Christian Medical College, Vellore Ensures 99.999% Availability for Hospital’s Primary Information System and Improves Performance by 50%
 
 

Christian Medical College, Vellore Ensures 99.999% Availability for Hospital’s Primary Information System and Improves Performance by 50%

Christian Medical College, Vellore (CMC Vellore) is a hospital and medical teaching institute in southern India. The hospital and its outreach centers provide emergency, inpatient, and outpatient treatment to more than two million people in India, and from countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The medical institute trains more than 1,000 students a year in a variety of medical disciplines, including anesthesiology, general medicine, and nursing.

CMC Vellore stores medical and administrative data for patients, staff, and students in its primary hospital information system. The organization wanted to ensure system availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so the hospital and college could operate efficiently. It also wanted to add financial data to the information system.

CMC Vellore decided to upgrade to Oracle Database 11g, Enterprise Edition with Real Application Clusters and implement Oracle Enterprise Manager to achieve 99.999% availability and eliminate system downtime during scheduled maintenance. The upgrade also improved system performance by approximately 50%—enabling it to complete month-end financial processes more quickly. It can now generate pharmaceutical drug usage reports in 20 minutes, compared to 3.5 hours, previously.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Christian Medical College, Vellore

  • “It is essential for our primary hospital information system to be highly available, so we can treat patients 24 hours a day. The upgrade to Oracle Database, Enterprise Edition 11g has increased system availability to 99.999% and improved system performance by around 50%.” – Ebenezer Sundararaj, Systems Manager, Christian Medical College, Vellore

  • Ensure maximum availability for the primary hospital information system, so the hospital, outreach centers, and medical college can operate around the clock
  • Scale the information system to accommodate financial data, such as college fee payments, pharmaceutical purchasing information, and patient details from new medical centers and hospitals
  • Introduce a new disaster recovery database that can also be used for maintenance, testing, and development purposes
  • Implement authorized software to ensure accurate audit trails for changes made to clinical and administrative data that can be provided to the Indian Government when required

Solutions

  • Ensured patients can be treated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by increasing the availability of the primary hospital information system from 99.95% to 99.999%
  • Completed month-end financial processes faster, by improving system performance by approximately 50%
  • Reduced time to generate pharmaceutical drug usage reports from 3.5 hours to 20 minutes
  • Cut peak CPU load from 50% to around 5%, and reduced it to less than 2% at nonpeak times, by improving load balancing using a three-node production database cluster
  • Avoided huge financial and practice costs caused by cancelling patient operations and other treatments due to unscheduled system downtime
  • Eliminated downtime during scheduled system maintenance by implementing a two-node disaster recovery database that can also be used for maintenance, testing, and development
  • Located and resolved problems in the primary hospital information system significantly faster by deploying Oracle Enterprise Manager’s diagnostic and tuning packs
  • Met Indian Government requirements to provide, on request, an accurate and authorized audit trail for changes made to patient, laboratory, clinical, or financial data
  • Enabled medical research staff to look for patterns in patients’ diagnoses across India by deploying a previously unavailable database containing massive quantities of patient and clinical information for data mining
  • Ensured the database can scale to accommodate information from the recently consolidated financial system, and from new medical centers and hospitals that will be opening in the next few years

Why Oracle

CMC Vellore has been using Oracle Database since 2001 and is continuously impressed by its strength, speed, and scalability. The organization also uses Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions to manage its medical college administrative information and wanted to continue using products from the same vendor for its infrastructure.

“We didn’t look at other databases, as we knew Oracle Database is always best in class,” said Ebenezer Sundararaj, systems manager, Christian Medical College, Vellore. “We wanted to take advantage of the enhanced availability of Oracle Database, Enterprise Edition 11g, and since we were already happy with the previous database’s performance, it was an added bonus to achieve such a great improvement.”

Implementation Process

CMC Vellore completed the upgrade to Oracle Database 11g, Enterprise Edition with Real Application Clusters and Oracle Audit Vault, in just one month. The organization also implemented Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Management Diagnostic and Tuning Packs.

The new infrastructure went live in May 2010, followed by Oracle Advanced Analytics in June 2010.

Partner

CMC Vellore engaged Oracle Specialized Partner Tata Consulting Services Limited to support the organization’s in-house team during the main database upgrade. CMC Vellore then worked with Oracle Advanced Customer Support Services to install the new two-node disaster recovery database.

“Both Tata Consulting Services Limited and Oracle Advanced Customer Support Services provided excellent support throughout the project, and we were very pleased with their services,” said Sundararaj.