Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
Berkshire, United Kingdom
National Health Service Hospital
700–750 beds; 5600+ staff
Rhapsody® Integration Engine on-premises, Rhapsody AMS 24/7 proactive monitoring and alerts, and
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.”