Data-Driven Health Care with Mercy Technology Services

BrandPost By Ken Phillips
Jun 27, 2019
Cloud ComputingIT Leadership

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Credit: istock/metamorworks

CTO Scott Richert views the role of Mercy Technology Services (MTS) in a historical context: Providing IT services with the same caring philosophy as the hospital system’s founders, a religious order of nuns.

“We have a nearly 200-year-old legacy that began with the Sisters of Mercy. Their influence is pervasive in what we do at Mercy Technology Services,” says Richert, who joined Mercy 26 years ago. “They were known as the ‘Walking Sisters’ because they made a point of going out to help others in need. We view our efforts to share what we have learned in our digital journey as an extension of that.”

The Sisters helped officially establish the Mercy health system in 1986. Today, it annually serves millions of people through 40 hospitals and 900 physician practices, as well as clinics and facilities throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The management of IT systems and solutions for all of these locations falls under the purview of MTS. This includes data centers, a full range of Epic electronic health records solutions, integration services and interfaces, analytics offerings, managed hosting services, and backup and disaster recovery systems.

“The healthcare IT landscape is highly complex and overwhelming for many institutions,” Richert says. “We help hospitals and other care providers take the risk and cost of out of their digital transformations and shorten their timelines by enabling them to take advantage of the trails we blazed. When you can find people who have been through what you’re facing, and who wake up every morning and have to do the same things themselves, that’s the golden ticket.”

MTS offers a suite of health care applications and systems in an “as a service” model, including its Health Care Cloud, a cloud-based hosting services designed with the unique compliance needs of healthcare organizations in mind.

The Health Care Cloud and MTS’ data centers —including an expansive facility in Washington, Missouri, that is capable of transferring the contents of the entire Library of Congress in less than 7 seconds — are VMware Cloud Verified.

“We’ve been VMware customers for many years,” Richert says. “We’re familiar with VMware’s platforms, which serve as a bridge for new customers, enabling us to easily plug into their existing environment while providing an easy way for people to get their heads wrapped around how things will work.”

Having a solid VMware foundation is important as Mercy continues to innovate. It is using analytics to drive improvement to patient care, and conducting research to improve the performance of medical devices. It also recently rolled out new solutions that make it easier to share and review medical images.

“There’s no question that electronic medical records improved clinical quality,” Richert says. “Now we’re looking at the next phase where we can view and use the data that we have to bring insights into the clinical workflow.

“If you have a passion for technology and you want to impact your community, family, and friends, healthcare IT is an exciting place to be,” he adds. “Every generation has to look at what their challenges are and take full advantage of their time at the wheel. That’s what MTS is doing by extending technology services to others – we’re helping patients, regardless of where they go for care.”

Learn more about Mercy Technology Services and its partnership with VMware here.