Power Down, Power Up — Moving a PACS is No Small Matter


Medical Imaging Data Security

Think moving a house is hard? Try moving a medical imaging data center with a PACS that serves six hospitals and 13 clinics in and around London and Manchester. But that’s exactly what HCA International Limited did, shutting down and packing more than 300 servers, moving them nine miles and powering them back up.

Needless to say, all medical imaging data had to be replicated before the move so that if anything happened in transit or there were problems at the new site, nothing would be lost.

HCA chose McKesson Medical Imaging Professional Services™ to plan and execute the PACS transfer, which involved the following:

  • Create temporary backup storage at a remote location for a copy of the PACS long-term archive
  • Leave primary backup at the original location
  • Assemble an array of spare parts and equipment in case servers needed to be rebuilt or replaced at the new location
  • Work with providers to help ensure network WAN connectivity, electrical power and other services were in place and tested
  • Create a baseline of system performance to allow confirmation that the same or better level of performance was achieved at the new facility

The move took place over a weekend, when most of the health system’s offices were closed. Systems were packed Friday night and moved Saturday morning. By 3:00 Saturday afternoon, all systems were installed, tested and up and running.

Although the move was forced on HCA by an inability to renew its facility lease, the new facility allows the IT team to be closer to the medical imaging data center than the original did, with additional office space for staff at a lower cost. “The [original] data center was located on one floor of the building while the HCA IT team had taken office space on the next floor above it,” explains Kaye Bonython, HCA’s head of Imaging Informatics. “We wanted to keep the IT people closer to where the heart of IT is located.”

Just as importantly, the move was completed with no service interruption or change in performance. “Our physicians and staff didn’t know the data center move had happened, and there were no disruptions at all to the business,” says Bonython. “That’s a great credit to McKesson and the expertise and professionalism of their team.”

For more information about our medical imaging consultants and services, please visit our web site.

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