IBM Storage (V7000)

Sisters of Charity Health System Upgrades Its Storage to IBM® Storwize® V7000 for Greater Security and Efficiency

COMPANY:   Sisters of Charity Health System
INDUSTRY:   Healthcare

“Mainline did a great job. I expected the project would take a couple of months and they knocked it out in 4 weeks. The project leader ran the project flawlessly. I’ve worked with Mainline before and I used them again because no matter what project I have them do, they’re there ‘til the end. They’re a great partner.”

Paul Jones

CTO, Sisters of Charity Health System


  • 3 storage systems were approaching end of life
  • Existing storage did not support pending HIPAA encryption requirements
  • Mixed EMC/HP environment was complicated to manage


  • Mainline’s proposed IBM Storwize V7000 scored the highest against the team’s evaluation matrix
  • Integrated SVC Controller made for easy implementation
  • Mainline ran the conversion, cutting over with no business downtime
  • Mainline supported the MEDITECH consultancy for integration


  • HIPAA encryption requirements were met in time for the deadline
  • Reporting time was reduced by as much as 90%
  • The need for tape backups was eliminated
  • Maintenance and support time was drastically reduced
  • The business noticed a marked improvement in performance

The Sisters of Charity Health System was established in 1982 as the parent corporation for The Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, a Roman Catholic congregation that has served health, education, and social service needs in the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio since 1851. The Sisters of Charity Health System solely owns two hospitals—St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland and Mercy Medical Center in Canton, as well as two elder care facilities, three grant-making foundations that address poverty, and five outreach organizations.

Sisters of Charity has been a pioneer in healthcare, founding the first hospital in Cleveland, opening the first outpatient department, and performing the first open heart surgery in the Midwest.

As part of their devotion to healing and addressing the unmet needs of individuals, families, and communities, Sisters of Charity must remain as innovative with their technology as they are with their services.

The Business Challenge:

Sisters of Charity Health System was running MEDITECH 5.67 alongside EMC Celerra, EMC Centera, and HP EVA to support their storage needs. All three storage systems were outdated and nearing end of life. The solutions were siloed and upgrades were complex because of the cross-platform environment.

Sisters of Charity Health System wanted a storage solution that would be easy to implement and maintain with their lean staff while enhancing business operations and security measures. The HIPAA deadline for encrypting data at rest was quickly approaching, and their existing HP and EMC storage solutions did not support encryption. Since each hospital serves as a disaster recovery (DR) site for the other, they wanted a system that would shorten their mean time to recovery, which they estimated would take a week with the current setup.

“It was a mixed environment, which made it very complicated to manage. I have a very small staff—two people at St. Vincent and two people at Mercy—to handle the network, the servers, and storage. We needed to find a way to simplify the management of that environment.”

The Solution:

Sisters of Charity Health System issued a request for proposal to Mainline and several non-IBM storage manufacturers. Mainline proposed the IBM Storwize V7000 with the integrated SVC Controller, which would support their MEDITECH Electronic Health Record (EHR) environment, integrate with their HP EVA until they retire it, and allow for a seamless conversion with no business downtime. Mainline’s proposed IBM solution scored the highest in the IT team’s evaluation matrix and was more cost effective than the proposed solutions from the other manufacturers, both in terms of hardware cost and maintenance. This, combined with CTO Paul Jones’ experience working with Mainline, was the deciding factor.

“Mainline has always hit the ball completely out of the park and I had every bit of confidence they would do it again.”

Mainline worked with Sisters of Charity Health System, IBM, and a third-party MEDITECH consultancy to cut over from the mixed environment to the IBM Storwize 7000. The integrated SVC Controller made the transition seamless, without the need to even alert the business.

“My boss asked me when we were doing the conversion and I said ‘We’re doing it right now.’ If I were to describe our experience in two words: incredibly easy. I wish all of my projects went as smooth as this one.”
Mainline also supported the MEDITECH consultancy during the integration process.

“Mainline pretty much ran the conversion—we had meetings, but the actual move was done by them. They had the technical skillsets in Cleveland and they worked very well with IBM so we didn’t need to get involved with communication. The support has been fantastic from both IBM and Mainline – it was a good move for us.”

The Result:

The IBM Storwize V7000 accomplished Sisters of Charity Health System’s top three business goals:

  • Provide enhanced patient care with speedier access to EHRs on MEDITECH
  • Comply with HIPAA encryption requirement for data at rest
  • Minimize system recovery time

With the implementation of IBM Storwize V7000, Sisters of Charity Health System experienced the following business benefits:

  • Reports that ran in 2 hours finished in 10 minutes
  • Month-end reporting that took 5 ½ hours completed in 1 ½ hours
  • The need for tape backups was eliminated

“Usually when you see performance improvements nobody says anything—they only speak up when things are running slow. Several people commented on how much quicker MEDITECH ran on the V7000.”

In addition, the move to the IBM Storwize V7000 drastically reduced maintenance and support time, allowing the small IT staff to dedicate their focus to strategic initiatives.

Hear how Sisters of Charity Health System, a leading healthcare provider, modernized the data environment to accelerate the application performance of its Meditech electronic medical records and support real-time analysis of medical data with a virtualized environment.

Watch the Video

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