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A Medical Necessity

ProHealth Care improves backup and recover processes by deploying a near real-time mirroring solution

Photography by John Nienhuis
David Gates, team leader, DBA/systems administrator with ProHealth, says IBM Power Systems running AIX helped improve backup and recovery time.


CUSTOMER: ProHealth Care
HEADQUARTERS: Waukesha, Wis.
BUSINESS: Healthcare provider
HARDWARE: IBM Power Systems running AIX
SOFTWARE: Vision Solutions’ EchoStream for AIX; Lawson Software ERP applications; GE Healthcare solutions; Eclipsys Sunrise Patient Financials; Kronos Timekeeper Central; and Sunquest Laboratory
CHALLENGE: Improving backup and recovery procedures
SOLUTION: Moving from tape-only backups to system-to-system backups using the EchoStream for AIX

In the past (and in some cases, still), personal medical records were recorded on paper and stored in filing cabinets. With recent IT advancements and increasing medical-industry regulation, much of that information is now digital.

This allows for easy access to patient charts and critical medical information, including, for example, the results of medical tests, details on short-term or ongoing medical conditions and lists of prescriptions drugs. In IT-savvy medical institutions, this type of digital record keeping also allows physicians to share patient information with each other as bits and bytes rather than scribbled and hard-to-read notes, hand-delivered X-rays and other imaging results. If all of this high-tech support system were to crash—and the proper disaster-recovery processes and procedures weren’t in place—all of that data could be lost and the results could literally be life threatening. Thankfully, most medical organizations have taken pains to ensure this doesn’t happen.

In the case of ProHealth Care, this meant reducing its reliance on tape backups and instead using near real-time system mirroring with EchoStream for AIX* from Vision Solutions. This allowed the health system to ensure patient records—including personal medical records, billing information and mission-critical applications—are almost immediately available to users if a system meltdown occurs.

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at

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A Medical Necessity

ProHealth Care improves backup and recover processes by deploying a near real-time mirroring solution

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