Healthcare Practice Leverages Mode5 Managed IT Services to Minimize Network Frustrations and Maximize Time Spent with Patients.
M.D. Express is the Virginia Peninsula’s largest provider of urgent care medical services. Their first location was opened in Williamsburg, Virginia, in June 2004. Services expanded rapidly to include locations in Yorktown, Newport News, Hampton, and most recently in Gloucester. M.D. Express employs 122 professionals including physicians, physician assistants, clinical staff (nurses, X-ray techs, and medical assistants), and administration (support staff, facility coordinators, receptionists, and transcribers). They serve patients in need of rapid diagnosis and treatment for minor illness and injury including sports injuries, fractures, flu and more. Details about the hours of operation and services provided by M.D. Express are available on their web site www.riversideonline.com/mdexpress.
M.D. Express had three clinics and had plans to open their fourth clinic when they began to look for a new technology partner. Since M.D. Express creates facilities dedicated to one-stop medical care in order to deliver the most comprehensive medical treatment in the most time-efficient manner, they decided they needed a more proactive technology services provider to allow staff more time to focus on their patients. Stephanie Sweeny, General Manager of M.D. Express, said that their existing technology solution was resulting in a lot of “frustration, increase in patient care times, and wasted time dealing with the computers instead of with the patient care”. According to Sweeny, the main reason M.D. Express chose Mode5 as their new technology partner was that Mode5 was “able to communicate with us on a non-IT level since we aren’t IT”. She remarked further that after meeting with Mode5 “we understood what was going on with our system” and that Mode5 “just simplified our whole process and just made things very easy for us.”
It was important for M.D. Express to have site independence so that the other locations could continue to work if one location’s network was unavailable. This is different than many designs where servers are installed at a single location and other offices connect remotely. Each M.D. Express location utilized custom built servers and storage devices running an open sourced software called Openfiler. Although Windows Servers were in place, M.D. Express was configured in a workgroup network. The workgroup configuration meant that they could not take advantage of the features of a typical business network. It limited their ability to enforce network security policies, centralize network administration, and created cumbersome accessibility issues for the staff members who rotate their services among the various locations. In addition, M.D. Express was accessing some applications from their IT service provider’s data center. Because these applications and their associated data were in a separate environment, some duplication and confusion occurred. M. D. Express wanted to move the applications away from the provider while retaining the ability to access them remotely. Finally, M.D. Express wanted to implement a cloud backup solution to ensure their disaster recovery plan had an offsite replication component.
After reviewing M.D. Express’s business needs and existing technology, Mode5 created a server solution utilizing standardized technologies including new Hewlett Packard servers and Microsoft Windows Server software. Mode5 was able to create site independent networks at each location using a distributed Active Directory architecture. This ensured that M.D. Express could access the critical applications and data they needed to serve their patients. The Microsoft Windows Domain network that was put in place ensured that all network policies and administration could be done seamlessly and that M.D. Express would be running a standardized, vendor supported network. New firewalls, backup devices, and battery backups were also put in place. The applications used in the data center were migrated back to the servers and remote access to them was created. Lastly, a cloud backup solution was put in place to make sure the backups were replicated to the Mode5 Data Center for disaster recovery purposes.
Because M.D. Express was operating three clinics and in the process of opening the fourth clinic at the time of the implementation of the change in IT service providers to Mode5, the staff anticipated a rather stressful transition. They were pleased to find that it was much easier than they anticipated. Sweeny characterized the process as being “very smooth” and stated further that “it went over without a hitch”.
At the very beginning of their relationship with Mode5, the M.D. Express staff found their new IT solution much easier, with less equipment required. According to Sweeny, “We were purchasing unnecessary equipment that the other IT people were having us purchase. Come to find out, we didn’t even need it.” M.D. Express has been very pleased with the value of the services they receive from Mode5. Their computers now run more efficiently with less downtime and lest cost. They are able to access data quickly and feel confident that they have an excellent system in place to protect their patients’ confidential information in accordance with HIPAA regulations.
Sweeny is also pleased with how Mode5 services have impacted her job specifically. “I have no worries anymore about what’s going on in the IT part of it just because I have the trust and faith in Mode5. I don’t have to worry about those things anymore.” The M.D. Express staff has also benefited from the technology changes implemented and their choice of Mode5 Managed IT Services. Sweeny tells us that staff efficiency has improved since “They’re able to spend more time focusing on patient care and not on the computer issues and failures.”
Additional Client Comments
“The biggest thing is that you were able to communicate with us on a non-IT level since we aren’t IT. You were able to communicate where we understood what was going on with our system and just simplified our whole process and just made things very easy for us.
“The customer service is phenomenal, so we’ve had minimal downtime.”
Technologies and Services Utilized
Hewlett Packard Servers
Hewlett Packard Advanced Integrated Lights Out Software
Windows Server 2008R2
QNAP NAS Devices
APC Smart UPS Devices
HP ProCurve Switches