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|“The changes we implemented at FSO have not only improved the performance of our environment but reduced our overall cost of ownership.”– David Blaeuer, Practice Administrator|
First State Orthopaedics (FSO) is the largest orthopaedic practice in the state of Delaware. Comprised of 15 specialty surgeons spread across their seven office locations, FSO’s multi-office practice provides patients with highly sophisticated and well-versed treatment and at the same time conveniently accessible office locations for patients across the state of Delaware. FSO serves Christiana and Wilmington Hospitals in addition to most local ambulatory surgery centers. The practice also provides services to more than twenty high schools, Goldey-Beacom College, Wilmington College, and many local recreational and competitive sports leagues.
Prior to IT Solutions’ involvement, FSO saw the many benefits of going paperless and realized the need to move to an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) environment. Implementation of the NextGen EMR solution would allow FSO to access all patient records across their seven locations while maintaining a high level of confidentiality. The uptime and speed of the EMR system is crucial to maintain the large volume of patients who visit each FSO office daily. The Practice Management application allows the EMR system to integrate billing information and basic patient contact information with the individual patient’s medical records. The previous consultant built out the FSO infrastructure – but didn’t have the personnel or expertise to implement and support it. While FSO had two full-time IT administrators to handle day-to-day network issues, two employees could not physically be at seven locations at once. This left the 250+ workstations in the care of a limited staff. But the need to maintain high speed turnaround times for any network issue that affects the practice’s productivity still remained. FSO decided to partner with IT Solutions to fill in these gaps with our remote help desk and field engineering teams.
IT Solutions originally supported FSO through our SharedVision Advanced Plan but following a detailed evaluation of the entire range of FSO’s technology needs by a third party consulting firm, M.T Fiore & Associates, a switch to the more comprehensive Guardian Plan was made in order to support the entire scope of FSO’s multifaceted network. The SharedVision Guardian Plan provides remote and on-site support for a predictable monthly fee and includes all backup services through the ITS DataVault. IT Solutions monitors all network components remotely on a regular basis via Citrix Server. Redundancy is built into a fiber loop to ensure uptime consistency and high availability of data and server resources for all seven office locations. ITS provides coverage for overflow issues that arise during working hours as well as after hours or on days when full-time staff members are sick or on vacation. The internal IT team at FSO have access to IT Solutions’ monitoring software which allows them to collaborate with the ITS team to remotely manage systems and locations 24x7. Complementing the monitoring software, the Guardian Plan provides FSO with a ticket tracking software for their internal use. This allows the two companies to work together efficiently to handle all issues, including those that FSO engineers either are too busy to take on at a particular time or may not have the experience to fully resolve without some outside assistance. Network improvement projects are also handled by ITS, such as the server virtualization initiative that converted the backend infrastructure to a completely virtualized environment, consolidating servers to ease network management and reduce hardware costs.
The combination of full-time resources delivered by the IT Solutions’ network services team provides the comprehensive coverage necessary to keep FSO’s complex systems running smoothly at all times. Having ITS as a backup minimizes costs and necessary management oversight compared to additional full-time internal resources. The occasional emergency issues that arise are always resolved promptly and without productivity-damaging interruption due to the careful coordination of the two teams. The shift to a virtualized network has allowed First State Orthopaedics to consolidate servers which ultimately allows for ease of data management and has significantly reduced hardware, power and cooling, and server maintenance costs. “As Practice Administrator for FSO I am the first person to receive a call from the executive staff when there are issues with our environment,” says David Blaeuer. “The changes and strategy we implemented at FSO have not only improved the performance of our environment but reduced our overall cost of ownership. Nobody enjoys paying bills but you mind it a lot less when you know you are getting a return on your investment.”