National Hospital of Iceland, Putting people first with DDI.
Task and Solution
In the public healthcare industry, human wellbeing is top priority. As the main teaching, research and patient care health institution in Iceland, the National University Hospital is central to ensuring the wellbeing of all the inhabitants of Iceland, as well as the ever increasing number of foreign visitors. Without a strong and resilient infrastructure to support the Hospital in its duties, the success of this objective is at risk.
Services provided by the National University Hospital are threefold: clinical patient care, teaching and training of clinical staff and scientific research. Day, in- and out-patient care, including a large range of surgery-related and emergency interventions, are provided at seventeen different locations in the Reykjavik capital area. The National University Hospital is involved in almost all training of clinical staff in the country. In addition, the lion’s share of national medical scientific research is conducted at the Hospital’s premises, or in close cooperation with the Hospital.
Diagnosing the Problem
Having efficient workflow procedures in an institution providing critical care is crucial. Several issues were hampering efforts by the Hospital’s IT staff to achieve this goal. Lack of a proper network overview and no tools for delegating authority or assigning network administration roles created complications. Simple tasks, such as locating and assigning free IP addresses, tied up key resources and clogged procedural flow.
Instead of attending to other urgent network management tasks, the Hospital’s network system administrator was bogged down with exercising manual control, as well as having to supervise routine queries and requests from other IT staff members.
Homegrown solutions offered little respite and resorting to delegation, without access to clear network oversight, put overall network security at risk. Further increases in network traffic raised demands on the IT staff, leading to additional workloads and frustration.
Finding the right remedy
IT management started looking for a cure to the IP address management predicament. They needed to find a solution that could save time, allow more constructive allocation of critical resources and strengthen network security. Above all, limited funding and escalating demands on the network required a solution that could grow well with the expanding infrastructure.
Administring the Treatment
A fortuitous series of events led the Hospital to Micetro by Men&Mice. To Audur Gudlaugsdottir, System Administrator, the changes were revolutionary. Tasks that had previously required time-consuming, blind pinging and numerous requests for authorization, suddenly took seconds to resolve. “Now you just open the console and it’s done.”
Audur was particularly taken by the easy-to-use web interface and effortless deployment. “With just a little bit of DNS and DHCP knowledge, you’re good to go.”
“Now you just open the console and it’s done.”
Clear network overview and well-defined role delegation augmented network security and freed up key staff members to tend to other pressing duties. The rather self-explanatory Micetro design removed the need for extensive staff training - an aspect that was especially attractive to the thinly stretched system administrator: “I didn’t even have to teach the helpdesk how to use it. I just sent them the link and two screen shots and it was done.
The unified management interface, scope configuration, troubleshooting options, the real-time IP network overview and maintenance features are all popular with different members of the Hospital’s IT team, providing them with everything they need, “and more”, says Audur. “There are even a number of features we haven’t yet touched.”
The low cost of ownership of Micetro is maximized through ease of deployment, limited training requirements and trustworthy upgrades. This, in its turn, frees up funding for much-needed future investment in technological infrastructure. And due to Micetro's powerful application programming interface (API) and diverse range of DNS and DHCP server support, it scales well in heterogeneous environments with high growth prospects.
However, as is often the case with improvements to infrastructure, the most positive outcomes aren’t those that can be measured on paper, but those that have beneficial side effects on the people involved. Micetro’s unified DNS, DHCP and IP overview, feature-rich UI, web interface and fine-grained access control all play a major part in reducing the human burden associated with network administration. Being able to complete twice the network administration duties in half the time, makes an inestimable contribution to the general health and wellbeing of the Hospital’s IT support staff.
“I didn’t even have to teach the helpdesk how to use it. I just sent them the link and two screen shots and it was done.”
After all, a public health institution’s infrastructure can only be as healthy as the employees that maintain it.