The integrations between the many IT solutions are unified and improved
It requires a strong, robust infrastructure and a highly reliable organizational setup to fulfil the digitalization strategy of Central Denmark Region. In the future, the many IT systems must function as a cohesive landscape, where data is exchanged quickly, securely, and efficiently, for the benefit of the citizen.
In the health agreement (between the Region, the municipalities) for the period 2019-2023, the vision in Central Jutland is to create
'A close and cohesive healthcare system in balance; a healthcare system where everyone has equal opportunities for a healthy and long life, where all citizens are actively involved in their own health, where more health solutions are promoted in the local environment, and where we get more health for the money' (Mandate for DIGTE (DIGitale sundhedsløsninger and TElemedicin/Digital health solutions and telemedicine)).
Joint telemedicine and digitally supported healthcare solutions are central to implementing the vision. It is about ’Health services on the citizen's terms’ and this means that the Central Denmark Region (RM) focuses on increased management by the users and well-functioning solutions that, among other things, support the citizens' own coping, monitoring, and training.
To ensure the consistency between the region's health systems RM works to create the integration platform connecting the systems and enabling them to work seamlessly together. The goal is to consolidate old integrations and platforms as well as new integrations on modern technologies - in order to ensure that the vision of 'Health solutions close to the citizen' is realized, for the benefit of both citizens and employees in RM.
Read the whole case story about how RM and kaastrup|andersen collaborate on the first integration on Red Hat's OpenShift platform.
RM continuously implements new IT systems that cover very specific needs in individual departments. This means that the amount of IT systems to exchange data is growing all the time and thus the integrations between the many systems risk becoming a weak link and a limiting factor in relation to development of new and updating existing systems.
RM’s challenge is to create a consolidated platform, which is able to receive, manage and share data between the many different IT systems so that information about patients and their treatment is complete and so that the workflows of the clinical staff is supported in the best way possible. The focal point of the systems is RM’s Electronic Patient Journal (MidtEPJ), which centrally contains data from a large number of healthcare systems.
At the same time, the initiative is motivated by RM’s goal that the implementation time for new systems must be reduced and flexibility must be increased.
An additional challenge is that the reliability of the integration layer must be sky-high; there must be no situations where users are unable to access the data needed; human lives are at stake. At the same time, the systems contain extremely sensitive personal data that must not be compromised. In short, there are many good arguments for the future solution to be both secure, both regarding daily operations and data security.
The focus is on the integration between MidtEPJ and the Prehospital Patient Journal (PPJ). The plan is for this integration to form the basis for future integrations, when put into operation in the new OpenShift platform of RM.
PPJ is used, for example, in ambulances and helicopters to record emergency information about the patients being cared for. Integration with EPJ is critical, because in emergency situations there is a need for the emergency departments to quickly get current information about the patients being admitted.
The systems contain extremely sensitive personal data, and this means that cloud-based solutions are not an option for RM. RM has therefore chosen to use Red Hat's OpenShift platform: A hybrid cloud solution that can operate in RM’s own data center, which gives RM full control over where the data is located. This would not be the case for other pure cloud solutions such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and others, but OpenShift supports more optimal workflows in connection with development and operation in a similar way.
At the same time, the choice of OpenShift is due to the properties of the platform: it is, so to speak, able to pack small containers of code and logic, which can exchange data with each other and external systems. The integration system thus becomes less vulnerable, and it is simple to add or remove containers without affecting the communication between other containers. At the same time, the system is scalable and allows for the rapid increase of capacity: an example could be that the number of identical containers handling a specific task is increased, so that the capacity to handle data is increased accordingly.
An additional advantage of OpenShift is that the technology can automate the process of putting new containers with new functionality into use: OpenShift eliminates the need for humans performing routine tasks and thus reduces the risk of errors. It is a quite different way of working, when comparing with the more traditional monolithic system architecture in which the development and the deployment is typically cumbersome and lengthy.
On the organizational side, kaastrup|andersen helps enabling RM’s development and operations staff to handle the new integration system. It is both about the purely technical competencies, but also an implementation of agile working methods and processes, with a high degree of cooperation, ongoing (daily) knowledge sharing and, not least, frequent part deliveries, so that the development of the integrations is continuously tested and their usefulness in everyday life in RM is validated.
The PPJ integration is well under way and will be the first product on RM's future integration platform. It will to a much greater extent be able to ensure that critical information about emergency patients is immediately available to the emergency departments in Central Denmark Region when contacted via 112. Thus, the integration will also ensure that double registrations are avoided.
The use of the OpenShift platform brings a number of benefits:
- In the future, RM will find it easier to create new integrations quickly and efficiently - so that citizens get better health solutions
- The capacity of the systems can be scaled according to current needs - so that no bottlenecks arise in connection with the treatment of patients
- The deployment of new integrations is automated – so that RM saves time and resources and ensures frequent deliveries
The dedicated team has adopted the agile approaches and methods and is experiencing the value of the close collaboration and the flexible way of handling IT development.
At the same time RM will become able to work faster and be more flexible in terms of both operation, maintenance and new development of integrations. This is done, among other things, by entering into a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with kaastrup|andersen. The goal is that the collaboration in both the short and long term provides RM with a 'buffer' in relation to labor, so that there are no periods when new integrations can not be implemented at the desired speed, or that operations will suffer from lost internal competencies.
The strong organizational setup with operation, development and OpenShift is a key element in the digital strategy of RM and an important piece in achieving the vision of 'Health services on the citizen's terms'.
kaastrup|andersen handles the IT development, implements an agile approach to both development and operations, and helps management to ensure that the overall business case is met.
How does your IT infrastructure work? Is it geared to handle the company's need for integrations and ongoing changes in your application landscape?
We can also help you secure the future of your IT infrastructure so that it offers up-to-date and efficient solutions for the business. Contact Anton Kaastrup-Hansen on 2027-2502 and have a chat about how together we can help your company rise to the next level.