The new Data Center at Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) is a technical marvel unlike any other building on the hospital’s expansive campus. It was constructed using a USDA loan. A little over $11 million was spent to get the structure completed with all of the needed power and cooling systems in place.
The Data Center houses all PMC’s servers and equipment needed to keep hospital operations running smoothly. It was designed to house the technical operations of the hospital with many special features.
It was built with upgraded wiring, leak detection and environmental controls to maintain proper temperature for all the equipment. This is achieved by using state-of-the-art hot aisle containment systems. It also has the capability to monitor equipment and power statistics that could not be done previously.
In the event of a power failure, the Data Center has many backup systems and fail-safes in place to stay operational and keep all employee and patient data secure.
“We use things such as uninterruptible power supplies (UPS),” said PMC Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of Information Systems (IS), Tony Damron.
“Generators exist that will power the data center if there is a power failure. There is also a secondary site, stored in a vault, which would automatically take over in the unlikely event of a main site failure,” added Damron. “The secondary site constantly replicates, in almost real time.”
While protection of employee and patient information remains a daily focus, the IS Department does much more than defend the hospital from would-be hackers. Their staff of 50+ employees have a lot of different functions.
The technical side takes care of maintaining all equipment and devices on the network.
“We handle everything, including the main campus here in Pikeville along with all of the outlying locations in various communities such as Whitesburg, Harold, Prestonsburg, Paintsville, South Williamson, Shelby Valley, Grundy and Martin,” said Damron. “All of those locations have networking equipment, computers, phones, printers and input devices.”
Another side of the department is responsible for all of the software applications that are used throughout PMC daily.
“We have many applications that are used in the hospital setting, as well as all of the many specialties that PMC offers to our patients,” explained Damron. “We record all information about our patients in these systems which in turn help in the treatment of each patient.”
The IS Department also maintains the telephone system for the hospital. Their equipment handles every call, both incoming and outgoing, for the main campus at PMC and all the outlying locations.
There are a few big projects underway that the IS Department is spearheading. They have a huge project that involves replacing the electronic medical record system PMC uses to keep track of all patient information.
“The current system has been in place since the late 1990’s and needed to be replaced for various reasons,” explained Damron. “PMC will go live on the new system in October and it is something we are very excited about. This system will involve all of our nearly 3,000 employees in some form or fashion.”
In mid-September, the IS department implemented a completely new system to be used in all PMC’s surgical areas. This system is comprehensive and includes everything from scheduling patients and documentation of the surgery, to pre-op and post-op, as well as full documentation for anesthesia.
The new programs do not stop there. “We have also recently brought up a new system allowing streamlined operating reports, and a new system in the endoscopy area that allows full documentation on the patients care,” said Damron.
Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation are also benefitting from new programs implemented by the IS Department. The have recently transitioned to a brand new system for those departments that allows PMC therapists to be more productive and provide a seamless approach to caring for all of the PMC rehabilitation patients.