The Entité Jolimontoise, a group of healthcare institutions in the provinces of Hainaut and Brabant, in the French-speaking part of Belgium, are looking to ensure that their information technology tools are a real differentiator when it comes to supporting their medical and administrative staff, and ultimately their patients. A key stage in making this happen is the implementation, by Bull, of a Single Sign-On (SSO)system, which makes it easy to access information systems in complete security.
The Entité Jolimontoise brings together a series of hospitals, care centers, kindergartens and nursing homes in the towns of La Louvière, Lobbes, Nivelles and Tubize. In 2009 the institution – which altogether represents almost 1,000 beds and an annual budget of around €270 million – embarked on an ambitious program to modernize and structure its information systems. Information technology, which is seen as a competitive issue as well as a means to improve the overall quality of healthcare, plays a central role in a new strategic vision for 2015.
Against this backdrop, the Entité Jolimontoise turned to Bull to implement a Single Sign-On (SSO) for IT users. “The aim is to simplify access to different applications, using just one access code, whereas before people had to juggle multiple passwords,” explains David Leynen, IT Director at the Entité Jolimontoise. “This improvement is important from a psychological point of view, because it is a tangible representation of our desire to put in place more user-friendly and powerful information technology tools. What’s more, this SSO system improves visibility within the healthcare process, because it lets us see exactly who is accessing which application at any given time.”
The first phase of the project is currently under way. A second stage will involve introducing strong authentication, using a physical identification method such as a Digipass or smart card, which will really allow, medical and nursing staff and paramedics to access a central information platform about the patient from literally anywhere, in total security. “During this ‘itinerant’ session, the user will also benefit from the fact that their working environment will re-appear, just as it did when they quit at the end of the previous session,” continues David Leynen.
Another major project being undertaken by the Entité Jolimontoise, again with Bull’s support, involves replacing storage components for a PACS medical imaging system, as well as the storage area network (SAN), as part of a move to harmonize and share IT infrastructure. The final aim is to further improve availability and service continuity.
These vital projects are building the foundations for more open and scalable IT systems, that will be capable of taking full advantage of the benefits of Cloud computing in the coming years, for example.
“This migration towards high added-value computing is an important program for us, and to help us with it we are looking for partners who are up to the challenge of meeting our ambitions and committing themselves to results. With this in mind, we were pleased to find a partner, in Bull, who provided us with a rare set of skills and whose people had the same value-set as our own. The company has kept its promises in terms of flexibility and availability, faced with the many demands we are making on them,” David Leynen sums up.
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