Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
Berkshire, United Kingdom
National Health Service Hospital
700–750 beds; 5600+ staff
Established in 1839, Royal Berkshire Hospital is
a National Health Service hospital in the town
of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. It
provides acute medical care and surgical services
to the residents of Reading, west Berkshire, and
south Oxfordshire and is managed by the Royal
Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust (RBFT).
Royal Berkshire Hospital implemented Rhapsody in
2008, and the hospital’s IT staff had developed a
high level of expertise with the platform. In March
2020, however, three members of the integration
staff departed, leaving IT leaders struggling to
quickly replace them.
Without help, monitoring the hospital’s 575 Rhapsody routes, 500,000 messages per day, and dozens of warnings and alerts would have been very time consuming and difficult. Timing was critical given that the Covid-19 virus was beginning to spread. Mustansar Hussain, Senior Systems Architect for Royal Berkshire, wanted to solve the challenge by outsourcing the work. “We had serious business operations challenges in need of a swift solution, which Rhapsody provided.”
In April 2020, Mustansar found the expertise Royal Berkshire needed in Managed Services from Rhapsody. With this service the support team, led by a Rhapsody expert, help manage the Rhapsody platform, tailored to each organization’s needs. While some organizations require fully managed services — including interface building, alert monitoring, and more — others need services for a specific function, or for a limited amount of time. Royal Berkshire relies on Managed Services for alert resolution and monitoring around the clock, 365 days a year.
Having the support team and a Rhapsody expert
— in this case John Mitchell, a London-based
Implementation Consultant — monitor alerts for
Royal Berkshire allows the Trust Integration Team
to focus on other mission-critical IT services. While
Royal Berkshire IT staff manage and maintain the
hospital’s hardware, the support team have secure
access to the hospital’s environment through the
Health and Social Care Network (HSCN), enabling
them to monitor and change configurations as
needed. When an alert is triggered — for example
a comm point fails, there is a high message queue,
or a message has been delayed — the Managed
Services team can resolve the issue.
Since the engagement began, Rhapsody has helped make Royal Berkshire’s Rhapsody configuration more robust. For instance, by reducing and customizing the numerous default Rhapsody alerts. “Rhapsody has helped dial down these alerts,” Mustansar said. If the alerts are related to a downstream system managed outside of Hussain’s division, the Managed Services team know whom to contact for each system.
Rhapsody also provides a report at the end of each month that outlines incidents and support requests. The report allows them to fine tune their Rhapsody configuration and stay aware of incident and alert trends.
Royal Berkshire estimates that the Managed Services relationship has helped reduce critical alerts by about 30%. In addition, Mustansar has full trust and confidence in Mitchell and the Rhapsody team. “The Rhapsody certified professionals do the monitoring and development work so we don’t have to recruit and train additional staff, which takes years,” Mustansar said.
“The Rhapsody certified professionals do
the monitoring and development work so
we don’t have to recruit and train additional
staff, which takes years. Setting up alerts
— anybody can do that, but being able to
configure them in a way that’s robust and
efficient is like the difference between a
normal driver and a racing car driver.”
Senior Systems Architect for Royal Berkshire
Mustansar knows he has the expertise required to
keep data moving where it needs to go. “Setting up
alerts — anybody can do that,” he said. “But being
able to configure them in a way that’s robust and
efficient is like the difference between a normal
driver and a racing car driver.”