MTS (Mercy Technology Services), the IT backbone of one of the largest Catholic health systems in the United States, will soon launch a new healthcare cloud. Powered by VMware cloud infrastructure and management solutions, MTS’s cloud service is designed to meet the unique needs of a highly regulated hospital and health care market.

For its efficiency, flexibility and cost-effectiveness, cloud hosting can be an attractive alternative to infrastructure-heavy enterprise data centers. Yet, health care has shied away from the public cloud due to compliance gaps and security concerns, according to MTS. For health care providers, strict HIPAA patient privacy regulations, coupled with today’s mounting cyber threats, would pose unique challenges and fuel the need for health care-designed cloud hosting environments.

MTS’s new health care cloud will be available beginning in late spring 2018.

HIPAA-compliant Data Center

MTS knows firsthand the unique hosting needs of health care. That’s because, as the IT arm of Mercy, a 40-plus hospital health system, it delivers “mission-critical” technology services daily.

MTS’s healthcare cloud is supported by its HIPAA-compliant data centers where it hosts Mercy’s roughly 1,200 healthcare applications, including the Epic electronic health record for Mercy and commercial customers. Here, MTS will provide the cloud infrastructure for hosting “mission-critical apps as well as business-essential systems.”

Mercy is part of the VMware Cloud Provider Program, and MTS’s cloud service runs on VMware vSphere, a virtualization platform for building cloud infrastructures. By leveraging a common cloud infrastructure based on VMware, customers would be enabled to easily move workloads between their private data centers and MTS’s cloud, and leverage the MTS cloud service for increased flexibility, security and IT agility.

“Health care’s tech leaders want to migrate to get the cloud’s benefits without the cloud’s risks, but a good solution has been hard to find,” said Scott Richert, Mercy’s vice president of enterprise infrastructure. “This is the same equipment I’d buy for my enterprise data centers, with the same high service standard we hold for ourselves. Now, with VMware, there’s a way to share enterprise-class cloud hosting with our healthcare community.”