Healthways Australia provides telehealth programs for government, corporations and communities. Since 1981, it has delivered programs via integrated technology to improve health outcomes, reduce health costs and improve workplace productivity. Healthways Australia is the local operations of global telehealth giant, Healthways International.
There is very strong demand for telehealth services in Australia. Current healthcare systems lack capacity to service the nation's future populations; Australia also has the challenge of providing healthcare to widespread geographic locations. New models of care, delivered via enabling technology, offer enormous potential to create cost-effective health systems for the future.
Healthways was perfectly positioned to capitalise on this market growth. Director of IT and Client Solutions, Riaan Rheeder says, "Our telehealth expertise and experience are second to none.To capatalise on our telehealth experience, we required a ICT infrastructure that enabled growth and scalability in a very demanding environment."
In search of a new service provider with the expertise, scale and geographic coverage to support growth objectives, Healthways turned to Novo IT for advice.
"We approached Novo IT with cloud computing in mind. Scalable capacity and rapid disaster recovery were key benefits," says Riaan Rheeder.
With such high reliance on technology, however, the stakes of major change were high. Patient care and safety are paramount, meaning that telehealth programs and interventions must always be timely, accurate and secure.
"We needed confidence that private cloud infrastructure would be robust, reliable and secure enough to deliver core services - telephone health management, online health support, health action plans and health behaviour monitoring – without downtime," Riaan Rheeder explains.
"Continuous business operation is mission critical for Healthways," he says.
The actual process of migrating infrastructure from physical and in-house, to virtual and a trusted outsourced partner, would also need to be achieved with zero-downtime.
Patient compliance is crucial to the success of Healthways' telehealth programs. New systems would have to support patient and clinician access to networks, and use of mobile communication and health monitoring tools.
Riaan Rheeder says, "We were seeking a trusted, capable, long-term service partner to future-proof our ICT resources."
Novo IT Solution
Novo IT's Consulting Team performed a Cloud Readiness Assessment, engaging both business leaders and the internal ICT team. This ensured a clear understanding of business goals and infrastructure requirements, and across-the-board support for the project.
Novo IT designed a fully managed network, taking an integrated, three-pronged approach. A fully managed wide area network (WAN) provided high-speed connectivity. It included Quality of Service (QoS) to achieve high amounts of bandwidth for superior network performance. Managed Data Network (MDN) Routers were also deployed to bolster network and applications performance. Healthways' physical servers were migrated to fully managed Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Redundancy was built in, so that operations could be resumed almost immediately in the event of outages.
Telephony services were given a makeover to enhance user mobility, with voice carriage migrated from the incumbent provider to Telstra. Voice services were co-located in one of Telstra's high performance Data Centres to boost performance and reliability.
Novo IT Professional Services Team provided supplemental support to assist Healthways during the migration process. The migration of all services occurred over a weekend with no disruption to business.
With an intelligent and flexible private cloud platform in place, Healthways can focus on business excellence with a sound and trusted ICT infrastructure platform.
The actual process of change was handled with care and precision by Novo IT, which meant that internal ICT staff adjusted easily to new systems and processes. The full migration was achieved with zero-downtime. It also helped mitigate the risk of undertaking such major change.
"The experience and professionalism of Novo IT consultants reassured us we were on the right track with the right private cloud solutions, from the right partner," says Riaan Rheeder. "The success of the project created the base for a long-term partnership"All signs point to this partnership being a long and successful one."