A group of health clinics needing a platform for rapid growth
The Westover is a group of integrated private clinics in London providing GPs, dentists, specialists, therapists and travel vaccinations in one location. It provides its members with the best possible affordable healthcare available in Britain today. There are four private clinics in London so far, in Chelsea, Wandsworth, Notting Hill and Chiswick, and plans to open many more.
The IT challenge
The Westover's requirement was for patients and staff to move seamlessly between their clinics and for all computer programs and data to be accessible on all sites. In most clinics it's impossible to access client information from different sites, which is a major inconvenience to patients and medical staff. This is the same challenge faced by the NHS, which a budget of £12 billion is failing to crack. We had rather less.
Their business plan is for high growth by both acquiring existing clinics and building new ones. In either case, minimising the time spent getting the Westover operations running is critical to funding the expansion. It's therefore essential to set up each new Westover clinic in a rapid and cost-effective way.
As a health clinic, reliability is truly critical and this informed all our technology choices.
The Conosco solution
The solution to multi-site access is to have a seamless private network across all sites. Traditionally this was achieved with VPN links between each site, private tunnels across the public internet, which are notoriously unreliable and slow. With the use of Conosco's MPLS internet connections at each site, all the Westover's clinics are part of the same network, allowing all staff to work as if they were on the same site.
To scale quickly, Conosco put as much of the system as possible in a datacentre, to which clinics connect. This minimises the equipment needed at each clinic, so that they need only an internet connection and desktop workstations, making new clinics very quick and cost-efficient to set up. A traditional solution with a server in each office would have cost at least £5,000 more per clinic.
We set up multiple servers to protect against hardware failure. The use of virtualisation keeps hardware costs down and allows us to respond to their developing needs by setting up new servers with new applications very quickly. By using our own shared virtual server platform, we were able to reduce costs even further.
The client's experience
''Working with Conosco has allowed us to develop and put in place the IT infrastructure to enable us to roll out new clinics without delay . The way that Conosco have centralised our business from an IT perspective has enabled us to have reliable access to data from all sites and continue to grow our business without IT concerns.''
Dr. Amber Kennard
CEO, Westover Medical Ltd.
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