One System For All – Serving 60,000 Patients With No IT Department
Garden State Veterinary Specialists
Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Garden State Veterinary Specialists of Tinton Falls, NJ offers care for both the referred patient and emergency cases. It is a multi-disciplinary referral-only practice that provides progressive state of the art veterinary care in the fields of surgery, internal medicine, cardiology, oncology, neurology, acupuncture, ophthalmology, dermatology and emergency/critical care. In 1994, Thomas D. Scavelli, DVM, founded the facility with just 12 employees. Today Garden State Veterinary Specialists has become a hospital that never sleeps, buzzing with around the clock activity. In response to this breakneck growth, the needs of the hospital have changed quickly, especially in the area of technology. CompuData has been working with Garden State Veterinary Specialists since 1996, supplying hardware, networking, security, telecommunications, remote access, system maintenance and repair services. “CompuData is my IT department,” says Smillie-Scavelli. “The reason that we can get away with having just me in-house is because CompuData can provide the services that I need.”
Where It Hurt: A Limited Platform
One of the more unique technology challenges faced by Garden State Veterinary Specialists is the ability to access, review and compare digital images—such as X-rays, CT scans and ultrasounds. Ample digital image storage and the speed of retrieval can be a life or death issue for their animal patients.
Limitations on Veterinary Systems
“Digital imaging is still relatively new to the veterinary community,” says Smillie-Scavelli. She explains that most veterinary systems are designed to allow general practices to send images to a radiologist for an opinion: one viewer at a time. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Garden State Veterinary Specialists needs concurrent access to a large library of X-rays, CT scans and ultrasounds from any number of in-house workstations, offices and physician computers. Garden State’s requirements are, “very similar to the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) systems that exist on the human side. But those kinds of systems just aren’t there for veterinary practices like ours.”
How We Made It Better: An Effective Platform
Working with CompuData, Smillie-Scavelli requested a setup where their images could be accessed via the network. CompuData created an effective high bandwidth in-house network of computer stations throughout the hospital, equipped with Eklin eFilm desktop imaging software to view all types of DICOM images, including digital radiography (DR), CT, MRI, ultrasound and computed radiography (CR).
Specialists can access images remotely or from home through an AEP Netilla SSL VPN to access the server, images and patient records. The Netilla platform offers fast, secure, policy-based application access to Garden State’s applications and files over the Internet through a standard web browser, while ensuring maximum network protection. It makes an organization virtually ubiquitous, allowing work to be done from any location, anywhere in the world, at anytime, and, as is often the case with Garden State Veterinary Specialists, in a moment’s notice.
For fast reliable Internet access and e-mail communications, CompuData provided Garden State Veterinary Specialists broadband data connection through AT&T and a Microsoft Exchange Server. CompuData recommended T-1 lines through which the large files are retrieved instantaneously, without compromising much-needed bandwidth.
CompuData also recommended and implemented a Juniper firewall to protect the network from uninvited hackers. Juniper offers a network security solution that allows Garden State Veterinary Specialists to cost-effectively secure its network without sacrificing performance. For additional security, CompuData provided CA Threat Manager for the Enterprise. It is a product that proactively warns you about, detects, analyzes and provides remediation for an entire range of threats—including viruses, worms, spyware, key loggers, Trojans and other malicious code.
Upgrading Storage Space
By law, all radiology images must be stored for five years. With more than 12,000 images per year, multiplied by two for raw images and data backups, space is a big issue. CompuData recommended and installed CA ARCserve® Backup, a product that delivers reliable, enterprise-class data protection across multiple hardware and software platforms unified by a single, easy-to-use interface. CA ARCserve Backup ensures all data is available and ready to recover in case of a disaster. “With all of our images, we would run out of space quickly,” says Smillie-Scavelli. “Most IT companies wouldn’t understand that. I’m always pulling them forward. I don’t want the minimum; I’m looking towards growth.” Fortunately for Smillie-Scavelli, her CompuData account manager keeps his finger on the pulse of the market, and anticipates the facility’s needs, keeping them one step ahead of the next technological hurdle. “It’s invaluable,” she says.
“With all of our images, we would run out of space quickly. Most IT companies wouldn’t understand that. I’m always pulling them forward. I don’t want the minimum; I’m looking towards growth.”
What’s Next: Continued Growth
Keeping up with technology is the biggest obstacle to growth at Garden State Veterinary Specialists. Smillie-Scavelli knows that as pioneers in specialized veterinary medicine and digital imagery, they’re blazing the trail for other veterinary facilities.
“We’re grateful to have CompuData as a technology partner,” says Smillie-Scavelli. “They have helped facilitate our growth and expanding technological needs, enabling us to keep focus on our core mission.”