As more medical practices adopt electronic health records (EHR), running out of digital storage is becoming an increasingly common issue. HIPAA-regulated practices don’t always have the option of cloud solutions, but virtualization is a secure and cost-effective alternative.
What is virtualization?
There are countless ways for healthcare practices to improve their operations with virtualization, but each type of virtualization uses software to define hardware parameters that are more in line with a practice’s needs.
For example, if you had a web portal for patients to view their appointment details or visit summaries, you’d need a desktop computer or server to run an application that kept the service running 24/7. But with a limited budget, you might also want that workstation to be available for other tasks and applications. As long as the portal service and miscellaneous programs are installed on the same computer, they’ll be competing for resources and slowing each other down.
With virtualization, you could use software to create two virtual, totally independent computers. Half of your workstation’s hardware would be dedicated to your web portal service, and the other half would be set aside for other tasks and applications. You define how much power each half gets so a performance issue with one half never drags down the other.
Storage virtualization in healthcare
One of the biggest pain points for healthcare providers is how to keep up with storage demands for EHRs. IT solutions need to be both secure and flexible enough to meet the evolving needs of patients and industry regulations.
Storage virtualization allows healthcare companies to design solutions based on their needs rather than the hardware they have on hand. For instance, if you have a server for EHRs that is running out of space, you could use software to pool leftover space from other servers and workstations to create one huge virtual drive.
With more efficient resource distribution, you can keep sensitive documents stored on site without investing in expensive hardware upgrades.
How to set up a virtualization solution
Setting up any sort of virtualization system is a complex process that requires an intimate understanding of computer hardware and software. To learn more about what sort of cost reductions our services can give you, give us a call today.