Adventist Health (Adventist) is one of the largest healthcare providers in the western United States, and its network just keeps getting bigger.
To accommodate that growth spurt, it needed a larger headquarters, but it was not just the organization’s physical space that was in for an upgrade, Adventist needed to upgrade its data storage, and that meant migrating the terabytes of patient data that doctors and nurses use to make critical decisions.
“It was affecting the entire business and it needed to go smooth, because you can’t afford an interruption in patient care at all,” said Carl Block, PMP, former Administrative Director for Core Technologies at Adventist Health.
Scaling storage up or down as required
The $4.5 million project aimed to build a co-located data center that would allow Adventist to scale its storage up as it acquired more locations or down as more data moved to the cloud, but many stakeholders had concerns about moving patient data to a shared facility. So, the team, including project partners from Quest Technology Management, spent a lot of time listening.
“Knowing that we were migrating to a new facility that wasn’t going to be on-premises was a shift in people’s minds,” said Sean Howell, Project Manager at Quest Technology Management.
And their concerns weren’t entirely unfounded. At the time, Adventist ran over 250 clinics and 20 hospitals, many of which provide emergency care; losing access to patient data could easily become a matter of life and death.
“Hospitals run 24/7, so the user-base was key in determining when we can move these applications with minimal impact on patient care,” said Block.
An unexpected crisis
To migrate more than 900 applications and ensure no data integrations were put at risk, the team had to plan for the unexpected. Then came a crisis no one had anticipated.
“In the middle of the migration of systems, the Camp Fire impacted one of the hospitals and facilities for Adventist Health in Paradise, CA,” said Howell.
Once the flames at Feather River Hospital had been extinguished, the hospital IT team rushed into rescue its local servers. Then the project team worked throughout the night to bring servers online in the main data center. Protecting the pharmaceutical, dental, and medical data required the team to add two sprints to the project schedule, but using Agile helped keep the project on track.
Howell stated, “We were able to quickly change focus and reevaluate the priorities of that sprint week and were able to not only ensure the people that were under the care of Adventist were taken care of, but also that our project did not suffer impacts to the scope, schedule, and budget that we had all been evangelizing.”
Not one single interruption
Despite this major disruption, the one year project was delivered on time and on budget. Most importantly, the Quest and Adventist Health IT project team kept its promise to health care providers who were able to continue to care for patients without a single interruption or comment.
Block explained, “We consider no comments a good thing. No comments from physicians and nurses because we wanted to absolutely minimize any impact on them but set the business up for future growth and for the ability to expand and contract and have flexibility in their strategy in the future.”
And that wouldn’t have been possible without the right people with the right skills.
Block stated, “You just can’t do that without trained project managers who understand the various strategies and tactics of getting a project of that magnitude to come together.”
Video of Quest’s Co-location success story may be found here.