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Hackensack Meridian Health Unveils 2 Healthcare Cloud Deals

Hackensack Meridian Health, the largest healthcare network in New Jersey, announced two healthcare cloud deals this week, one with Google and other with Microsoft.

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Source: Thinkstock

By Fred Donovan

- Hackensack Meridian Health, the largest healthcare network in New Jersey, announced two healthcare cloud deals this week, one with Google and other with Microsoft.

Using the Google Cloud, Hackensack Meridian Health said it will be able to create and use serverless solutions that enable its engineers to focus on building and connecting services that scale to any size and performance without the investment in and maintenance of hardware.

Google Cloud will provide secure cloud storage, powerful compute, integrated data analytics, and productivity tools to Hackensack Meridian. 

The New Jersey health network said that taking advantage of Google Cloud’s size and structure will reduce its network infrastructure costs.

Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals, a network of more than 500 patient care locations, more than 34,100 team members, and 6,500 physicians.

“Google Cloud will provide us with the tools to further transform our health care network and our information technology practices, so we are equipped to meet the challenges of tomorrow. Collaborating with Google Cloud is an investment in our future and will keep us on the cutting-edge of technology,” said Hackensack Meridian Health CEO Robert Garrett.

“Our collaboration with Google Cloud is transformative for our organization and will make our technology easier to use, far more accessible, and yet more secure. It will also drive down our costs, so we are able to reinvest in our IT team members so they can learn how to leverage the power of Google Cloud, ensuring we are the leading edge of health IT now and into the future,” added Hackensack Meridian Health EVP and CIO David Reis.

Under the agreement with Microsoft, Hackensack Meridian Health said it will use Azure to advance its hybrid cloud strategy.

“Microsoft Azure will ensure our growing network and dedicated team members have the flexibility, efficiency and security they need to focus on what we do best: providing high-quality care to our patients,” said Garrett.

Microsoft’s cloud offering will give Hackensack Meridian Health’s network the capacity and flexibility it needs to scale up and down. This cloud approach is cost effective and allows the network to take advantage of resources when needed, Hackensack Meridian said.

Hackensack Meridian Health is part of a healthcare industry trend toward greater hybrid cloud adoption. A recent survey of more than 2,300 IT decision makers found that hybrid cloud deployment by healthcare providers is expected to jump from 19 percent penetration to 37 percent in two years. One reason for deploying hybrid clouds is the need to gain control over IT spending, according to the survey conducted by VansonBourne on behalf of cloud provider Nutanix.

In terms of public cloud, the healthcare industry is deploying public cloud at the same pace as most other sectors, reporting a 13 percent penetration rate compared to the 12 percent global average. However, healthcare companies outpace the averages for certain applications, such as enterprise resource planning/customer relationship management, data analytics, containers, and Internet of Things.

Hackensack Meridian Health also announced this week that it is partnering with Connexient to help patients and families better navigate the network's 17 hospitals using digital wayfinding and indoor GPS. Connexient’s MediNav provides turn-by-turn indoor navigation with features like Parking Planner and Meet Me.

Hackensack Meridian Health initially deployed MediNav at Hackensack University Medical Center and plans to launch the technology at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in March and eventually at all hospitals in the network.

Additionally, Connexient’s MediNav will be integrated with Epic’s MyChart within the HMH Well mobile application, which gives users access to lab results, appointment information, current medications, and immunization history on their mobile device. This collaboration will create home-to-appointment experience for patients.

“By integrating indoor mapping and navigation with MyChart’s appointment information, we are empowering patients to more easily find their way to their appointments. This will reduce late arrivals to appointments, and create a great patient experience,” said Hackensack Meridian Health VP of Hospitality Services Kunle Modupe.

“Taking existing applications and combining them in a new and powerful way allows Hackensack Meridian Health to continue to leverage our technology solutions to further advance the patient experience throughout the health care process at Hackensack Meridian Health,’’ added Reis.

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