Doncaster NHS trust deploys Brocade switches to support e-records

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has selected Brocade for an advanced networking infrastructure to support a move to electronic patient records.

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Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has selected Brocade for an advanced networking infrastructure to support a move to electronic patient records.

With the first phase of the government’s care.data initiative scheduled for Autumn 2014, Doncaster and Bassetlaw is one of many NHS organisations looking at the impact this digitisation programme will have on existing IT systems.

One of South Yorkshire’s largest NHS trusts, Doncaster and Bassetlaw consists of three hospitals across the region, as well as a number of smaller sites.

The trust employs more than 7,000 permanent employees and serves more than 420,000 people in South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and the surrounding area.

The new infrastructure will be based on Brocade Ethernet fabric switching technology.

Doncaster and Bassetlaw is keen to move away from paper-based records and implement a digital patient administration system (PAS) that will allow hospital staff to access critical information faster and from any location, as well as increasing operational efficiency across the three hospitals.

However, when assessing the core infrastructure needed for such a system to run effectively, the trust’s IT department is said to have quickly realised that a significant networking upgrade would be required if "potentially disastrous outages were to be avoided".

Nigel Hall, ICT infrastructure manager at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We knew it was vital that the right networking foundations were in place before we moved away from paper records. Any outage or infrastructure failure would have a major impact on patient care, and our previous infrastructure simply could not have coped with the increase in traffic."

Doncaster and Bassetlaw has selected Brocade’s VDX 6740 Ethernet fabric switches. The switches feature 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports with 40 GbE uplinks. Together with Brocade VCS Fabric Technology, the switches are designed to deliver the high performance and low latency the organisation needs to support its PAS.

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