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Saving Lives and Money with a Data Protection Solution

December 6, 2007


Symantec solutions helped Baptist Health South Florida not only save millions and better protect itself against disasters, but also deliver better patient care and save more lives.

Using technology to keep Floridians healthy

Baptist Health South Florida, headquartered in Coral Gables, is the largest nonprofit healthcare group in the Miami area. It serves more than 100,000 patients a year at 19 hospitals and outpatient clinics, plus home health care and other services.

The hospital group was caught between constantly rising healthcare costs and demands for better service, accountability, and protection of sensitive medical data. With data volumes growing by 25 percent a year, it was adding 40 new servers every quarter, for a total of 600 servers by May 2007.

Systems weren’t working together

Baptist Health's heterogeneous IT systems were reeling under the burden. The backup window was swelling from eight hours a day to as high as 12 hours, and success rates were only 70-80 percent. The systems not only didn’t always work together effectively, but many were outdated and inefficient. The IT staff was forced to spend much of its time on repairs or repetitive chores, rather than finding new ways for technology to improve healthcare. Allen Montgomery, corporate director of IT systems and development, realized the company’s entire IT infrastructure would need to evolve.

Between 2000 and 2007, Baptist Health South Florida adopted a series of Symantec solutions for data backup and recovery, application monitoring and remediation, IT quality assurance, and regulatory compliance management, to support the hospitals’ hundreds of different technologies. The solutions included: Veritas NetBackup, Veritas Cluster Server, Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery, Symantec Control Compliance Suite, Symantec Security Information Manager, and Wise Package Studio from Altiris. Symantec Consulting Services helped with deployment and application upgrades.

"We live and die for patient care. Knowing that our applications will install properly and coexist with the operating system and other healthcare-specific applications is critical for us," says Erik McLaughlin, corporate manager of client-server infrastructure at Baptist Health.

Efficiencies yield millions in business value

The most important benefit for Baptist Health has been an improvement in care for seriously ill patients. As a result of a remote monitoring system the hospital created for its intensive care units—which runs on servers linked by Veritas high-availability clustering technology—it has documented a 27 percent drop in deaths and 14 percent shorter patient stays in critical care. The group shrank the time needed for security audits from 12 hours to 15 minutes. It also boosted backup success rates to over 95 percent and cut backup time by nearly half, from a 10-to-12-hour window nightly to about six hours nightly.

IT was also able to accommodate data storage doubling within 18 months from 21 TB to 42 TB, without increasing backup times or workforce resources. Moreover, Baptist Health is now protected against server outages or disasters, which delivers not only large dollar savings, but an even larger gain in human wellbeing.

The Alchemy Solutions Group, using its Total Operational & Economic Impact (TOEI) methodology, calculated total business value savings and averted revenue losses between 2005 and 2008 of $35.6 million, including one-time savings and reduced headcount in the IT department. Specific improvements include:

  • Server crash and disaster recovery labor savings and future cost avoidance: $29.6 million from using Backup Exec System Recovery with VMware ESX Server
  • Saving $1.86 million in labor through more efficient security management
  • Application remediation labor cost savings of $1.5 million leveraging Wise Package Studio from Altiris
  • Reducing current and future storage costs by $775,000 with tiered storage
  • Centralized backup labor cost savings of $694,000 from using Veritas NetBackup
  • Lowering labor costs for compliance management by $504,000 with Symantec Control Compliance Suite
  • Saving $646,000 in physical-to-virtual disaster recovery migration costs
"We’ve always used the full range of products and services that Symantec offers, from education to technical support to consulting," Montgomery says. "We’ve ensured that we’ve been able to implement technology solutions in a short time, and leverage and maximize value in that short amount of time as well."

For more detail on the business value Baptist Health South Florida is realizing with Symantec solutions, access the Business Value Analysis by The Alchemy Solutions Group here.

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