Cloud Migration – North Cumbria Integrated Care (NCIC) Foundation Trust

Case Study: North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust on cloud migration, implementation, and collaboration with Dedalus

North Cumbria Integrated Care (NCIC) Foundation Trust provides hospital and community health services to half a million people. The organisation is responsible for delivering over 70 services across 15 main locations and employs over 6,500 members of staff. The Trust’s values of kindness, respect, ambition and collaboration drive them to provide safe, high-quality care every time.

The NCIC’s theatres management system, ORMIS, was upgraded and migrated to the cloud.

NCIC has a cloud-first approach and the cloud migration gave the Trust the impetus to move forward with their planned infrastructure renewal. The cloud brings different risks so the Trust first ensured the correct governance arrangements were in place first before preparing for their migration and implementation.

Richard Fearn is Senior Applications Specialist at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, and has over 10 years’ experience of supporting clinical services to make effective use of healthcare data and technology. He is passionate about improving the outcomes for patients and their carers, enabled by safe and seamless digital applications.

Richard tells us about the Trust’s experience with their cloud migration, implementation, collaboration with Dedalus, and the benefits already been seen.

“Detailed planning was crucial as there were many requirements. We broke these down into fourteen work packages and over 120 tasks in total. We kept individual detailed logs for risks, issues arising, and decisions. We also recorded lessons learnt from the start, to save time trawling documentation at the end and ensure ideas weren’t forgotten or lost. System dependencies were mapped out, including all infrastructure needed, interfaces and software pre-requisites. We always request Warranted Environment Specifications from suppliers, which we feel are essential for minimising time and cost required for testing. We operate in a diverse digital environment and it was therefore important for us to ensure all software was compatible and interoperable.

One of our Trust’s key principles is being a clinically-led organisation, therefore a stakeholder analysis and communications plan was essential, to ensure staff were engaged and enable collective risk assessment and decision making. The overall project was led by the Matron for the area and her clinical input into the project was invaluable and one of the key areas to the success of the project. A detailed cutover plan was devised in conjunction with Dedalus, so ours was aligned with theirs and we could be assured that everything was in place to minimise patient risk.

The migration was successful and Dedalus actually handed over to us ahead of schedule, despite an extra task we requested. We were able to negotiate a downtime window which satisfied all parties and minimised disruption to clinical services. Dedalus were very helpful and supportive when we needed advice or assistance to investigate issues. We had very few issues reported which were attributable to the upgrade. The only problem ticket we logged was related to a system user preference and was therefore minor.

Communication with Dedalus was clear and consistent, with regular meetings to keep on track and published minutes and actions. Help was always at hand from our Dedalus partners and we felt that we could approach them about anything, no matter how small. They were also willing to meet outside the usual schedule, if this was needed to work through something bigger or we couldn’t adequately convey an issue via email. In future though, it would be better if we worked using the same project management system, such as a work management tool in the cloud, so progress and collaboration could occur in real-time.

When considering the support and performance that has been delivered, Dedalus have been a good partner and have provided a good after service to the Trust in support of this system.

The cloud solution has replaced several aging on-premises servers, which has resulted in a maintenance cost reduction and the removal of unsupported operating systems.

The upgrade and migration project provided an ideal opportunity to update the legacy Tricerat Citrix printing middleware. This had been causing an increasing number of problems and was a key complaint from users. The only temporary solution was to remove and re-add printers and so this was wasting time for both clinical and IT staff. The replacement software has been working reliably without issues since it was rolled out.

During the project, a legacy data issue was identified, whereby all patient IDs were prefixed with our former Trust ODS code. We decided this wasn’t best for future interoperability, so researched why it was originally required and found it was no longer necessary. Dedalus offered to convert all our identifiers to strip off the prefix, which resolved the issue.”

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