University Hospital Basel Transforms IT Operations
Client:University Hospital of Basel
- Become one of the leading internal hospital IT service providers in Switzerland
- Add value to the business and medical research by making IT more useful for staff
- Develop IT strategy and transform systems to improve patient care and employee satisfaction
- Use a well-established and pragmatic approach to develop an IT strategy
- Develop an architecture to support a seamless integration layer on top of existing applications
- Combine legacy systems to support the development of innovative solutions for internal customers
- An IT strategy for the hospital and a roadmap for the following IT transformation
- Enhanced capabilities for classic and mobile solutions on top of patient data in legacy systems
- Improved patient, partner and employee satisfaction and increased confidence among employees
Transforming IT operations
The IT transformation program at the University Hospital of Basel (USB) did not focus on cost savings. Instead, USB aimed on improving the quality of patient care and patient security as well as installing an IT organization and IT services that employees could rely on and take pride in. CSC played the key role in helping the hospital achieve its goals by supporting the development of an IT strategy and ongoing transformation process.
The University Hospital of Basel is one of the leading hospitals in Central Europe with a number of attributes that make it special. First, its location in Basel, Switzerland, puts the hospital in direct proximity to Germany and France, meaning that it has a natural international orientation and provides cross border high class medical and nursing care. Second, the Basel area is home to many global pharmaceutical companies, such as Novartis and Roche, and the hospital fosters medical innovation and research partnerships with many of those leading life science firms.
When CIO Matthias Legler joined USB two years ago, he was charged with improving IT operations and IT services to get the hospital to continuously higher service levels. Whereas most IT initiatives in the industry focus on cutting costs today, Legler had the opportunity to say, “It is not about cost savings. It’s about patient [care] quality. It’s about patient satisfaction. It’s about employee satisfaction. This is what we are trying to achieve.”
To turn these demands into reality, the University Hospital of Basel needed to develop a comprehensive strategic plan. But the CIO did not have much time to initiate the corresponding process. In contrast, the hospital’s board of directors expected to receive first results in just three months. Legler and his team also had the challenge to do the strategic work next to the daily business, providing IT operations and IT services for around 40 clinical and administrative departments, each having their own individual requirements. In addition, the hospital sought to expand its mobile capabilities to provide an attractive working environment for its employees.
CSC’s Dr. Christian P. Kunze, leader of a CSC team focused on IT consulting and provider improvement in Central Europe, says that CSC was able to leverage experience from similar projects in a custom and pragmatic approach to develop the IT strategy with USB. This project started with employing a balanced scorecard process to reasonably derive and establish strategic guidelines for IT. “We were able to use our proven reference models in the project and we were able to develop a cross-application integration layer to support future innovative and value-added software solutions,” he says.
Legler says this pragmatic approach worked perfectly. “CSC helped us a lot with coming up with the right templates, with the right structures, but also with their capability to understand our needs, not only to run a textbook-driven approach. They really adapted to our situation very well,” he says. The CIO compares crafting an IT strategy to a chess game. “You need to put the moves on the table. You need to face the reality you are in. You need to find how to further improve the situation, and in this regard, CSC built up trust in the relationship with us very well,” Legler says.
A success story
Many of CSC’s successes in helping clients are a result of extensive first-hand industry experience that can be adopted and applied across an industry, and healthcare is no exception. CSC has helped hundreds of healthcare organizations across the globe, and lessons learned from supporting one hospital can be applied to another.
“They really understood the medical business, they understood our environment, they had a lot of experience from the past, and of course, that helps,” says Legler. “Most important, we had the right people on board,” he adds, saying CSC’s expertise was essential to speed up the IT strategy and transformation process considerably.
One of the key contributions made by CSC was to develop the service-oriented reference architecture to cope with application diversity. The hospital wanted to have better mobile capabilities to deal with patient records and to support the medical staff, so CSC developed a seamless integration layer that included combining information from legacy systems into one layer to allow for the deployment of a jointly mobile medical record and other innovative solutions for the hospital.
Dr. Sven Jansen, managing partner, leading CSC’s EMEA healthcare consulting practice, says the breadth of experience CSC could offer its clients was very useful for USB. “Basically, we did everything from A to Z, supporting our client wherever possible with our people, and our knowledge,” Jansen says. “This includes assisting our customers in their transformation, implementation and the accompanying change management. For us, this shows the complete variety of business services we have and also gives the client the most advanced customer service we can offer.”
The results of the IT strategy and transformation project have been positive for USB. The hospital has put into effect the developed strategic guidelines and realized proposed organizational change to foster the relationship between the internal customers and the IT department. The USB was also able to develop and roll out improved applications, including enhanced mobile capabilities. But most important for Legler was that the quality of patient care improved. “We want to add value to the business,” he says. “We want to make IT usable in the hospital, and we want our business people saying that they are really supported by the right IT solutions.” He added that CSC’s consultants have become a valuable part of his IT organization, and he relies on the abilities of CSC today and into the future.