Customer Success

Franciscan Health's Move to Virtustream Healthcare Cloud Helps Healthcare Organization Place More Focus on Patient Care IT Initiatives


Franciscan Health logo

Franciscan Health combines the latest technology, innovative procedures and brightest, most compassionate people to serve patients throughout its 12 hospitals and hundreds of medical practices in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. To enable internal IT staff to increase their focus and resources on patient care initiatives, Franciscan Health successfully migrated its Epic electronic health record (EHR) system and other workloads to the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud.

Challenge

As part of a long-term strategy to exit the datacenter business, Franciscan Health planned to migrate its Epic EHR system to a hosted cloud environment, supported with expert managed services to augment internal IT staff. By offloading the daily operations of supporting infrastructure and managing applications, Franciscan Health’s IT teams could support new technology solutions and innovative projects for a rapidly changing healthcare environment.

With nearly a decade already on Epic, moving a vast repository of sensitive healthcare information was no small task. Franciscan Health needed a cloud provider that understood the unique demands of the industry and could ensure compliance with healthcare laws and regulations in a hosted environment. In addition, escalating demands on IT infrastructure and digital services required a highly reliable and agile solution to serve the needs of healthcare workers and patients. Franciscan Health didn’t just want a vendor to host its mission-critical applications, it wanted a partner to share the responsibility of taking care of its most valuable digital assets — a trusted partner with the expertise, operational maturity and security measures in place to migrate sensitive data safely and successfully. Franciscan Health found that partner in Virtustream, a Dell Technologies business.

“Healthcare information is sensitive, and when someone trusts you with their private health information, that is not a responsibility to take lightly,” says Chuck Christian, Chief Technology Officer, Franciscan Health. ”To better protect and serve our patients, we needed a healthcare cloud that not only drove operational efficiencies, but also valued the importance of compliance and healthcare regulations.”
Solution

Built as an enterprise-class cloud company with roots in Dell-EMC, Virtustream has a long history of running and operating complex applications like large SAP environments. Virtustream Healthcare Cloud supports Epic EHR and Payer Platform — systems with unique complexities when run and managed in the cloud — as well as other applications and workloads critical to the healthcare industry.

With deep experience and expertise working across the full Epic ecosystem, Virtustream was able to facilitate a comprehensive migration to the cloud for Franciscan Health. Virtustream performs software updates, applies system patches and handles day-to-day operations for the Epic EHR application. Virtustream’s xStreamCare Services™ drive operational efficiencies, optimize workloads and improve uptime, allowing Franciscan Health IT staff to focus on more strategic patient care and business initiatives.

Selecting a cloud provider that thoroughly understands and adheres to compliance requirements for healthcare regulations was a top priority for Franciscan Health. Virtustream Healthcare Cloud provides a HIPAA-HITECH and SOC2+HITRUST compliant cloud that helps secure both protected health information (PHI) and non-PHI data for healthcare customers.

Additionally, Virtustream worked with Franciscan Health to improve service desk efficiency and workflows by implementing Virtustream’s ITSM Ticketing Integration Services. By successfully integrating both companies’ IT incident ticketing and change management processes, Franciscan Health was able to automate support workflows and benefit from near real-time response with full ticketing lifecycle visibility.

In addition to Epic EHR, Virtustream hosts ancillary applications that are key to the Franciscan Health business. The ability to expand its cloud footprint to host other workloads helps Franciscan Health remain agile and efficient in changing times.

“Engaging with our patients and expediting access to care is a core driver for Franciscan Health’s future. By partnering with Virtustream to run Epic in the cloud, we are able to make this future a reality by simplifying and personalizing the way our staff delivers patient care,” says Chuck.

The Results

The smooth transition to Epic in the cloud ensured that Franciscan Health was able to quickly adapt to fast-growing demands for digital tools as the COVID-19 pandemic rose. The organization established a remote workforce and reallocated internal IT resources to deploy innovative solutions to handle increased online activities. 

For example, Franciscan Health expanded its telehealth platform, quickly extending infrastructure to support new features and increasing loads on MyChart. Beyond telehealth visits, technology enables virtual rounds in nursing homes with connected stethoscopes, more coordinated discharge plans for hospitalized patients and other innovations to support medical care during the COVID-19 health crisis that began in 2020. Franciscan Health also advanced digital transformation initiatives to modernize its practices — from deploying Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to installing cameras for remote collaboration.

Shifting workloads to a cloud platform makes it easier to manage spending, allowing healthcare organizations to plan for current and future IT initiatives with more accuracy. Not only does the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud create a more predictable environment to run Epic EHR, but also Virtustream’s unique pricing model provides added clarity in billing and enables cost savings from underutilized systems.

“When patients step into our hospital, they deserve a reliable, efficient and, most importantly, positive experience. Virtustream’s cloud and expert services are major factors for Franciscan Hospital, helping us streamline the way personalized care is delivered through our Epic EHR systems.”

Chuck Christian, Chief Technology Officer
Franciscan Health

Overall, the migration to Virtustream Healthcare Cloud delivered significant benefits to Franciscan Health, including:

  • Support for numerous IT environments
  • Faster disaster recovery capabilities
  • Improved cloud consumption models and more transparency for scaling on demand
  • Simplified processes for application updates
  • Built-in enterprise-class security and compliance

Download Franciscan Health's Move to Virtustream Healthcare Cloud Helps Healthcare Organization Place More Focus on Patient Care IT Initiatives PDF