The founders of Kent Institute of Medicine and Surgery (KIMS) began bringing their vision of a world-class facility for cardiology and neurology to life over eight years ago. Providing for Kent’s increasing population, KIMS set about building a pioneering hospital delivering the very best patient care in the most innovative and technologically advanced environment. Five years in planning and just two years in build, KIMS opened the doors to its very first patients in April 2014. Block discusses the experience with Anthony Guethert, Head of IT at KIMS.
“The vision we had for technology at KIMS was an IT infrastructure and service solution that matched its world-class reputation,” explains Anthony Guethert, Head of IT at KIMS.
“The IT project was significant, far-reaching and we needed to do it in a very short amount of time”. KIMS was quick to realise its needs were not without complexities.
An intricate and bespoke end-to-end solution would be required to meet this vision. As a values-driven organisation with a strong patient- first approach, KIMS began defining the requirements that would align technology and infrastructure to its core vision and purpose.
Central to its aim was the need to find a solutions provider with which a true partnership could be established. A new build healthcare facility not only requires thorough understanding and expertise of the sector, but also a forward thinking and innovative approach. With such clearly defined values it was also vital for KIMS to engage with a partner who shared the same patient-centric focus.
“We needed a partner that could not only understand the healthcare sector, but that also understood our vision, our culture and the difference we really wanted to make within healthcare.”
Technology within KIMS needed to empower its world-class team of clinicians rather than hinder them. “We needed to deliver a real experience for the clinical teams that allowed them to focus on the patient and not the technology around them.” Access to information, regardless of location within the hospital needed to be quick, seamless and consistent. Not only would this allow clinicians to spend more time with their patients at the point of care, it would also ensure the patient journey was one of ease and fluidity, with their patient information following them throughout their stay.
Managing the infrastructure at the hospital had also been very carefully considered. In order to optimise its own IT team and focus on the user, patient and desktop, KIMS needed a partner that could take care of the remainder of the IT management and support. The hospital also needed a highly secure solution that would provide robust protection of the infrastructure and data without compromising mobility. For business continuity, a three-stage model was needed with on-site disaster recovery and a further off-site fallback, minimising risk and providing business assurance.
Timescales were tight and KIMS needed a partner who could not only provide exceptional technical delivery, but also one with a robust and dependable project management capability. The project would require accurate collaboration, applying a thorough and methodical process to maximise resources. “Block was clearly able to demonstrate and deliver solutions effectively in a healthcare setting, which is very complex.”
Based on a sound level of trust, experience and know-how, KIMS engaged with Block to deliver a complex end-to-end solution based on a hybrid IT approach combining on and off-premise components, skills and services. Starting with an infrastructure built around fixed and wireless architectures, a robust data centre and application platform was established across the on-site assets and off site backup. This was then overlaid with strong security, virtualised desktop, full collaboration and finally wrapped with a round the clock managed service provision. “Block was absolutely instrumental in helping us refine the selection of equipment and ensuring the configuration was world-class,” says Guethert.
Delivered to scope, on time and on budget, the solution has provided a fully connected and mobile infrastructure at KIMS. With clinical and patient separation, the infrastructure is highly secure with a hybrid design providing both on and off-site assets and continuity.
Quick, consistent and dependable access to information, regardless of location provides clinicians and patients alike with a truly connected experience. The ability to make fully informed decisions and share information at the point of care (rather than at fixed workstations) means clinicians are able to deliver a higher quality of care with minimised risk. The patient’s journey through the hospital is one of ease, with information moving with the patient throughout their stay.
Outsourcing a range of support services to Block has enabled the IT Team at KIMS to invest their time into dealing with front-line issues within their expertise, working with clinical teams and maintaining and improving the patient experience. “By having Block take on a lot of the infrastructure support, we’re able to focus on our patients and clinical teams, which is the way it should be for a hospital.” The distribution of skills across both Block and KIMS delivers a consistent and seamless IT capability and end-user experience. “We have formed a very genuine partnership. We work together very well, and receive a level of knowledge from Block for far less than we could do it internally, and better.”
In April 2014, KIMS welcomed its first patients to the facility. Receiving significant media recognition on a national basis, KIMS has secured its place as one of the UK’s most innovative and pioneering private health facilities with an infrastructure and service solution to match.
The support that we get from Block gives us true value on the infrastructure. I like that we can pick up the phone if we need to, talk about an issue, and know that it’s going to be resolved quickly.Cathy Simonson, Finance Director
It was particularly helpful for KIMS that Block had sector experience so they could work closely with us and fully understand our needsCathy Simonson, Finance Director