Stable and secure: hospital IT in a private cloud.
As digitization takes off, even hospitals are relying more and more on smooth, reliable IT hosting. Gesundheit Nordhessen Holding AG, a company of nearly 4,800 employees that operates healthcare organizations, now sources all its IT resources from Deutsche Telekom’s Dynamic Healthcare Center (DHC).
Hospitals that outsource their IT infrastructure remain the exception, not the rule. In fact, only 20 percent of institutions use cloud services, according to a survey by i-Solutions Health GmbH. One reason for this low level is the stubborn fear that the cloud may not be secure enough to hold highly sensitive patient data. Nonsense, says Dr. Henning Janßen, CIO of Gesundheit Nordhessen: “Hospital IT has been asked to do more and more in recent years, and that’s hard to do inhouse. We’re positive that a seasoned partner like Deutsche Telekom is better able to operate our IT securely and stably than we are.”
Complete WAN and LAN overhaul
To put Gesundheit Nordhessen’s subsidiaries in a perfect position for their system environment to transition to the cloud, Deutsche Telekom first overhauled the group’s wide area network (WAN). Four hospitals, physical rehabilitation centers and retirement communities at nine different locations are now connected to the WAN and to each other. The IT experts thoroughly modernized the local area networks (LANs) as well. To ensure maximum reliability, all central components were set up redundantly. For its Kassel headquarters, Gesundheit Nordhessen took one more step, putting Deutsche Telekom in charge of updating and operating the Wifi infrastructure used by employees, patients and even some medical equipment.
Moving to the private cloud
Next, Deutsche Telekom had to relocate the data center infrastructure to its Dynamic Healthcare Center (DHC). That involved shifting around 100 servers along with all the basic services, including email, file, print and services, to the cloud. Finally, the project concluded by migrating the users and hospital applications to Deutsche Telekom’s platform – a move that the company performed largely on its own. “However, our team stood by to advise and assist Gesundheit Nordhessen – and remains on hand today,” said Stephan Paulicks, Project Manager at T-Systems. “Our help was particularly needed to incorporate and implement new requirements and change requests in the course of the project.”
Today, Gesundheit Nordhessen obtains all its IT resources from the DHC. While Deutsche Telekom handles data center operations and the network and security infrastructure, the healthcare company’s IT team looks after users and internal processes. “Now that we’ve put experts in charge of operating our IT infrastructure, our staff can spend less time and energy on routine administration and devote more attention to helping users,” said Janßen.