Across the Tufts Medicine health system, machines that help save lives are everywhere. Supported by the cloud, IT systems behind this medical technology achieve greater levels of fault tolerance and availability. And for any unforeseen challenge or long-term strategy not already served by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Tufts Medicine has an abundant resource—AWS Marketplace. There, fast access to thousands of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions helps simplify and accelerate software procurement, so Tufts Medicine can strengthen how it delivers patient services and significantly reduce costs.
Opportunity | Behind Purpose-Built Solutions is a Steady Heartbeat of Cloud Innovation
Cloud solutions power clinical practice across Tufts Medicine hospitals and health services, including CT scans, bedside monitoring, chemotherapy infusion, and more. If IT systems behind these machines falter, it disrupts critical patient care.
Multiple Availability Zone coverage on AWS offers Tufts Medicine improved availability and durability. However, IT staff must strike a balance between designing custom solutions and leveraging pre-built SaaS solutions that can be deployed quickly and scale to meet requirements—without large upfront investment. For Tufts Medicine, AWS Marketplace is key to striking that balance.
There is no acceptable margin of error for availability, durability, or latency for patient-care solutions at Tufts Medicine. While streaming real-time HD video during sleep studies, for example, one missed frame can affect the accuracy of a critical diagnosis for a child experiencing nocturnal seizures.
This urgency affects almost every cloud solution use case across the healthcare system, and for that reason, IT teams at Tufts Medicine often receive requests from departments that need upgraded or new solutions immediately. Anything less than a 30-day turnaround was once considered impossible. In AWS Marketplace, successful delivery can be achieved in hours—or less.
When a key lab instrumentation system needed immediate maintenance, potentially affecting the care delivery for surgeries and flow through emergency departments, Tufts Medicine IT leaders jumped into AWS Marketplace. Several solutions were readily available, including disaster recovery from CloudEndure, an AWS company, and AWS Backup and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), which support mirroring on-premises infrastructure in the cloud while controlling storage costs. Because the team could test options almost immediately, the solution went live by the end of that day and the lab was up and running again before the hospital had to cancel a single appointment.
SaaS-based solutions in AWS Marketplace let you quickly stand up something frictionless that meets your business needs and then refine it.”
Cloud Operations Leader, Tufts Medicine
Solution | More Experimentation with Minimal Risk
Adding to the convenience and cost optimization it offers, AWS Marketplace completes significant background work to vet its vendors and solutions. Tufts Medicine doesn’t have to worry whether AWS Marketplace vendors are in good standing so it spends less time onboarding vendors and more time exploring solutions.
Traditionally in healthcare IT, procuring new software could take 8–12 weeks. By the time an engineer receives access to test whether a solution meets requirements, the initial request may have changed. Or new requests are already competing for time and resources. When Tufts Medicine procured SaaS solutions from Infor or CrowdStrike in AWS Marketplace, for example, negotiations were the least time consuming and expensive of any in the organization’s history.
Tufts Medicine is working to formally incorporate AWS Marketplace as part of its procurement process across its enterprise. Since its initial engagement, Tufts Medicine has incrementally centralized its IT contracts over the past year, adding 3–4 vendors per month.
That said, despite Tufts Medicine procuring more, costs have shrunk. For example, as a result of solutions obtained in AWS Marketplace, Tufts Medicine saw its AWS footprint in compute storage grow by 40 percent while costs decreased by 60 percent.
Tufts Medicine has also seen time-to-value shrink from weeks to days, hours, and even less. With a wide range of tools at its disposal in AWS Marketplace, Tufts Medicine can make strategic and sizable improvements across its IT systems without missing a beat—for example, installing new antivirus software across 3,900 assets with no downtime.
In AWS Marketplace, Tufts Medicine IT staff can, in a matter of minutes, discover several vendors, make little to no financial commitment to each, and start experimenting with different options without placing undue burden on the budget. “Even if we didn’t find the tool we needed, we would have kept looking in AWS Marketplace,” says Ryan Blackwell, cloud operations leader at Tufts Medicine. “Because it’s fairly exhaustive. And it’s affordable.”
Outcome | Increasing Quality of Care, Not Costs
AWS Marketplace lays out payment terms in a way that is always clear and predictable for Tufts Medicine. There is no variability between expectations and delivery when it comes to costs, which helps maintain mutually healthy relationships with preferred vendors, such as Infor, CrowdStrike, and Healthcare IT Leaders. Furthermore, with the use of private offers, the AWS Marketplace flexible payment scheduler enables Tufts Medicine to take advantage of multi-year contracts without upfront costs. So solutions can be deployed almost immediately, while payment schedules move in step with the organization’s budget.
Simplified billing is more efficient for managers on the backend, too. AWS Marketplace provides a single pane of glass through which to monitor spending, so leadership can quickly assign invoices to the correct accounting units and maintain control of IT spending across the enterprise.
Tufts Medicine has also optimized hiring consultants or individual contractors in AWS Marketplace, where it can use just-in-time contracts for precisely the work and the time that is needed, avoiding waste.
Although the process of acquiring software and services in AWS Marketplace is faster and more streamlined, Tufts Medicine is not skipping important steps or increasing its risk. On the contrary, the efficiency and consistency with which business can be done in AWS Marketplace is empowering decision makers to accomplish more.
About Tufts Medicine
Tufts Medicine is an integrated health system bringing together academic and community healthcare to deliver exceptional, connected, and accessible care experiences to consumers across Massachusetts. Comprised of Tufts Medical Center, Lowell General Hospital, MelroseWakefield Hospital, Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford, an expansive home care network, and a large integrated physician network, Tufts Medicine has more than 15,000 dedicated care team members providing more than 4 million patient experiences per year.
AWS Services Used
AWS Marketplace is a curated digital catalog enabling customers to quickly find, test, buy, deploy, and manage the third-party software, data, and professional services necessary to build solutions and run their business. Procurement teams leverage AWS Marketplace to accelerate innovation and enable cloud users to deploy solutions rapidly and securely, while reducing total cost of ownership and improving operational oversight.
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