Google Cloud Results
Saving $175K on annual licenses
• Medical staff spends more time with patients, enhancing patient care
• Reduced file storage needs for the hospital by 2 terabytes
• Improved security helping to ensure the hospital meets HIPAA privacy requirements while offering protection against ransomware
Community hospitals like the full-service, 283-bed Comanche County Memorial Hospital in southwest Oklahoma provide healthcare for millions of people who might otherwise be underserved by health facilities.
Often located in rural areas, they provide critical care to people who don’t have access to large hospitals and health systems. Because the hospitals are typically not as well-funded as larger institutions, it is important that they devote as much of their budget as possible to caring for patients, and use their IT budget effectively.
“We chose G Suite because it cost a quarter of what we were paying previously, offers the kind of modern features that healthcare facilities need, and gave us data security and peace of mind.” James Wellman, CIO, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Comanche County Memorial Hospital is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the Council on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
Several years ago, Comanche County Memorial Hospital decided it needed to change its email system, office suite, and overall computing infrastructure. The costs of licenses, hardware, and maintaining on-site servers was too high, and storage was expensive.
In the words of James Wellman, CIO of Comanche County Memorial Hospital, its systems were “archaic.” They didn’t provide easy access to data from mobile devices, which is particularly problematic for medical professionals who need to see medical information not only at computers in their offices but also when they are with patients, at the hospital, or offsite.
“Our infrastructure was aging,” James says. “Our servers were outdated, we were having many email problems, and we faced a never-ending cycle of spending too much money on systems that no longer delivered what we needed. We wanted systems that would cost less, require less maintenance, and give us modern capabilities like mobile access to data and true collaboration.”
The hospital switched to G Suite, he says, because it allowed the organization to simplify its computing infrastructure, reduce its costs, improve security, and give its staff access to data wherever they are.
Google Cloud Premier Partner Cloudbakers oversaw the transition from the old infrastructure to Google, performed the migration, and consults with the hospital on future uses of G Suite and other Google technologies through a customized change management program.
“We chose G Suite because it cost a quarter of what we were paying previously, offers the kind of modern features that healthcare facilities need, and gave us data security and peace of mind,” says James.
Better collaboration and mobile access
“We’ve seen big improvements in productivity since moving to G Suite. People can work from wherever they are, and collaboration is far easier than it was before.” James Wellman, CIO, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
The 2,000 employees at Comanche Memorial Hospital now use G Suite via Google Chrome browser to create and share documents hospital-wide. They store their documents on Google Drive, rather than on local hard disks or on-site servers.
Doctors and medical professionals can now use smartphones and tablets to access medical information and documents wherever they are. They can more quickly handle important requests, such as ordering tests, because they can approve them as they walk around the hospital and when they’re with patients, something they couldn’t do previously.
Staff can more easily collaborate on documents. Before turning to G Suite, staff sent file attachments via email. Because so many copies of the documents were circulating, it was difficult to incorporate everyone’s changes accurately. Now, with the documents stored on Google Drive, everyone works and comments on a single document, saving time and improving accuracy.
This has been especially useful for the accounting department, which has to validate complex payments between insurance companies, doctors, and the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which handles Medicare and Medicaid payments.
“We’ve seen big improvements in productivity ever since moving to G Suite. People can work from wherever they are, and collaboration is far easier than it was before,” says James.
Saving money, improving productivity
“G Suite has helped us provide better care, because every dollar we save can be put into helping patients. And our medical professionals can spend more time with patients and less time in front of their computers.” James Wellman, CIO, Comanche County Memorial Hospital
The hospital has seen considerable financial benefits since moving to G Suite. It saves $175,000 annually on licenses, James says. Because it no longer buys servers, it has reduced its hardware costs and staff no longer need to spend time maintaining physical servers. Because staff no longer send each other attachments, and moved their local file share to Google Drive, the hospital has reduced its storage requirements by over 2 terabytes, he says.
Productivity has also improved. Because IT staff no longer need to maintain hardware, they can spend more time on higher-level tasks, such as helping medical teams make better use of G Suite. “They’re not sitting there working on local hardware, and can instead be out helping people,” James says. Medical staff, no longer dependent on their office computers to access documents, can spend more time with patients.
Security has improved and meets privacy rules established by HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Google security features also help protect against ransomware, James says, which has been used to target hospitals worldwide. He adds, “One of the biggest things Google offers me is peace of mind.”
“G Suite has helped us provide better care, because every dollar we save can be put into helping patients. And our medical professionals can spend more time with patients and less time in front of their computers,” says James.