Red Hat And Y3 Technologies Help Mount Alvernia Hospital Pioneer Open Source Bed Management System

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August 19, 2009

Customer: Mount Alvernia Hospital

Industry: Healthcare
Geography: APAC
Country: Singapore


Business Challenge:

Needed a solution to enable them to proactively monitor, track and respond in terms of bed usage and associated resources

Migration Path:

Paper-based system to Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Application Platform

Software:

JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Hardware:

IBM PowerSeries 2 P6-570 virutalized server running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Benefits:

Bed management solution improved bed turnaround, and thus staff productivity; real-time information enables staff to provide improved patient care

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Background:

Mount Alvernia Hospital (MAH) began as a 60-bed private hospital in Singapore in 1961, and has since grown to a 303-bed general hospital. The hospital provides services to local medical, surgical, pediatric, and maternity patients, and offers a comprehensive range of specialities. In addition, MAH has two medical centres, which are occupied by consultants who provide a wide range of medical and surgical specialist services. MAH ensures that its facilities are constantly upgraded to keep abreast of advancements in medical technology and techniques.

Business Challenge:

As MAH operates round the clock, patients can be admitted at any point in time. The hospital relied heavily on telephone, email or fax coordination with different departments to ensure that patients are assigned the correct beds.

Bed information gathered was consolidated on paper, which was used by the night manager to verify bed status when performing the hospital round from room to room.

Recognizing that MAH was faced with these challenges, Y3 Technologies, a Red Hat Alliance Partner, proposed an open source Bed Efficiency and Management (BEAM) system which would allow the hospital to better manage admissions, and track bed usage with the use of wireless and mobile technologies. BEAM should provide visibility on the hospital’s bed capacity, bed demand forecast and status of pending discharges for resource planning.

While other vendors also proposed solutions for MAH, the hospital chose Y3 Technologies’ BEAM solution for its rich interface architecture and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) enabled framework based on Red Hat and Oracle technologies.

BEAM was evaluated on the following criteria: ease of integration with existing IT infrastructure and resources, reliability, performance and availability of technology, cost-effectiveness, and vendor independence. In addition, MAH wanted a provider that had experience in implementing the proposed solution in a hospital.

“Open source is known to be cost effective and we are finding value as the technology is now stable, mature and of low risk to us. Furthermore, open source is well supported by major vendors such as IBM and Oracle, thus the time is right for Mount Alvernia to embark on this journey to use the technology to improve and enhance the current operations,” explained Fong Yong Choi, MIS Manager at MAH, on why he chose to adopt open source and Red Hat.

Solution:

The solution comprised Red Hat Enterprise Linux, JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, Oracle databases, and Java Platform Enterprise Edition 2, running on a virtualized IBM PowerSeries 2 P6-570 server. Red Hat Enterprise Linux sits on top of the enterprise backup software, with the systems management server as gateway. JBoss Enterprise Application Platform supports the hospital’s mission-critical applications, one of which is BEAM. JBoss Hibernate forms part of the object relational mapping (ORM) for the application framework.

BEAM was implemented in all wards that run 24 hours a day, and other departments such as front office, admission, housekeeping, nurse, and nurse wards.

With the successful deployment of BEAM, MAH plans to explore the feasibility and benefits of extending the open source platform to other systems within the hospital.

“We are more than satisfied with the overall performance of the system and the underlying system software running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Application Platform. From the solution point of view, we are happy that it has achieved the objectives that were set up. Our expectations have been met with outcome of the project” said Yong Choi.

The collaborative project among MAH, Y3 and Red Hat has broken new grounds in terms of information technology strategy and business operation.

Benefits:

Following its successful deployment, BEAM has brought about many unforeseen benefits.

Employee productivity has increased as a result of an online, electronic whiteboard that minimizes bed location confusion.

As the system proactively notifies the housekeeping department on pending discharges and discharges for the day through the use of mobile devices, dependence on the nursing department is reduced. The housekeeping department no longer has to perform room-to-room checks for vacated beds prior to cleaning.

MAH’s booking department has also benefitted as bed status is available in real-time. Booking staff can now make more informed decisions and quickly locate and assign available beds for urgent admissions. These assignments can be made any time and at any location using wireless mobile devices.

The MAH management team is also positioned to make better decisions, as key performance indicators are readily available from the management dashboard. These indicators include cutting bed turnaround time to less than 30 minutes, and quality monitoring of housekeeping now achieves excellent or good rating. It used to take around 40 minutes to turn a bed around.

By creating a paperless environment, BEAM has enabled the hospital to support the green environment campaign.

“The key to the success of the project is knowledge sharing and strong management support. Given that MAH has the healthcare domain, Y3 and Red Hat provided the needed technology and solution to be able to meet the business objective,” said Jocelyn Austria, bed management system project manager, Y3 Technologies.

“MAH has shown its pioneering spirit by embarking on this project. It is truly a leader in the field of healthcare and has shown technology proficiency as it has used a unique solution to improve its operations and services,” said James Loo Wai Kheong, COO, Y3 Technologies.

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