Microsoft and Epic offer cloud solutions to healthcare providers

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 27 April 2015
Microsoft and Epic offer cloud solutions to healthcare providers

Microsoft has collaborated with IT company Epic to offer enhanced cloud solutions to healthcare providers.

As part of the partnership, customers are able to run Epic’s Hyperspace application on the Microsoft Hyper-V platform and archive infrequently used data on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

“As patients take a more active role in managing their health, they expect safe, secure and efficient web-based access to their health information and the ability to schedule physician appointments or have email physician consultations,” said Michael Robinson, vice president of US Health and Life Sciences at Microsoft in a blog post. “But for this to happen, networks must have strong controls in place to protect patient privacy, while allowing flexibility for providers to fulfil their responsibilities with existing resources. For example, a clinician should be able to record patient notes on a mobile device and later access the notes from his or her desk. The same information should then also be available with restricted access to other clinicians with the patient’s personal details safeguarded.”

The Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 platform is targeted for Citrix XenApp 6.5 Virtual Machines running Hyperspace on Microsoft Server 2008 R2 for Epic 2012, Epic 2014 and the upcoming Epic 2015 application.

Epic’s sizing and capacity recommendations for Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 give customers more options in their choice of virtualisation platforms.

In addition, using Microsoft’s Hyper-V reduces the costs of operating and maintaining physical servers, minimises the amount of time needed to set up hardware and improves server availability. Customers deploying Hyper-V can also gain access to Windows 8.

Several US hospitals have already successfully implemented the Epic Hyperspace solution on Microsoft’s Hyper-V/System Center platform including Legacy Health. Children’s Hospital Colorado has rolled out the solution to more than 2,700 users to help reduce costs.

“With the ease of use and familiarity of the Microsoft stack, we saved US$200,000 in software licensing and achieved much lower administration costs,” said Rick McIntosh, manager of Systems Infrastructure at Children's Hospital Colorado.

Meanwhile, Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, Washington, has deployed the solution to simplify its IT management and improved service to their users.

“Microsoft virtualisation solutions help us operate more efficiently and cost-effectively and provide the resources that our clinicians and staff need in a fraction of the time previously required,” said John Sims, supervisor of Desktop Engineering at Group Health Cooperative.

“Microsoft’s work with Epic underscores its commitment to creating impactful technology that helps break down the barriers to more efficient provider solutions that enhance the patient-provider experience,” said Robinson.

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