and 45,000 discharged patients annually. The South Division includes surgical and medical zones as well as an ophthalmology department and outpatient offices.

The Challenge

Hanchuan People’s Hospital invested more than 10 million yuan to implement a comprehensive Windows®-based digital information system that enables hospital-wide data sharing. The system includes applications such as HIS (Hospital Information System) for electronic medical records and PACs (Picture Archiving and Communications System) for medical imaging as well as LIS (Laboratory Information System) and RIS (Radiology Information System)—all of which are essential to day-to-day hospital operations and patient care.

Initially, the hospital used clustering in an attempt to achieve high availability of its digital information system. Two servers were connected in a single network using complex clustering software. The servers communicated with each other, continually checking for a heartbeat to confirm that the other server was up and running. If one server in the cluster failed the other would take over, but the recovery process introduced the potential for downtime and data loss—both of which are unacceptable in a hospital environment where patient well-being is on the line.

In addition, because hospital IT staff did not have the specialized expertise required to write, test and manage failover scripts, they had to rely on outside technical resources for these tasks. The high cost, complexity and risks associated with clustering eventually drove the hospital to seek out an alternative high availability solution.

The Solution

After evaluating various high availability solutions, Hanchuan People’s Hospital decided to implement Stratus everRun downtime prevention software on virtualized Dell™ and IBM® x86 servers. Unlike recovery-based solutions that need to be restarted, everRun keeps the hospital’s digital information system running continuously—even in the event of a system failure— by proactively monitoring all components of the application environment. Using patented technology, everRun combines the physical resources of the two standard servers into a single operating environment with full redundancy of all underlying hardware and data.

Hanchuan People’s Hospital everRun Set Up

With everRun MX, data is automatically synchronized between servers for redundancy, and if a device fails, the system automatically redirects from the failed device to the redundant device in order to protect in-flight data. Proactive failure alerts, sent via SNMP, provide notification when something needs attention. The cost-effective everRun solution eliminates the risk and complexity involved with HA clusters while ensuring the highest levels of availability for critical hospital applications that simply cannot tolerate downtime or data loss.

In addition, Hanchuan People’s Hospital implemented everRun SplitSite® to provide synchronized data mirroring and application fault tolerance across its North and South division data centers, which are separated by two kilometers. By supporting geographical separation, everRun SplitSite further safeguards the hospital from major downtime due to potentially catastrophic events such as flooding and power outages.

“Hanchuan People’s Hospital relies on always-on availability of our comprehensive medical information systems in order to deliver high-quality patient care across all our facilities. Stratus everRun MX software provides a completely resilient application environment that is far more reliable, cost-effective, and easier to maintain than traditional clusters, enabling us to prevent downtime and data loss that can seriously impact hospital operations, and potentially, patient outcomes.”
Mr. Yang Min
IT Director, Hubei Province Hanchuan People Hospital

The Results

Since deploying everRun MX, Hanchuan People’s Hospital has experienced improved levels of application availability, enabling smooth, efficient operations and delivery of quality patient care—day in and day out. Because everRun MX can be deployed without making changes to applications, the software has reduced the risk and complexities associated with its previous HA cluster solution, resulting in cost savings and reduced reliance on third-party technical resources. Supporting always-on application availability, everRun MX is helping the hospital maintain its strong reputation for exceptional medical care.

About Stratus

Stratus Technologies is the leading provider of infrastructure-based solutions that keep applications running continuously in today’s always-on world. Stratus enables rapid deployment of always-on infrastructures—from enterprise servers to clouds—without any changes to applications. Stratus’ flexible solutions—software, platform and services—prevent downtime before it occurs and ensure uninterrupted performance of essential business operations.

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