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Essex hospital trust upgrades IT infrastructure

Mid Essex NHS Trust upgrades its storage infrastructure to keep up with increasing volumes of data

Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust had to get its IT infrastructure upgraded to cope with the additional demands on storage and disaster recovery brought by major data heavy projects.

With a lack of clarity about how long data should be stored, the organisation must store and back up everything.

In 2008, the trust decided to refresh its storage infrastructure when space became an issue and it realised the warranty costs were about the same as the price of a new array.

The introduction of full electronic patient records and an upgrade to its Pacs filmless X-ray system are examples of developments that made this a timely project.

The trust chose HPE IT services firm MCSA to support the project, partly due to its experience in the UK healthcare sector, and then went to the market for the equipment.

After going through the tender process, the trust – which employs nearly 4,000 staff to provide local elective and emergency services to 380,000 people – chose to go forward with HPE 3PAR StoreServ 7000 Storage platform. This replaced its legacy HPE EVA environment.

For backup, the trust opted for HPE Data Protector and dual site replicated HPE StoreOnce disc backup. This gave it 99.8% data backup success, and availability of services is now over 99.5%.

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Jon Clark, infrastructure manager at Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, the biggest challenge in storage is the lack of clarity about how long data has to be stored. “As a result we have to store and back up everything,” he said.

The organisation also upgraded its backup. The upgraded infrastructure is vital to an organisation amid major projects will mean higher volumes of data requiring storage.

“The biggest challenge at the moment is electronic patient records, which we will have completed by May 2017,” said Clark. The trust is implementing CSC’s Lorenzo software.

Clark added that the organisation is also going through a refresh of Pacs. As part of the end of the NHS National Project for IT, the trust had to localise its digital picture archive system. This brings access speeds of patient records down from minutes to seconds, which further improves customer care. 

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