Liverpool Women’s Hospital Solves Green and Scalability Challenges with New IT Provisions

 

Liverpool Women’s Hospital specialises in the health of women and their babies – both within the hospital and out in the community. Collectively the team represents some of the most outstanding expertise and experience in this field, as one of only two such specialist trusts in the UK and the largest women’s hospital of its kind in Europe. We caught up with Cathy O’Keeffe, Head of ICT, to discuss a recent IT project.

The hospital needed to address challenges around the green agenda, as well as ensure scalability and reliability for the business. Being a healthcare organisation, 99.9 per cent uptime was a key target.

Cathy describes some of the key considerations for their decision to implement a VNX unified storage solution with EMC, “We have a new vision for IT which focuses on records management, intelligent data, and technology. We looked to EMC to help us implement a strategy to support these priorities, whilst ensuring we also created a green, holistic programme.”

Before commencing the project the hospital discovered that it would take up to a day and half to provision new storage, which has now been reduced to 10-15 minutes through the VNX solution. The hospital has experienced further benefits through immediate data availability, which is backed up to a secondary datacenter.

In 2013 the hospital used 44 terabytes of data, double that of the previous year. As the hospital’s volume of data to increased exponentially, coupled with further digitisation across the health sector, it needed to significantly strengthen it’s IT infrastructure. Being able to provision more storage quickly without any downtime is providing the agility needed to meet the core business values. This is all against a backdrop of the need to cost effectively hold all records for 25 years.

As the organisation continues to grow, with four hospitals in the near vicinity opening maternity units next year, a reliable IT infrastructure is key to ensuring consistency in the delivery of healthcare across every site. The hospital is also planning to work more collaboratively with other hospitals in the area too. As Cathy explained, “In Liverpool, through the EMC kit, we have been able to deploy a Cheshire Med Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) solution to provide a central database of PACS data and images, and patients’ results. It is run through two VNXs in two separate hospitals; so again, we deliver a safe and agile solution that delivers benefits to patients across the area.”

Cathy has found that the expectations from IT continue to increase. With the new solutions, they have found that everyone is able to do their job more efficiently, with no interruptions or any threat of unpredictable downtime. In terms of broader IT objectives, the team has also been able to further progress their virtualisation efforts, with 98% of IT now virtualised, compared to 70% prior to the VNX solution.

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