A couple of years back, Delhi-based health services provider Max Healthcare found itself facing the challenges of growth. The reputed undertaking, with eight hospitals in Delhi, 1,500 physicians and 3,000 support staff had to supplement its growth and quality of service with compatible technology. As a result of this realization, the group drew up a comprehensive IT plan to overcome bottlenecks to effectively support its Electronic Health Records (EHR) implementation. Its recent MPLS implementation is a part of this roadmap for progress.
According to Max Healthcare, the organization believes in a stable and scalable environment together with a standard operating process across its hospitals. It had a Hospital Information System (HIS) connected centrally for all its hospitals, but this proved insufficient with the expansion policy and EHR objectives. In accordance with the effort to provide better quality along with large-scale healthcare facilities, Max needed to ensure and prepare its doctors for a higher level of collaboration across all the hospitals. All details about patients had to be available across the entire system spanning all hospitals. Doctors could then collaborate and work on medical cases with accuracy and speed.
The MPLS implementation was rather smooth owing to the elaborate design phase and extensive project planning with the service provider.
Neena Pahuja, CIO, Max Healthcare
The organization had identified products for Electronic Healthcare Records (evaluated by internal clinicians for the requirements mentioned earlier). A network upgrade became critical at this point, since the organization’s point-to-point environment was restricted, and not very reliable. So MPLS implementation proved critical to prepare for the EHR initiative.
As part of these objectives, the organization evaluated Perot systems. After Dell took over Perot systems, the choice of Dell for MPLS implementation became even more obvious. As Neena Pahuja, the CIO of Max Healthcare explains, “The reason why we approached Perot systems is because they have proved their competence in the healthcare industry with other clients.”
MPLS implementation was initiated in December 2009, and completed in May 2010. It equips Max Healthcare with a more scalable technology, as well as enables a plug and play environment for its expansion plans. The managed MPLS network proved to be reliable in connection with virtual links, enabled IP telephony and quality video conferencing. “This assured quality of service along with scalability is the basic reason that spurred our MPLS implementation,” says Pahuja.
Max Healthcare’s MPLS network is managed by Dell-Perot services. The group has a Rs 90 crore deal with Dell-Perot Systems for 10-year IT services, and MPLS implementation is a part of this initiative. Max Healthcare also has a private cloud which is hosted at the Dell-Perot data center in Noida. This MPLS-based infrastructure will also support Max Healthcare’s planned EHR deployment (scheduled to be completed by March 2011). Max Healthcare has also gone in for remote desktop support as part of the deal.
Since Max Healthcare has outsourced its entire IT setup, the group has very strong and binding service agreements. As a part of this move, Dell continuously monitors all Max Healthcare systems and processes including the MPLS implementation (using automatic 24/7 monitoring of systems and critical servers, along with reports to Dell controls).
This beneficial arrangement ensures that every issue is detected and resolved before the internal user/client places a helpdesk request. The MPLS implementation provides good network performance and conforms to the stringent down-time clauses charted in the SLAs (Five nines of availability).
According to Pahuja, the MPLS implementation was rather smooth because of the elaborate design phase and elaborate project planning (hour to hour schedules and prescriptive solution guides were provided in advance) with Dell-Perot. Since Dell is a global service provider, Max Healthcare reaped the benefits of support from other offices besides India. After completion of its EHR implementation, Max Healthcare plans to work on a mobile health application (so that its doctors can access EHR systems from mobile devices).