Oberschwabenklinik | Success Story
Oberschwabenklinik gGmbH (OSK) is one of the leading medical service providers in the south of Baden-Württemberg. Six hospitals in the Ravensburg district were merged under its umbrella in 1997. Together, these six OSK hospitals have a capacity of around 1,000 beds with about 2,600 people being employed in the hospital group. Every year, around 42,000 inpatients are admitted and around 130,000 people are treated as outpatients. Together with the patients in the emergency outpatient departments, the OSK treats about 175,000 patients per year. There are many faces and health stories that become stories of recovery and healing – but also an enormous amount of data that the hospital network has to deal with.
As the hospitals merged, leaders realized they would also need to implement consistent and comprehensive monitoring of their IT. System and interface monitoring, which had previously been carried out manually and thus only carried out on a random basis, needed to be transformed into an active and constant monitoring. After all, a hospital network needs healthy – i.e., functioning – IT.
The problem: Structures had grown together in the network that had been created independently of each other and included a large number of applications and operating systems. The task was to integrate Windows, Linux, NetWare and various switches into the network monitoring system.
The goal of ensuring mission-critical processes cannot be ranked highly enough for a hospital group. And since time is always a precious commodity in hospitals, it was also necessary to drastically reduce the amount of work that had previously been done.
The new monitoring software had to be flexible, cost-effective and clearly structured. In addition, those responsible examined various options with regards to the parameters of licensing, platform independence and independence of IT support. With their partner NETWAYS, the IT managers found a monitoring system based on open source, which does not cause any licensing costs, works browser-based and is easily customizable. But these were not the only decisive factors: “The decision was made in favor of NETWAYS, both because of the references and because of the great, technical know-how,” said the project manager and head of IT department, Jörg Napp.
So the NETWAYS consultants started their work by setting up a large number of hosts to establish a basis for monitoring. Since the eGate application had to be integrated, the NETWAYS experts created their own plug-in for this purpose. Parallel to the integration of eGate, baselining took place in order to determine at which values the systems are in a normal state and at which values an alarm must be triggered. The alarming and user management was adapted, since employees without administrator rights should also have insights into certain areas.
Together with the experts from NETWAYS, the IT staff of the clinic familiarized themselves with the new conditions.
Together they achieved the goals of integrating a large number of applications and operating systems into a comprehensive and constant monitoring system with also reducing the amount of work involved. The right monitoring system was found and set up: a great relief for Oberschwabenklink! The monitoring now covers the entire systems of the clinic and ensures a complete, permanent monitoring.
The monitoring software implemented by NETWAYS centrally monitors approximately 200 hosts with around 500 services – such as the eGate – at six locations of the Oberschwabenklinik. “We can see at a glance, which systems need our attention,” says IT manager Napp. This way, it’s possible to intervene and deal with an error immediately, before it becomes a problem. After all, prevention is important, and not just in medicine.