Successful surgery: Braunschweig Municipal Hospital to modernize IT infrastructure for driving digitization

Posted on 13/01/2020

With almost 4,300 employees in the hospital (almost 5,000 employees including subsidiaries), 21 clinics, ten independent clinical departments, seven institutes and a revenue of 350 million euros per annum, the Municipal Hospital in Braunschweig covers almost the entire spectrum of medical care for around 1.2 million people. For some time now, Lower Saxony’s largest hospital has been a pioneer in terms of state-of the art IT technology: based on VMware technologies the heart of the hospital beats virtually.

Healthcare industry in general is suffering from massive cost pressure resulting in decreasing budgets for hospital IT. To reduce cost and time pressure, drive digitalisation and shape the hospital of the future Braunschweig hospital’s management recently launched a major project to modernize its IT infrastructure.

The hospital’s problems are symptomatic of the entire healthcare sector: high-volume IT operations, slow data flows and applications and IT managers suffering from a chronic lack of time. Another important result of the IT diagnosis: Sensitive patient information should be available to the right person at the right time in the right place, thus enabling mobile work in the hospital environment. In addition, the hospital management was commissioned to consolidate three existing locations into one central and modern hospital campus.

Streamlining digitization, state-of-the-art medical treatments and corporate responsibility

By virtualizing storage and separating hardware from software, the IT managers were able to noticeably increase performance of the infrastructure. Today, patients benefit from faster diagnoses and staff from a mobile working environment. Simultaneously, working hours and costs can be saved while the IT team advances innovation by developing modern medical apps. In modern hospitals where communication is connected, IT is the key to reliable healthcare service delivery. If the IT doesn’t work properly, critical hospital infrastructure is paralyzed. The IT must keep going even in the event of a power outage which can only be guaranteed by a well-thought-out IT service concept and failure data centers.

The new flexible and modular solution shapes the way the IT landscape is organized – in the perspective of consolidating the three locations. The solution includes software-defined storage with VMware vSAN and a hyperconverged infrastructure as a first step towards realizing the entire SDDC vision, supporting end-user computing models. It links systems together, protects data, boosts agility and also cuts costs.

vSAN is enterprise-class, storage virtualization software that, when combined with vSphere, allows to manage compute and storage with a single platform. It seamlessly joins all storage devices across a vSphere cluster into a shared data pool, allowing to easily scale up or down as needs change. Using commodity x86 server components, vSAN-powered hyperconverged infrastructure lowers storage costs massively versus traditional server and storage architectures. The successful project was implemented by VMware in cooperation with SVA and Fujitsu.

Norman Lüttgerding, CIO at Braunschweig Hospital, underlines the pioneering role of Klinikum Braunschweig with a practical example: “IT needs to contribute to improve the daily work of our nursing professionals and doctors in order to leverage the quality of healthcare services as well as patient care.” In line with the German government’s digital roadmap for healthcare, digital patient dossiers will soon be implemented.  And thanks to the new VMware solution, Braunschweig Municipal Hospital is now well prepared for this digital transformation.


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