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On Call

Jackson Clinic deployed many IBM System p platform-based solutions to support everything it believes in, the most important of which is patient care.


Photography by Steven Jones

 

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CUSTOMER: Jackson Clinic
HEADQUARTERS: Jackson, Tenn.
BUSINESS: Healthcare provider
HARDWARE: Two IBM System p 570s
SOFTWARE: Vision Solutions’ EchoStream for AIX and Misys Healthcare Systems’ Misys Vision Practice Management and Misys EMR (Electronic Medical Records) software
CHALLENGE: Giving doctors and other clinic employees 24-hour access to patient records
SOLUTION: Using the Vision and Misys technologies to deploy a bulletproof paperless-records and backup solution

“The Jackson Clinic shall provide quality patient care by integrating clinical practice, current technology and research.” Since 1950, that’s been the mission statement of Jackson Clinic in Jackson, Tenn.

And make no mistake about it, the organization lives up to that statement, deploying the latest technologies to ensure its patients are more than well taken care of. In fact, the clinic went almost entirely paperless in early 2004, negating the need for paper-based patient charts and, notably, the results of X-rays, MRIs and other high-tech clinical testing procedures. “We take great pride in this,” says William Butler, system administrator with Jackson Clinic.

Of course, taking this leap meant that other aspects of the organization had to change to support this bold initiative. Most importantly, the clinic had to make sure its digitized documents would never be lost or go offline for any major length of time. If not, the core “quality patient care” portion of its mission statement would become endangered.

To help ensure this would not happen, Jackson Clinic deployed many IBM* System p* platform-based solutions to support everything it believes in, the most important of which is patient care. These solutions include Misys Vision practice management software and Misys EMR (Electronic Medical Records) software (both of which are from Misys Healthcare Systems); two IBM System p 570s (one for production and one for replication); and, to bridge the 570s, Vision Solutions’ EchoStream for the AIX* OS.

Together, they live up to Jackson Clinic’s “current technology” mantra, ensuring that the organization is at the forefront of medical technology. This is essential, because, as Butler points out, “failure is not an option,” especially given its paperless environment.

Critical Care

Serving western Tennessee for 58 years, Jackson Clinic has become an indispensable resource for local residents, serving them with nine clinical locations. The clinics, which specialize in outpatient care, cover many specific medical disciplines, including, according to Butler, “cardiology, dermatology, surgery, thoracic and vascular surgery, as well as internal medicine and urology, to just name a few of our 27 specialties. It’s pretty much everything except for dentistry and neurology.”

Because of the breadth of its patient care, the clinic has many doctors on staff—more than 135 at last count “and growing every day,” Butler adds. Together, they create a comprehensive medical team that collaborates across disciplines to make sure the clinic’s patients receive only the best medical care. Notably, many of these doctors also have associations with a local hospital, which allows them to admit patients for more critical care and use the patient information gathered at Jackson Clinic’s outpatient facilities.

Supporting this effort are the organization’s many System p platform-based solutions, including the Misys applications and Vision’s EchoStream for AIX. Just as the clinic’s physicians operate in a collaborative environment, so too do these technologies. Misys Vision Management software helps the organization run its daily back-office operations and, as its name implies, Misys EMR allows the clinic to store and archive the electronic patient information. And EchoStream for AIX allows the organization to replicate all of the data generated by the Misys applications on the production System p server to the backup System p server.

 

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


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Jackson Clinic deployed many IBM System p platform-based solutions to support everything it believes in, the most important of which is patient care.

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