Smart Active Archive Saves Medical Group Time and Money

August 2, 2022By David Ball

Today, the healthcare industry churns out about 30% of the world’s data volume and it’s projected to mushroom at a compound annual growth rate of 36% through 2025—faster than the data volume in manufacturing, financial services, and media and entertainment. Healthcare providers, large and small, are looking at data archiving solutions to decrease their on-prem storage footprint, lower support costs, and preserve important information for compliance and reporting purposes. They must also ensure that doctors and clinicians have unfettered access to vital data that can assist in patient care and improve patient outcomes, regardless of how old or how frequently that data is accessed. This leads many healthcare providers struggling to find a higher-performing cloud storage tier to serve as an active archive, but at a price point they can afford.

Kevin Rhode, CIO of District Medical Group (DMG), a non-profit healthcare, patient education, and medical research provider in Arizona, recently shared their data backup and storage challenges with CIO Magazine. As Rhode outlines in the article, data volumes at DMG were already growing exponentially when the 650-doctor medical group acquired five additional primary care clinics. Backup times were being negatively impacted, taking 36 hours on average to complete. To solve their problem, Rhode implemented an intelligent data management solution from Komprise coupled with Wasabi hot cloud storage to serve as an active archive. This enabled them to reduce on-prem data volumes by quickly identifying infrequently accessed cold data and pushing it to lower-cost offsite storage, yet still be able to pull it back if a doctor or other staff member needed it.

Last spring, The Bucket editorial team interviewed DMG’s Kevin Rhode to publish the case study, District Medical Group Reduces Weekly Backup Times, Saves $45K Annually with Wasabi-Komprise Solution. If you’re in a similar situation where you need to reduce on-premises data volumes but require all data to be instantly accessible, both the case study and the CIO article would be well worth your time. For your convenience, here are some highlights from our DMG interview:

Q: What led you to search for a cloud object storage solution for active archiving?

A: We have healthcare data going back to the 1990s that we’re required to keep for regulatory and standard record-keeping purposes and our backups were taking a full weekend to complete. We shouldn’t have to back up this same stale data over and over again. We needed a solution that would not only help us affordably archive all our old data at a separate location, but also ensure that the data is easily accessible any time from whatever year. Doctors and clinicians must have access to the data that helps them make the best decisions for their patients. And they need to get that data quickly.

Q: What swayed you to choose Wasabi over competitors like AWS and Azure?

A: Pricing definitely factored into our decision-making process. Wasabi is much less expensive than the other options. We can predict out for budgeting based on the numbers we get from our archive solution year over year [Editor’s Note: Referring to Wasabi’s price predictability and lack of egress and API fees]. It's a much more stable environment. Functionality and ease of use also played a big part in our selection. We felt more comfortable with the way we could organize and store data, the things we could do with different buckets of data on the Wasabi platform, than we felt with other platforms. Komprise (a Wasabi technology alliance partner that provides intelligent data management) helped us break out our data in individual buckets by year. We’re not just freeing up on-prem storage capacity but now have the ability to control and analyze our data easily.

Q: With strict regulatory and state requirements for data retention, did you vet Wasabi for HIPAA compliance?

A: Oh, yes, absolutely. Our compliance team worked with Wasabi’s legal team to ensure our agreements, like BAAs, were in place from the start. [Editor’s Note: BAAs are business associate agreements required by HIPAA to protect third-party handling of protected health information.] Because we serve a large children’s population with our Children’s Rehabilitative Services clinics, we include some very specific requirements in our BAAs. Wasabi’s legal team was easy to work with and very flexible.

Q: Do you have any metrics on time or cost savings that you could share?

A: So far we’ve moved about 4.5 million files from our primary backups into archive storage. In the first three years implementing the Wasabi-Komprise solution, we estimate that we’ll save about $45,000 annually in storage costs. There’s a lot of savings upfront going with Wasabi. [Editor’s Note: In the more recent CIO article, Kevin Rhode estimates that DMG will save over $100,000 over the next three years.]

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers?

A: Both Wasabi and Komprise feel like a true partnership with us versus just another vendor contract. Only yesterday I had a conversation about a vendor who was supporting us right up to the point where I signed the agreement. Now we can’t get a hold of them anymore. That wasn’t the case with Wasabi or Komprise. They supported us throughout our implementation process, and whenever we reach out, they’re right there. Really great partners.

For more on how DMG is benefiting from its Wasabi-Komprise data archiving solution, you can read the full story here.

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