Even before COVID-19 threw the healthcare system into a tailspin, the delivery of everyday primary care was often characterised by long wait times, short office visits and disjointed care delivery — all of which can put a patient’s health in jeopardy.
This adds pressure on key stakeholders as they strive to improve the healthcare system. That’s why P3 Health Partners, a health population management group founded and led by fellow healthcare professionals who want to shift the focus from managing illness to cultivating wellness, focuses on the three Ps — providers, physicians, and practices.
P3 understands the unique challenges that come with that transition. Since its inception in 2015, P3 has endeavored to move from traditional, volume-based models to value-based systems of care and wellness.
P3 has operations in Nevada, Oregon, Arizona and Florida, where teams of people — from doctors and clinicians to support service professionals — share a passion and purpose to improve patient care. Today, P3 extends its realm of care to more than 100,000 total patients, 65,000 of which are in Medicare Advantage (MA).
Managing a complex mix
As a population health management company, P3 contracts with health plans and other organisations to gather and analyse mountains of clinical and administrative data. Armed with that information, they can identify at-risk members of the population, so patients and providers can work together to improve overall health.
To host the critical applications needed to accomplish this—from claims and disease management, to care management and data warehouse systems—P3 needed an alternative to its in-house data center, especially given the strict security regulations that govern the industry.
A hosted private cloud solution from Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS), backed by business continuity services, frees P3 from having to build, staff and manage a data centre, so it can maintain focus on its key mission: helping physicians fix an ailing healthcare system.
“As a healthcare company, we’re charged with keeping patient data safe, so security is at the forefront of everything we do,” said Devery Goodey, P3’s Vice President of Information Services. “Just keeping up with the ever-changing ways people attempt to compromise data is difficult. We need to have layers of security in place to stay ahead of the curve as much as possible.”
Performances is vital
The data-intensive processes involved in population health management also called for a high level of IT performance, as well as a solution with the capacity to back up nearly eight terabytes of data, representing nearly 11 years of health records.
With employees and customers relying on P3 data, having a highly available, fully recoverable environment was vital. And, for a company only a few years old with a small IT staff, keeping costs down was essential.
“We need to focus on delivering data, not an infrastructure,” says Goodey. “With Sungard AS, we have a dedicated environment for our critical applications, without the cost and complexity of running and managing it ourselves.”
Now, a hosted private cloud in a Sungard AS data centre provides the dedicated performance, high availability, and tight security P3 needs. Cloud pricing keeps costs in line as the company grows and adds more services.
Security is top-of-mind
The physical and virtual security features of a Sungard AS data centre elevate P3’s security posture. Multiple layers of firewalls within the private cloud infrastructure further fortify protection, readying P3 for safeguarding patient data, even amidst increasing threats.
“With COVID, the U.S. healthcare industry has become a prime target,” says Goodey, noting the ransomware warnings issued by the FBI, Homeland Security and other government entities near the end of 2019. “If you have an open network with no firewalls between, you open yourself up to a lot of damage. With separate firewalls between each virtual network, the Sungard AS environment enabled us to be more proactive about our protection.”
P3 also takes advantage of disaster recovery services from Sungard AS. While the primary data centre is in Aurora, Colorado, data replicates to a geographically separated data centre. This solution is covered by a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) of eight hours, and a Recovery Point Objective (RPO) of four hours.
P3 recently expanded storage for both the primary and secondary data centres to handle the terabytes of data moving between them. The cloud also provides a fast and flexible platform for growth as well as for introducing new services or upgrading existing applications. To further manage growth, P3 is exploring the next evolution of Private Cloud.
For other companies facing challenges similar to those of P3, Goodey offers this advice: “Trust in Sungard AS, because they do a great job. They free us to support our applications and data, not the infrastructure. After all, we’re in the healthcare industry – not the hardware industry.”
To learn more, read the P3 Health Partners study.