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An interview with Dave Wilson: HDS and HIMSS 2011

Posted Feb 21 2011 8:00am

himss_1Those of you who are regular readers of this blog will know Dave Wilson as a co-author for Storage STAT.  Dave is a former radiologist, so he really brings a valuable perspective that is customer-centric.

Dave has been instrumental in preparing our presence at HIMSS 2011 and launching Hitachi Clinical Repository (HCR), which we announced today .  Dave and I took a moment last week during our final show preparations to chat about why we’re attending HIMSS for the first time, our position in the healthcare market and the need for a solution like HCR.  I’ve captured the chat here, so I hope you enjoy it.

So why is Hitachi Data Systems attending HIMSS11? Hitachi hasn’t participated in this show in the past so why now?

Dave: This is true. Last year, the Hitachi executive team decided to focus on health and life sciences.  Since then, we’ve really built out a solid team and that’s how we find ourselves at HIMSS this year.

If you think about it, HIMSS attendance is composed of approximately 63% C-Suite and Senior Managers, which is the prime target of Hitachi solutions. We believe that we have some unique solutions that are focused on the healthcare space and HIMSS is the perfect launching point.

Hitachi is a storage vendor, so what makes HDS unique in the healthcare space?

Dave: You’re right, HDS is a storage provider and for many of our healthcare partners we provide exactly this service; however, when it comes to focused solutions we  have some new offerings targeted at the healthcare space. To be specific, virtualization and the Hitachi Clinical Repository will be the focus for HIMSS11.

Virtualization is an old story. Why is the relevant to the healthcare space?

Dave: Recently we were involved in a CIO Summit where we surveyed the attendees and found that all had a virtualization strategy (not surprising), but it was limited to servers and desktops. What none of the attendees had was a virtualization strategy for the storage aspect. When asked why, the common response was that they just hadn’t thought about it. We see this as a great opportunity for providers to recognize significant cost savings and we are willing to prove it.

A hospital typically buys storage at a departmental level, driven by departmental application needs. Surprisingly, a small percentage of hospitals have an enterprise storage strategy for virtualization. Hitachi can virtualize all of these different departments and reduce the amount of administration required, save money from the storage acquisition perspective and optimize existing systems. To show the ROI possible, Hitachi can come in and assess the existing environment with our Storage Economics program and show the savings available.

And Hitachi Clinical Repository? Is this a VNA or PACS archive?

Dave: HCR is not a medical imaging Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA). Unlike current VNAs that focus only on medical images, HCR consolidates all patient data, standardizes the formats across applications and then provides this data to EHR and portals in a single view. Hitachi Clinical Repository takes the concept of Medical Imaging VNAs and expands it to include the entire healthcare facility. Its unique capability is adding patient metadata to image and non-image data, at any point in the lifecycle, to restore the long-term value of this data.

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HCR Architecture

How does HCR compare to the competition?

Dave: HCR is unique to the industry, as most companies are focused on medical imaging VNAs. HCR virtualizes the information gathered by multiple applications, separating the application from the data. HCR is focused on the entire patient’s history across the healthcare facility. HCR and Hitachi are focused on solving clinical challenges presented in today’s healthcare environment – namely the ability to consolidate a patient’s longitudinal view (history) and to provide access to that view from a single pane of glass. HCR forms the foundation for building EHRs. It uses the metadata associated with patient results to create an interoperable information base that physicians can use to make better patient care decisions.

When will we be able to see HCR? Is this a reality or vaporware?

Dave: If you are attending HIMSS, you can see HCR and our virtualization solutions at our booth #6742. Hitachi’s capabilities around managing metadata from disparate information silos across a healthcare facility will be highlighted in Hall A (EHR/EMR, Booth #263) on Monday, Feb 21, 1:30 - 2:15 p.m with you [Bill Burns] and Klinikum-Wels Grieskirchen discussing The Digitization of Patient Care and Enterprise Readiness. I encourage folks to come out and see how Hitachi’s customers are addressing the challenges faced by providers.

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Klinikum-Wels Grieskirchen Architecture with HCR

Customers are also invited to join us Monday night from 5:30-7:30 for a Cocktail Reception (stop by the booth for an invitation).

Finally, Hitachi will be present on the CSC booth where we are jointly launching our Application Readiness Program focused on helping providers get ready for their ICD-10 transformation. Virtualization will play a large part in this program as facilities will be able to realize cost savings to help offset their upgrades and ICD-10 readiness plans.

Thanks, Dave.  It should be an exciting show and we are looking forward to it – see you in Orlando!

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