Cloud-Ready Infrastructure for Healthcare

Evolving care needs, rising costs, and a shortage of physicians are putting the healthcare industry under pressure. However, those that embrace the new technologies available have the opportunity to thrive.

1 Healthcare Industry Trends

2 Monetizing Healthcare Services

3 Optimizing Operations for Innovation

4 Adhering to Compliance Pressures

5 Embracing the Future with Oracle Engineered Systems

6 Customer Stories

Healthcare Industry Trends

With increasing pressure from higher costs and an aging population, the healthcare industry is harnessing data to improve its services, drive profits, and provide a greater level of care.

Baby boomers are a burden on healthcare.

An aging population is putting increasing demands on the US healthcare system. The baby boom generation—those born between 1946 and 1964, and now 55 to 73 years old—is 75 million strong, meaning that the number of people age 65 and older is expected to double in the US by 2025. As this generation ages, its members experience more health problems and chronic conditions than younger people, and so require more care. And, as they reach the eligible age, they are relying more on Medicare/Medicaid entitlements to pay for it.

How can the healthcare industry respond? Some of the best answers to that challenge include harnessing the value of patient data to improve healthcare and giving caregivers access to that data via simple, easy-to-use solutions that can be distributed closer to the patient. Oracle Database Appliance provides an ideal solution for smaller healthcare providers, helping them adopt technology to provide better care for more people.

A more holistic approach for medicine.

Another major source of upheaval in the industry is the shift to managing health along a continuum, rather than waiting to treat people at the hospital when a medical event occurs. This changing care model is partially a response to the unequal health-spending burden of a small percentage of the population. In fact, the most recently available data from the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation shows that half of all healthcare expenditure is concentrated among just 5% of the noninstitutionalized US population.

Managing health along a continuum starts with preventive medicine to keep people healthier, so they ultimately need fewer healthcare services. And when they do get sick, this new model incorporates remote patient monitoring after treatment, to help them recover more quickly and minimize readmissions.

This focus on wellness and care across a continuum is accelerating the following trends:

The momentum in healthcare
organizations to evaluate and implement value-based care.

The complementary value-based payment models
that measure outcomes and move away from the traditional fee-for-service model.

Population health management
is an offshoot of value-based care, looking at outcomes for groups rather than individuals. It relies heavily on business intelligence and data analytics for viability.

This new prevention-focused model can be supported by helping patients access information and providers more easily. Healthcare providers are looking to technology to improve care and relieve some of the burdens on their systems. Kaiser Permanente is one organization leading the way. In 2017, 59% of Oakland, California-based Kaiser Permanente’s total patient transactions were virtual. This included online prescription refills, scheduling, lab result reports, and video clinician-patient consultations.

Key challenges for the industry.

The healthcare industry is in a period of flux, with organizations facing a number of key challenges, including:

  • An aging population
  • A more holistic approach to care
  • A shortage of healthcare professionals
  • Declining reimbursements
  • Soaring drug prices
  • Rising health insurance premiums
  • Higher out-of-pocket costs for the insured
  • Uncertainty around how the Affordable Care Act will evolve

Despite the uncertainty, healthcare organizations must continue to provide the best care possible and retain good clinicians who can deliver that care. To achieve this, they are moving forward with initiatives that drive higher revenue, reduced costs, greater efficiency, improved technology, better controls, and complete visibility into operations.

With Oracle Engineered Systems, healthcare organizations can create an effective, standardized infrastructure for their business—adapt and respond in real time, go to market faster, streamline their operations, modernize the back office, and turn data into a reusable, revenue-generating asset. By doing this, they can meet their number-one priority: providing better patient care as cost-effectively as possible.

Monetizing Healthcare Services

With an aging population requiring more healthcare services than ever before, and with drug prices increasing, healthcare organizations are using technology to monetize services and drive profits.

Improving outcomes and efficiency.

The aging population, chronic conditions, rising drug prices, and new treatments have driven healthcare costs to unsustainable levels. In fact, according to a study published in The Lancet, global healthcare spending is expected to more than double from US$9 trillion to US$24 trillion by 2040.

At the same time, healthcare services providers are under significant pressure to be as efficient as possible and improve outcomes in the face of falling reimbursement levels and growing demand. For providers, a key to long-term health lies in monetizing services by using new technologies, but also ensuring that patients have access to affordable care. In other words, healthcare organizations need to maximize profits without penalizing patients.

Both healthcare providers and payers are looking to technology to help them respond to these major industry forces. Until recently, healthcare organizations have focused their technology adoption efforts on moving to electronic medical records (EMRs) and complying with ongoing regulatory changes and requirements. Now, organizations have a broader focus, including:

  • Improving patient outcomes and providing a better patient experience
  • Increasing clinician satisfaction
  • Streamlining business processes
  • Implementing innovative practices and programs
  • Improving overall organizational productivity
  • Maximizing revenue
  • Managing costs

This refocusing of resources will help organizations to adapt effectively to the new world of healthcare.

Foundation for insights and innovation.

From a technology standpoint, building an entirely new business strategy on a robust infrastructure can help. Some of the specific initiatives that organizations are working on include:

  • Exploring how to implement value-based care and population health management models
  • Using analytics to better measure and predict outcomes
  • Implementing telemedicine and remote patient monitoring programs
  • Reducing waste by optimizing supply levels with better materials management systems
  • Identifying revenue and cost centers within the healthcare organization and, when business intelligence derived from accurate data collection supports it, outsourcing services where it’s economically beneficial and leads to better patient outcomes

Mercer’s EasyEnroll process.

Mercer chose to implement Oracle Database Appliance as the platform for its EasyEnroll application because of the database and the hardware integration, plus the flexibility of licensing on demand. Deployment was so simple that the IT team was able to install three Oracle Database Appliances in one day. Since deploying the solution, Mercer has experienced a 15 percent overall performance improvement for its EasyEnroll application—and that results in a better experience for Mercer’s customers.

Watch as Mercer’s Lead Database Administrator Kari Jacobs explains why Oracle Database Appliance enables a better customer experience.

UK National Health Service on track to save £1 billion.

To capitalize on its large volumes of patient data, UK National Health Service (NHS) knew it needed to consolidate that data and then make use of advanced analytics. Using Oracle Exadata Database Machine and a suite of analytics applications, some of which tap into the power of machine learning, the NHS was able to analyze massive amounts of data quickly to enable better patient care. With this solution, the NHS was able to create an antibiotics dashboard to identify overprescribing, reduce excessive prescription of medications in general, and recommend cancer treatment protocols to the national cancer registry. With these initiatives, the NHS projected it would save £1 billion by the end of 2018.

In 2017, the NHS Business Services Authority moved some applications to Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service and is now considering moving its on-premises databases to the cloud as well. With Oracle Engineered Systems, identical architecture on premises and in the cloud can simplify and speed this upgrade, making the NHS cloud-ready.

Read about how the NHS is analyzing data to improve care and save billions of pounds.

Optimizing Operations for Innovation

With more patient data available than ever before, healthcare systems are using technology to analyze it and to improve their business operations.

Emerging technologies driving innovation.

Healthcare organizations are seeking to consolidate data and systems to gain a 360-degree view of operations. They also want to apply business intelligence and predictive analytics effectively.

Adaptive intelligence and machine learning are disruptive technologies that can consolidate the enormous quantities of patient data being generated by EMRs, monitoring devices, medical imaging, and other sources. It enables a deeper understanding and view of patient populations, outcomes, and costs. These more-advanced adaptive intelligence and machine learning capabilities can help with early diagnosis of disease; improvement of prescribing effectiveness; and identification of fraud, security threats, and population risk.

This innovation requires a sound IT infrastructure built on Oracle Engineered Systems, which are designed to manage enormous amounts of data seamlessly, consolidate that data for complete visibility, and run real-time analytics that leads smarter decisions and better patient care.

Jeju National University Hospital improves productivity and patient care.

Jeju National University Hospital (JNUH) is one of Korea’s top general hospitals, serving more than 2,000 outpatients and 500 inpatients daily. It also focuses on treating chronic illness such as cancer and heart disease.

With the goal of providing the best patient experience possible, the hospital was focused on improving doctor-patient interaction. IT system bottlenecks meant doctors and other providers lost time executing tasks such as accessing patients’ electronic records. Medical information systems, such as Groupware and Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS), were unstable and lacked availability. That made it difficult for doctors to diagnose conditions and develop treatment plans.

By standardizing its infrastructure on Oracle Exadata and Oracle Management Cloud, the hospital has:

  • Made it faster and easier for doctors to analyze patient medical histories
  • Provided reliably high availability and stability of medical systems
  • Improved EMR system performance by 33.5 times
  • Reduced disk utilization to less than 10 percent

“Upgrading the IT infrastructure was integral for the hospital to expand medical services.” A-Na Lee, Director, Medical Center, Jeju National University Hospital

With greater confidence in the IT system, medical staff is now able to stay focused on providing top-quality care—which has improved trust between doctors, the hospital, and patients.

Learn more about how Jeju National University Hospital standardized its infrastructure and increased doctor productivity.

Impulse Info Systems’ solution in a box.

Netherlands-based Impulse Info Systems offers its USER healthcare application, which helps with the treatment of patients with mental health and addiction issues. They deliver it to clinics as a solution-in-a-box with Oracle Database Appliance. This means Impulse can maintain control over the application, and its customers don’t have to do anything. The application is provided as a cloud-to-customer service, with Impulse managing and maintaining Oracle Database Appliance for its customers.

With standardized application deployments, reduced implementation time, and lower support costs, Oracle Database Appliance benefits both Impulse Info Systems and its customers.

Watch as Impulse Info Systems CEO H.T.H.M. Koopman describes the simplicity of Oracle Database Appliance.

Cerner counts on Oracle Exadata to support critical operations.

Cerner Corporation is well known in the healthcare industry as a major developer of EMR software, helping to connect more than 25,000 provider facilities worldwide. The Kansas City, Missouri-based enterprise’s top priority is protecting sensitive healthcare data. The company was looking for a solution that would not only do just that, but also ensure 24/7 availability and reduce staffing requirements and system complexity.

With Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Platinum Services with proactive 24/7 monitoring and support, Cerner achieved zero downtime, cut its database administrator (DBA) workload by 30 percent, and freed up the DBAs to focus on priority business goals.

See how Cerner refocuses DBAs on business-critical initiatives with Oracle Platinum Services.

Adhering to Compliance Pressures

As healthcare systems have to comply with increasingly robust regulations, they’re employing technology to meet the challenge.

Regulation continues to proliferate.

The growth in healthcare data—EMRs, genomic data, claims data, and personal information—creates a greater risk to protected health information (PHI). Privacy regulations, including General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), pose stiff penalties for those unprepared to address the increasingly sophisticated cybersecurity threats.

Compliance is driving systems change.

As a result, regulatory compliance remains a major challenge. Regulatory requirements have dominated the healthcare industry’s focus, especially in the IT arena, as organizations are forced to upgrade systems to meet constantly evolving regulations. Here are some of the major changes that sent ripples through healthcare industry IT departments:

In the US, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) put in place standards and requirements to protect the privacy and security of electronic PHI. This came as healthcare organizations moved from paper to electronic records.
In 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) was enacted in the US to strengthen enforcement of HIPAA rules and address the transmission of EMRs.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as “Obamacare”) made affordable health insurance more widely available in the US, expanding Medicaid to adults with income 138 percent below the federal poverty level, and lowering the cost of healthcare in general. The ACA caused a huge shift in healthcare practices, on the side of both provider and payer. It asked that healthcare providers extend more services to more patients amid changing reimbursement models. All of these changes had to be reflected in the electronic systems of healthcare organizations.
The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), 10th edition, created tens of thousands of new diagnosis codes used for medical billing in the US. The US edition now contains somewhere around 70,000 codes (the number is always changing), compared to 14,000 in ICD-9.

Regulatory compliance leads to associated systems changes, which is why so much time and energy has been spent in this area. With healthcare organizations finally getting respite from major regulatory changes, they are focusing more of their resources on adopting technology that can improve the patient experience, increase clinician satisfaction, streamline processes, and manage costs.

Hospital improves patient experiences and increases data security.

Santa Rosa Hospital in Cuiabá, Brazil, needed a database system that could scale to match its rapid growth in patient procedures—and the accompanying growth in data. The new solution had to be able to improve performance, ensure uninterrupted access to the database 24/7, provide a safe and efficient backup process, and offer expandable storage capacity.

According to IT Manager Andre Carrion, Santa Rosa searched for two years for a solution but couldn’t find one that fit its budget, until it discovered Oracle Database Appliance with cloud backup. The results were impressive. With Oracle Database Appliance, the hospital was able to slash the average emergency room consultation time by more than half—from 15 minutes to six minutes—and speed up access to patient information from three minutes to two seconds.

But that’s not all. With Oracle Database Backup Service, Santa Rosa always has complete access to the database, with greater patient data security. The system stores data in the cloud and runs on the virtual server, while the physical server is re-established, ensuring patient data isn’t lost and is always accessible. In terms of performance, the IT team was able to reduce backup time from 24 hours to just two hours and replaced 10 servers with a single server.

Learn how Oracle Engineered Systems boosted Santa Rosa Hospital’s performance.

Embracing the Future with Oracle Engineered Systems

As financial and regulatory pressures increase, combined with the need to provide better patient outcomes, healthcare systems are choosing Oracle to help meet their challenges.

Creating a healthy IT infrastructure.

More and more healthcare providers, payers, and business systems solutions providers are choosing Oracle Engineered Systems to help create a robust IT infrastructure that can deliver on the myriad challenges that the healthcare industry faces. For healthcare providers, the bottom line is better patient outcomes and greater clinician satisfaction. At the same time, they’re looking at how to maximize revenue while reining in costs through innovative payment models, improved reimbursements, and optimized supply inventories. For payers, the right infrastructure allows them to access information to optimize payments and maximize revenue.

Emdeon deploys Oracle for faster time to market.

Emdeon, a provider of healthcare business solutions, is the largest processor of healthcare transactions in the US. As the company grew through a series of acquisitions, the complexity of its systems also grew. Looking to lower maintenance costs and enable customer visibility into transactions at any point, Emdeon chose Oracle SOA Suite on Oracle Exalogic for an engineered systems advantage. It also enabled the company to innovate faster and go to market faster, delivering a new product to market within the first 90 days of purchase.

Learn how Bill Muir, Emdeon SVP, business management platform services, used Oracle to simplify systems and reduce costs.

MedImpact prescriptions are ready 24/7 with Oracle.

Pharmacy benefits management company MedImpact Healthcare Systems needs to make sure that patients have their prescriptions ready when they get to the pharmacy—no matter what day or time they’re picking up. The company relies on a number of Oracle solutions to make sure the business delivers 24/7. Leveraging an Oracle Exadata platform and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance for its Oracle Database, application workload performance has increased from 5 percent to up to 1,000 percent, depending on the workload.

Watch as MedImpact SVP and CIO John Treiman describes the performance improvements since moving to Oracle.

Avoiding patient care emergencies with Oracle Exadata.

Founded in 1803, Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Porto Alegre in Brazil has a medical staff of 1,800 spanning seven care units, including two general hospitals and five specialty facilities. Slow response times and inferior availability of its hospital management application were hampering the delivery of high-quality patient care for more than 157,000 emergency patients, four million outpatient visits, and 46,000 admissions a year. Bottlenecks in the application prevented medical staff and managers from doing their jobs effectively. Santa Casa implemented Oracle Exadata Database Machine in a Cloud at Customer model for high performance and availability to support admissions, surgeries, and round-the-clock emergency care. The results included accelerating month-end closing by 30 percent, ensuring system recovery within 15 minutes of system interruption or downtime, and speeding data entry by 50 percent to increase staff productivity and deliver more-responsive emergency care.

A pivotal time for healthcare.

More and more healthcare providers, payers, and business systems solution providers are choosing Oracle Engineered Systems to help create a robust IT infrastructure that can take on the challenges that the industry faces.

For providers, the bottom line is better patient outcomes and greater clinician satisfaction, while maximizing revenue and reducing costs through innovative payment models, improved reimbursements, and optimized supply inventories.

For payers, the right infrastructure allows them to access information to optimize payments and maximize revenue. For business solution providers, the right infrastructure, especially Oracle Engineered Systems, allows them to deliver on their promises to customers and gain a healthy competitive edge.

All Oracle Engineered Systems consumption models are cloud-ready when you are. Choose traditional on-premises deployment, private cloud, or public cloud behind your firewall—and get the same set of world-class, fully compatible, cloud-ready capabilities.

Customer Stories

Hear from healthcare customers who are experiencing the benefits of Oracle Engineered Systems for themselves.

North America

MedImpact Optimizes Pharmacy Management with Oracle Exadata

MedImpact leverages Oracle Exadata and Oracle ZFS for their Oracle Database and see application workload performance increase up to 1000 percent.

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Mercer Experiences 15% Overall Performance Improvement

Kari Jacobs explains why Oracle Database Appliance enables a better customer experience.

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Cerner Counts on Oracle Exadata to Support Critical Operations

Cerner achieves zero downtime and cuts its DBA workload by 30 percent.

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Oracle Lowers Maintenance Costs while Delivering New Products to Market Faster

Oracle simplifies systems and reduces cost on Oracle SOA and Oracle Exalogic.

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Sentry Data Systems Innovates with Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer

Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer gives Sentry Data Systems the security and scalability with over 100 percent ROI in first six months on Oracle Exadata and 60 percent decrease in their batch processing window while having all the components necessary to use cloud and have control over the protection of their data.

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Europe, Middle East, and Africa

NHS Improves Patient Care

NHS Business Services Authority gains better insight into data, identifies circa GBP100 million (US$156 million) in potential savings in just three months.

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Impulse Info Systems Delivers to clinics “Solution in a Box”

With standardized application deployments, reduced implementation time, and lower support costs, Info Systems CEO describes the simplicity of ODA.

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Bestmed Cuts Customer Pharmacy Wait Times 100x by Using ODA

Bestmed describes how Oracle Database Appliance makes them more competitive by switching time where a customer would stand in a pharmacy from two seconds to two milliseconds.

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Asia Pacific and Japan

Jeju University Hospital Improves Doctor Productivity and Delivers Quality Services

Enabled doctors to quickly process tasks, such as analyzing patient medical history, and provided top of the line services by integrating four databases, eight servers and a separate storage system into Oracle Exadata Database Machine and improving EMR system performance by 33.5 times.

Read the customer story

Latin America

Oracle Boosted System Performance and Reduced Backup Times

With Oracle Database Appliance, the hospital was able to slash the average emergency room consultation time by more than half—from 15 minutes to six minutes—and speed up access to patient information from three minutes to two seconds.

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Santa Casa de Misericordia de Porto Alegre Increases High Performance

With Oracle Exadata they accelerated month-end closing by 30 percent and increased the speed of data entry by 50 percent to increase staff productivity.

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