AWS Public Sector Blog

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 Migrating away from an outdated, non-interoperable system of individual servers increases opportunities to scale and use artificial intelligence (AI) and other platforms to enhance the access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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Dr. Shafiq Rab

Dr. Shafiq Rab

Dr. Shafiq Rab is the chief digital officer and system chief information officer for Wellforce in Burlington, MA. Dr. Rab leads the organization’s digital transformation efforts, finding new and innovative ways of connecting consumers and caregivers. He oversees the system-wide IT organization that supports care across academic, community, home health and virtual settings. Dr. Rab is known throughout the country for his ingenuity and his passion for bringing joy to the lives of patients and caregivers. His achievements in liberating health information and placing the control of healthcare in the palm of the hand via first-of-its kind mobile apps earned him the Innovator of the Year award from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). Dr. Rab currently serves as chair of the CHIME foundation’s board and is a leading national expert on interoperability, cloud strategy, and the modernization of healthcare IT via apps, APIs, and artificial intelligence (AI).

Chris Noonan

Chris Noonan

Chris Noonan is a principal account manager at Amazon Web Services (AWS), and has been working with our enterprise healthcare and education customers since 2017. Chris is passionate about his work with the research community at HMS and their collaborators, and partnering with them to use the power of the AWS Cloud to transform the way they enable research, and improve the quality of healthcare and the lives of their patients.

Shirley Golen

Shirley Golen

Shirley Golen leads a mission-driven marketing team focused on academic medicine, research and higher education at AWS. She brings over 20 years of experience in US and international healthcare markets. Her professional industry experience includes roles at Splunk, CareFusion, Oracle, DNA Direct, UBS Healthcare Investment Bank, and the Advisory Board Company. Shirley is excited about the possibilities to bring out best-in-class AWS technologies to address patient needs and increase health equity. Shirley holds a BS in physiological science from UCLA, was a post-baccalaureate neuroscience Howard Hughes Medical Research Fellow at UCSF, and received a MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Steve Malme

Steve Malme

Steven is a business development manager on the AWS WW Public Sector health team. Steven brings experience in sales, channel development and marketing from Microsoft; leading global and regional teams across EMEA and Asia. His sales and marketing success is punctuated by growth initiatives driving Microsoft cloud adoption and partner sales and marketing strategies that doubled annual growth rates. As an engineering lead, Steven has delivered industry leading and award winning EHR and ERP systems. In addition to past board appointments, Steven currently serves as a director for Financial Business Systems. He holds a BS degree in Computer Science from North Dakota State University.