AUSTIN, Texas, July 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- e+CancerCare, a leading operator of outpatient cancer care centers in the U.S. including Rocky Mountain Oncology Center in Wyoming, OncoLogics in Louisiana, Laurel Cancer Care in Mississippi, Community Cancer Center of North Florida and South Georgia Center for Cancer Care, recently became the latest multisite network of treatment centers to contract with Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) for a system-wide deployment of Varian's FullScale™ oncology information technology (IT) solution. By accessing this service, e+CancerCare personnel can focus more on treatment, and leave the IT operations to Varian.
FullScale deployments take advantage of virtualization and cloud technologies to deploy Varian software—both the ARIA® oncology information system and Eclipse™ treatment planning—centrally, in a way that is flexible, scalable, and widely accessible. Varian is showcasing these services at the 2014 annual American Association of Physicists in Medicine meeting taking place here this week.
"FullScale services are designed to support mission-critical, complex oncology systems," said Ken Khouri, Varian's director of software support and managed services. "It offers cancer treatment centers enterprise-grade business continuity and data security, a guaranteed level of uptime performance, and the flexibility to expand operations easily. The service covers server and networking hardware maintenance, software asset management, system monitoring, virus protection, system upgrades, data backup and protection, security, and many other crucial functions. Our FullScale customers require very little onsite IT support because Varian takes care of these activities for them."
Vantage Oncology, a network of over 60 oncology centers, most of which use ARIA® software to manage clinical and treatment processes, worked with Varian to set up a cloud-based FullScale deployment using a hub and spoke model. "Ultimately we'll have four major database hubs, with the remaining treatment centers all plugged in like spokes of a wheel," said Cathy Moore, director of clinical operations. "The reasons are cost savings and ease of ongoing maintenance. We'll be managing four databases instead of 48. Although the initial set-up, configuration, and implementation require a certain amount of up-front work, it is a no-brainer when it comes to upgrading with new software releases."
Moore says that, as the overall project manager for the FullScale deployment, as well as the head of the team responsible for electronic medical record (EMR) standardization, training, making configuration changes and developing "meaningful use" processes for use across the entire network, having the IT infrastructure in the cloud is simplifying her job. "There's a huge time savings, when you're doing ongoing maintenance, configuration, and support," she said. "It's a secure, private network, and the access is amazing. Everyone, including the physicians, can access the system from anywhere, anytime."
As a regional cancer center that operates from a single site, White Plains Hospital in New York is a different kind of treatment setting. According to Henry J. Lee, M.D., Ph.D. and Randy Stevens, M.D., the benefits were immediate when Varian completed a FullScale deployment at the hospital two months ago.
"Like all cancer centers, we are faced with the need to constantly upgrade our capabilities based on technology advances," Dr. Lee said. "To streamline the process and expand capabilities quickly but with relatively little effort, we elected to move to a FullScale cloud-based solution."
Dr. Lee asserts that, having now worked within a FullScale IT environment, he would never go back to the old paradigm. "First of all, the system is fast," he said. "It's flexible and accessible 24/7 from anywhere by any of my staff—even on a smart phone. Our hospital administrators were very supportive and facilitated our transition to the new environment after we were able to demonstrate clearly that going to Varian's cloud-based solution would save money and resources compared to continuing with our traditional onsite setup."
"FullScale is designed to minimize the need for capital expenditures and to enable greater efficiency for a treatment center's IT, administrative, and clinical personnel," said Khouri. "It's a model that reduces total cost of ownership and minimizes downtime during upgrades to the system." Visitors to the AAPM meeting can learn more by visiting Varian in booth 415.
About Varian Medical Systems Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers and medical oncology practices. Varian is a premier supplier of tubes, digital detectors, and image processing software and workstations for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies high-energy X-ray devices for cargo screening and non-destructive testing applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 6,500 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 70 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com or follow us on Twitter.
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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems, Inc.