An Interview with City of Hope’s Ina Ervin
City of Hope Hospital is a world-renowned cancer research and treatment center in Los Angeles County, California. With patients arriving from all over the world for treatment, City of Hope’s cancer registry is a busy place as well.
According to Cancer Registry Administrator Ina Ervin, they have entered over 30,000 cases in their database in the past 23 years. City of Hope has been using C/NET software since 1987, but as their network grew, stability problems emerged.
The cancer registry is part of the Division of Information Sciences’ large and complex network, where frequent events on other parts of the network could cause stability problems for the CNExT database. There are eight people at work on the database all day long. If the registry software goes down, that’s eight people unable to work while the stacks of data just grow higher.
“When you’re on a network there is always something going on,” Ina explained, “and we’re in a huge department.”
The Infosci IT staff suggested, in fact they were positive, that a switch to SQL server instead of Access for the database would solve their instability problem. Ina and her colleagues looked around at other software packages, but decided instead to encourage C/NET to build the software they needed.
“We were unhappy, and we were looking, but we felt it was easier and less complex to stay with C/NET if we could work it out,” she said.
They weren’t the only hospital clamoring for SQL server. In the fall of 2002 C/NET Solutions came out with Enterprise, our new SQL server database platform, offering superior stability to users with network issues, or with very large databases – like City of Hope.
Enterprise is just one of the ways C/NET Solutions gives you the tools you need to be a valuable part of the nationwide cancer research effort – no matter what size your hospital or network. Feedback from customers is always instrumental in the evolution of our products, from new reports and screen layouts to entirely new architectures, like Enterprise.
We recommend CNExT Enterprise to any registry that is on an erratic hospital network, has three or more simultaneous users, or has users in more than one building or site. It is also recommended for any registry that wants to use the highest standard of database security, or would like to shift backup and other routine database maintenance tasks to the IT department.
We consider CNExT Enterprise to be essential for a database with more than 20,000 cases, and strongly recommended for a database of more than 10,000 cases.
City of Hope was one of our first Enterprise customers, switching over in October of that year. Programmer Chris Rogers of our Berkeley office personally handled the installation of the new software.
“The transition was good,” said Ina. “The installation took about half a day, and then it was all done and we were back to work.”
Not only have the frequent network conflicts been eliminated, database speed and performance have also been improved. Previously, the combination of an unstable hospital network, multiple simultaneous users, and their very large database meant accessing the database could be very slow. Since the switchover to Enterprise, it’s been a whole new world at the City of Hope cancer registry.
“It’s wonderful,” Ina said. “I don’t think we’ve been down at all for any long period of time since we’ve been on SQL, we just don’t have that problem any more.