CASE STUDY: South West Alliance of Rural Health selects Cisco to improve patient care

Cisco announced that South West Alliance of Rural Health (SWARH), an alliance of thirteen public health agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and medical clinics in Victoria, Australia, has selected Cisco virtualization and collaboration technology with support services from Dimension Data to streamline workflows and improve collaboration of its clinical staff.

Since SWARH members and customers range from large hospitals to smaller nursing homes  and doctor’s surgeries and cover an area of approximately 60,000 square kilometers, they selected Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) to deliver consistent application experiences, centralised IT support and security over desktop clients in compliance with regulations.

“With a vision of delivering ICT as a service to create more efficient and collaborative patient care environments, we expect the Cisco Virtual Experience Infrastructure to help us make a significant step forward in achieving this whilst addressing the demands of an extremely mobile staff and the requirements relating to risk and regulatory compliance and business continuity for health data and information,” said Garry Druitt, CIO of South West Alliance of Rural Health in Victoria, Australia.

SWARH supports hundreds of applications across thirteen hospitals with the associated risk management and accountability for all that data and information to its alliance members. SWARH’s lead member and majority owner Barwon Health, one of the largest and most comprehensive regional health providers in Australia, looks to SWARH to help improve its health service delivery infrastructure to enhance the patient and staff experience.

“The largest of the SWARH members, Barwon Health, has agreed to deploy components of Cisco Virtualisation Experience Infrastructure to help ensure that clinicians can obtain the best   experience possible when using technology to assist them in the delivery of critical patient care. This is a significant investment to create a more resilient and predictable working environment,” said Paul Cohen, deputy CEO of Barwon Health.

As innovators in health care, SWARH and Barwon Health recognised that its 8,000 Cisco IP Phones deployed across 125 locations were evolving and that a mix of exceptional voice and video experiences was an essential part of effective and natural collaboration for its always on-the-go staff. With its partner Dimension Data, the virtual desktop technologies that SWARH has chosen to deploy include:
Cisco Virtualisation Experience Client (VXC) to promote real time collaboration:

With its previous investment in Cisco IP Telephony, SWARH was able to turn its IP phones into hosted virtual desktop endpoints. The Cisco Virtualisation Experience Client 2100 Series devices attach to the back of the Cisco Unified IP Phone and are designed to meet the clinicians’ workflow demands for anywhere, anytime access.

Cisco Unified Computing System B-Series Blade Server for scalable, business

SWARH will virtualise 70 percent of its applications on the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS), a converged data centre platform for network, computational and storage
access. The virtualised business applications include Microsoft Office, clinical applications and Cisco Unified Communications. SWARH selected the Cisco UCS to complement its VMware ESXi and Citrix XenApp 5.0 and XenDesktop 5.0.

Cisco EnergyWise to save energy on a wide scale: 

By combining Cisco EnergyWise technology with its existing Cisco intelligent network of Cisco Catalyst Switches and the Cisco VXC endpoints that support Power over Ethernet, SWARH can now manage and optimise the energy consumption of almost every IT device connected to its network. With its commitment to sustainability, SWARH expects to cut energy costs across the
enterprise by 10 percent and reduce the total cost of ownership of its network over time by conserving energy.

“The SWARH VXI implementation is a great example of the move to address the needs of
increasingly mobile users through high performance, centralised infrastructure. Dimension Data’s wide ranging expertise across multiple vendor technologies from the network to the desktop, will provide SWARH with end-to-end integration and reduced project risk. We are very pleased to again be at the forefront of the convergence of technologies from leading vendors such as Cisco, in the desktop virtualisation space,” said David Hanrahan, general manager for
Virtual Data Centre at Dimension Data Australia.

“As leading health care organisations, South West Alliance for Rural Health and Barwon Health have taken a strategic and innovative approach to virtual desktops by unifying its virtualisation and collaboration platforms to simplify the IT environment, extend their green strategy beyond the data centre to the desktop and the network and reduce overall costs,” said Ken Boal, director
of Public Sector in Cisco Australia and New Zealand. Team
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