For over 40 years, Comtrea has provided comprehensive psychiatric care to underserved populations in the greater St. Louis area. Comtrea’s goal is holistic care of their patients through education, prevention, and most recently, medical and dental care.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted in 2009, strengthened the penalties levied in HIPAA violations, putting more pressure on organizations like Comtrea. As part of the new rules, Comtrea had to upgrade their Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software to support new meaningful use and ICD10 requirements, a six to nine month process. Further, Comtrea needed extra capacity to bring online brand new medical and dental systems within a six month window. The existing, older server infrastructure simply could not accommodate these changes.
Blade Technologies worked closely with Comtrea Management and in-house IT staff to thoroughly understand compliancy requirements, map out a five year business plan, and analyze on-premises vs. cloud solutions. For Comtrea, an organization with fourteen locations and over 350 users, on-premises, virtualized servers were ¼ the cost of equivalent cloud solutions over a five year period. Deploying a combination of Dell front-end servers, Nimble storage, VMware, and latest versions of Microsoft software, such as Windows 2012, Blade and Comtrea IT completely replaced all existing systems.
Comtrea was able to complete their EMR upgrade well ahead of the deadlines for compliancy. The new medical and dental systems were deployed in the less than a month, allowing more time for testing and staff training. Uptime was dramatically improved, from daily server reboots of the EMR system to no unplanned downtime in almost two years. Comtrea’s system is scaled for the future – thin clients at remote sites, site-to-site replication, and more – without rip and replace upgrades.