Wellforce announces migration of the health system’s digital healthcare ecosystem to AWS
Editor’s note: Wellforce is now Tufts Medicine.
Wellforce (now Tufts Medicine) is migrating its entire digital healthcare ecosystem to create a digital platform on Amazon Web Services (AWS). This platform consists of the infrastructure for Epic, as well as a complex integration of more than 300 supporting healthcare and business applications. Today, 800 people within the system involved in the build, preparation, and coding of the system have access to the full ecosystem. Wellforce’s goal is to go live on two clinical systems this September and launch fully in spring 2022.
Once live, Wellforce is expected to be the largest organization to run the entirety of their Epic infrastructure on the cloud. Migrating away from an outdated, non-interoperable system of individual servers increases opportunities to scale and use artificial intelligence (AI) and other platforms to enhance the access and delivery of care. Having Wellforce’s entire ecosystem in the cloud also provides a redundant environment and increases access as well as opportunities for collaboration, research, and education.
The health system’s vision is to create a seamless environment for patients and care teams, supported by technologies that make it simple to access and navigate services, provide tools to manage illness, and minimize wait times. Cloud computing allows Wellforce to use AI and machine learning (ML) to analyze data, giving caregivers faster access to the information they need, when they need it. This digital healthcare ecosystem creates a health vault for patients to share information in a way that lets the health system better anticipate the patients’ care needs.
Dr. Shafiq Rab, Wellforce chief digital officer and chief information officer, is charged with improving the future of digital healthcare at Wellforce. As a digital transformation leader with an eye on improving consumer and staff experience through technology, Dr. Rab was the catalyst for collaboration with AWS. Using AWS will allow Wellforce to accelerate its digital transformation, creating opportunities to integrate data-driven intelligence into everyday healthcare that is more secure, resilient, and simple to use. All tools in the cloud are scalable, agile, and faster compared to the traditional data center where there is overhead in time to procure additional capacity.
AWS accelerates the digitization and utilization of healthcare data by providing the broadest and deepest portfolio of cloud services including healthcare specific offerings. Combined with reliability, security, and data privacy, AWS enables the highly regulated healthcare industry to increase the pace of innovation, unlock the potential of healthcare data, and develop a more personalized approach to care. HIPAA-eligible data lakes, analytics, and AI and ML services that run on AWS help customers improve clinical and operational efficiency, develop personalized treatments, and predict healthcare events.
While healthcare digital transformation has traditionally been piecemeal, Dr. Rab and his team, in conjunction with AWS and Epic, have found a way to not only plan for cloud integration of all components of the healthcare system, but to create a live production environment in the cloud to fully digitize in record time.
Most importantly, the move to the cloud enhances the patient experience, a key cornerstone of Wellforce’s forward-looking plan to continue to transform healthcare delivery. The security, reliability, and accessibility of data across the system not only creates a more interactive and seamless experience, but allows for more highly personalized medicine. Dr. Rab also believes that this integration will help better address equity and health disparity issues, giving care teams more data into services that will complement medical care for underserved populations. Future possibilities for these services include interactive real-time apps, physicians, and community-based social services in a patient’s native language.
The ability to access healthcare information anywhere and at any time is becoming increasingly critical as care moves into our communities, homes, and daily lives. Wearable technology, like smartwatches or applications to manage diabetes for example, are collecting health data from patients’ devices that must be computed so intelligible data can be extracted and enacted upon by a provider. An entire health system like Wellforce using a digital ecosystem—the conglomeration of all the applications, EHR, and databases along with the computing power—allows extraction, analysis, and resulting care to be completed more seamlessly.
“We are creating a frictionless and culturally competent care environment for patients, physicians, and the entire care team by migrating our entire digital healthcare ecosystem to the AWS Cloud. This enables our Wellforce team to integrate data-driven intelligence into everyday health and care that is more secure, resilient, and simple to use,” said Rab.
By taking the lead in digital healthcare transformation, Wellforce is estimated to save as much as 20 percent annually (approximately $3 million USD) through the modernization of the healthcare IT ecosystem using the cloud. This innovative approach serves as one of the first examples that healthcare systems across the nation, and world, can replicate.
Learn more about Epic on AWS and how Epic customers can leverage AWS services to upgrade their security posture, provide elasticity to scale on-demand, improve disaster recovery and business continuity, and increase operational performance system wide.
If you’re interested in learning more about how AWS can help your healthcare organization, contact our experts and start your own AWS Cloud journey today.
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