KVC Health Systems, headquartered in the greater Kansas City area, is a private, nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization committed to enriching and enhancing the lives of children and families by providing medical and behavioral healthcare, social services, and education. In its 44-year history, KVC has grown from a home for at-risk boys to a $130-million national organization serving thousands of children and families.
The diverse continuum of services KVC offers includes foster care, adoption, in-home family therapy, behavioral healthcare, outpatient services, and children’s psychiatric hospitals. KVC Health Systems is the parent organizations of subsidiaries including: KVC Kansas, KVC Hospitals, KVC Kentucky, KVC Nebraska and KVC West Virginia.
As a result of KVC’s successful model, which uses evidence-based practices to achieve strong outcomes, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has identified KVC as a one of only four national best-practice organizations in child welfare.
But success often brings challenges. The KVC Kansas subsidiary partners with the Kansas Department for Children and Families to deliver services for children and families in need. Striving for more efficiency, the state consolidated from six to two outsourced providers of these services. As one of the two providers selected, we needed to add eight offices and 400 staff in just 6 months. Active cases in our system grew from 2000 to 4,000, with total case records soaring to 100,000.
With our caseload volumes skyrocketing, our legacy storage became a bottleneck to productivity. We rely on Microsoft SQL Server for just about every application, and caseworkers had to wait 30-45 seconds for a system response when they’d try to access case records or process placement requests. Those are precious seconds, especially since the state mandates we place children in new homes within four hours of a request.
After looking at storage from EMC, NetApp, and other vendors, we chose EMC’s VNX2 unified storage. The big thing for us was that VNX2 gives us flash performance boost with the cost advantage of automated tiering and block storage. It’s priced right for now and can scale to handle our future growth demands.
What a difference the VNX2 has made!
Almost immediately, we saw a 60% performance gain across the board for our SQL Server applications with response times of 10 seconds or less. Large case status reports that took four hours now complete in an hour. Because our caseworkers spend less time waiting for the system to respond, they get services to the kids quicker. Calculate those time savings across thousands of cases and it becomes even clearer that the impact is huge.
VNX2 helps keep our costs down, too. It’s super efficient and shrunk our storage space from a six-foot high rack to just one and a half feet. With the built-in automation, the VNX is easy to manage, which reduces our management costs. It also cut our power consumption by at least half, saving us even more money.
One of the most important ways IT helps fulfill KVC’s mission is having reliable systems. We never have to worry about the VNX2, it just works. It’s how we help our caseworkers get the reports and data they need without fail. So they can focus on doing what they do best, which is working with kids and their families.
With VNX2 running our core operations, we feel good that KVC can respond even quicker to the kids and their families when they need extra support.