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Case Studies - Nagoya University Hospital


Nagoya University HospitalNagoya University Hospital Location: Showa Ward, Nagoya-city, Aichi prefecture, Japan Number of diagnosis departments: 29 Number of beds: 1,035

Nagoya University Hospital, a core medical facility in central Japan, was seeking to improve the quality of their medical care by re-implementing their total information system. A mission critical open server, PRIMEQUEST 580, was chosen to consolidate their electronic records systems, previously operated on 8 separate industry standard servers. Also introduced was a SAN boot system for each department based on Fujitsu PRIMERGY BX620 S3 blade servers. The resulting high performance hospital infrastructure is highly reliable and now seen as indispensable in day to day practice.

Nagoya University Hospital provides high quality medical services to citizens in central Japan. Many of its doctors and hospital director are also from Nagoya University. As a result, Nagoya University Hospital plays an important role in both education and the provision of state-of-the-art medical care.

Mr.Yoshida, Associate Professor, Hospital Management Strategy & Planning, says, “Nagoya University Hospital has achieved paperless operation. X-ray and check up outcomes are connected by an electronic records system. Doctors consolidate their diagnoses and results onto the electronic records. We think that using IT only for office automation is not enough. What is important is to improve the quality of medical care and reduce the time to a cure using IT.”

A 3-fold improvement in response times

Shigeru Yoshida MDMr.Shigeru Yoshida MD, Associate Professor, Hospital Management Strategy & Planning, Nagoya University Hospital

In 2001, Nagoya University Hospital introduced their initial total information system. It was based on an electronic card system and multiple departmental systems. But after five years of operation, various problems where occurring in daily operation.

Mr.Shiraki, Manager, Management Planning Division says, “Along with increases in data and the number of clients, the number of systems connected to electronic card system had also increased.” Although high specification servers where introduced in 2001, the subsequent system load had grown larger than expected.

To solve this problem, Nagoya University Hospital commenced the renewal and consolidation of their total information system and chose as the base platform a highly scalable Fujitsu mission critical PRIMEQUEST 580 server.

The PRIMEQUEST 580 with its 64-bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system, 32(64 core) Intel® Itanium® processors, and large system memory, is able to handle major transactions very quickly.

Nagoya University Hospital also chose Intersystems’s object database “Caché” which has a high reputation in the United States for its electronic records system. It enables high speed searching in memory. Mr.Yoshida says, “With response times shortened to 1/3 of the previous system, the new system has achieved a high reputation with users.”

24 hr/ 365 day operation
– Essential for large-scale medical institutions –

Another issue was the reliability of the system. Since the electronic records system was used in around-the-clock patient treatment; non-stop operation was an essential requirement. With system failure potentially leading to suspension of medical operations, an extremely reliable and available system was required.

In order to fulfill this requirement, Nagoya University Hospital decided to apply PRIMEQUEST’s unique “System Mirror” function. The system mirror function duplicates major components, such as memory, chipsets, and crossbar, avoiding system downs by providing completely synchronized duplex operation. In addition, they also configured a two system cluster (System A/System B) within the single cabinet using PRIMEQUEST’s partitioning functions. These divide a server’s hardware resources into the equivalent of multiple independent servers. A system board was also configured as a free resource enabling immediate recovery of the cluster if either System A or System B went down. Finally a backup system (System C) was also configured, allowing access to data via a web interface in the unlikely event of a total cluster failure.

Fujitsu also removed any anxieties the customer had, regarding the system renewal, by testing everything first at their “Platform Solution Center” in Hamamatsu-cho, Tokyo.

Departmental server high-reliability also enhanced by blade servers

nagoya-02Mr.Toshihiro Shiraki, Manager, Management Planning Division (Information System), Hospital Management Strategy & Planning, Nagoya University Hospital

System downs in departmental systems, such as Radiology, Patient check-up and the dispensary are also an important issue. With the previous system, data recovery and operating system recovery / reinstallation required large amounts of time. For this reason, the hospital reconfigured their departmental servers along with the introduction of the new electronic records system.

Fujitsu PRIMERGY BX620 S3 blade servers where employed together with a SAN boot function based on Fujitsu’s ETERNUS4000 system. Now system recovery can be quickly achieved using backup servers loaded from ETERNUS “boot disks”. Mr.Shiraki says “After the introduction of the new system, our maintenance load has reduced significantly. Also, since we use Fujitsu’s Support and Service remote monitoring system, we believe our operation is highly secure.”

Mr.Yoshida says, “As a major regional hospital, we will keep on developing state-of-the-art medical care in cooperation with other peripheral hospitals. Plus PRIMEQUEST will keep on supporting this activity securely”


Medical Record Consolidation System