In the healthcare industry, having access to the right information can make the difference between life and death. Telstra makes critical medical data accessible 24/7.

The Challenge

Ramsay Health Care is one of the leading providers of independent healthcare in the UK. Its hospitals offer a range of treatments from hip and knee replacements to cosmetic and weight loss surgery.

The organisation has a network of 40 sites in the UK, including 22 private hospitals, nine National Health Service (NHS) treatment centres and three neurological units.

Medical and administrative staff at all of these locations need to have 24/7 access to patient records to enable them to provide the high quality of care that Ramsay is renowned for.

The organisation houses all of its data and critical IT applications at central data centres.

Medical practitioners and members of staff working anywhere in the country then access these facilities via the organisation's Wide Area Network (WAN). If this network were to fail or if the data centres were to go down, surgeons would not be able to consult radiology images during operations, consultants would not be able to access pathology test results, nurses would not be able to see patient records from different hospitals and patients would not be able to book appointments. Quite simply, lives would be put at risk.

The Solution

Ramsay relocated its main data centre and set up disaster recovery data centres within two of Telstra’s state-of-the-art facilities. The company leases highly secure, controlled environments at both locations and uses them to house critical medical systems, core business applications and data. In the unlikely event of a disaster or other failure at one data centre, services will automatically and instantly switch over to the other.

To connect Ramsay’s 40 sites to these data centres, Telstra provides an advanced Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) network with capacity of up to 100Mbps, which is capable of transmitting large data files, such as radiology image packs. Although this network is already highly robust and reliable, Telstra provides a shadow network (Virtual LAN) and comprehensive backup network, which can be instantly utilised in the event of a fault on the main MPLS network. Finally, Telstra manages the services that it provides for Ramsay 24/7 using its intuitive Enhanced Service Monitoring System (ESM).

The Benefits

Ramsay now has absolute confidence in the resilience of its I.T. services. Since switching to Telstra, Ramsay has experienced exceptionally high availability and reliability in its data centres and across its MPLS network. However, if the unthinkable should happen, the company knows that Telstra is monitoring network availability around the clock and provides a strong safety net in the form of its secondary data centre and shadow network.

Medical records and test results are now easily accessible to healthcare staff members who need them, at any time of the day or night. This means that if a patient is first treated at one hospital and is then admitted to a different hospital in a critical condition, the doctors can access their records to provide the most appropriate treatment, as quickly as possible. NHS hospitals also have secure access to Ramsay’s data centre, so patient information can be shared easily between different medical teams to speed up the diagnosis and treatment of ailments.

Ramsay enjoys a strong, supportive relationship with Telstra and finds it easy to communicate and work with the business at many levels, from the account manager to the CEO. Telstra understands Ramsay’s business issues and offers it the flexibility to increase or decrease its bandwidth whenever it needs to.