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BT Compute Telehousing solution allows St Antonius Hospital to put information management at its heart
For clinicians, having the right information immediately to hand can save lives. In recognition of that fact, new regulations in the Netherlands stipulate even greater data security. But, faced with compliance problems, Jetse Pettinga found self-build replacement data centres don’t come cheap.
Fortunately for Jetse, BT had recently built an extension to its state-of-the-art data centre in Nieuwegein. Today the BT Compute Telehousing solution is helping Jetse and his team assure the availability of information, while helping St Antonius become a more sustainable and future proof business.
With its vast experience of managing the NHS IT programme in the UK, we saw BT as a supplier with the right track record. A visit to the BT Nieuwegein data centre confirmed that it was as good as had been rumoured.”
- Jetse Pettinga, Head of systems management, St Antonius Hospital
St Antonius is one of the top five teaching hospitals in the Netherlands. It specialises in oncology and is also the country’s leading authority for the treatment of heart and lung problems. With five major medical centres in Nieuwegein and Utrecht, including a new hospital opening in autumn 2013, St Antonius has 1.5 million registered patients.
The Dutch healthcare sector is undergoing a massive transformation. Benchmarks for the cost and quality of clinical procedures are being imposed. Hospitals will be audited against those targets, with performance data published in league tables. Failure to meet minimum standards could result in penalties or even closure.
Healthcare providers will also be expected to comply with data security standards deemed necessary for good patient care.
Jetse Pettinga, head of systems management at St Antonius Hospital, explains: “The healthcare market is becoming more competitive and more regulated at the same time. Effective information management is critical, and it was time for St Antonius to check its readiness.”
St Antonius already runs one of the most efficient IT departments in the Netherlands healthcare sector. Its in-house developed electronic records system virtually eradicates the use of paper. A self-healing optical fibre ring with high performance switches ensures that the campus network offers the highest availability.
However, it was found that an offsite back up data centre could not meet the ever-more-stringent regulatory requirements. But self-build costs to rectify the situation were prohibitive, and with an eye to the future given escalating storage requirements, the St Antonius IT team started scouring the market for cost effective alternatives.
BT had recently built a new extension to its data centre in Nieuwegein; among the first to meet tough EU Energy Usage Efficiency standards. It uses state-of-the-art energy management and cooling systems, along with sustainable UPS power supplies, making it one of the most energy-efficient installations of its kind.
Jetse Pettinga says: “We evaluated a number of options and found that a BT Compute Telehousing solution served from the Nieuwegein data centre was far more cost effective than starting from scratch.”
With its optical fibre ring extended to reach the new BT Nieuwegein data centre, St Antonius can expect virtually zero downtime for everything from standard Microsoft Office applications to sophisticated digital imaging systems.
Meanwhile mirroring of hardware and software at both main and back up sites means improved business continuity. Virtualisation enables workloads to be balanced across sites, doubling the available processing and storage, but ensuring that either data centre can run independently in an emergency. Should failover ever occur, all applications would be up and running again within 30 minutes.
With the hospital’s demand for storage exploding at 45TB per annum, there’s always more capacity on tap in the BT Nieuwegein data centre. What’s more, some medical research records needs to be kept for over 100 years: yet, when needed, they must be accessible within two minutes. Just as well, then, that the BT Compute Telehousing solution also provides archiving options.
Jetse Pettinga concludes: “With BT Compute Telehousing we get leading edge technology, assure regulatory compliance, and reduce costs through economies of scale. At the same time we become a more sustainable business by using energy-efficient facilities.”
- BT Compute Telehousing