Hospital uses cloud computing to improve patient care and reduce costs

In this case study, you can read about how the shift to cloud computing has enabled up to 60% cost savings in Italy’s largest paediatric research and treatment centre, freeing up more resources to be invested in research.

Founded in 1869 within the walls of Vatican City, Bambino Gesù Hospital is one of Italy’s largest pediatric research and treatment centers. It has 880 beds and services 1 million outpatients, 37,000 inpatients and 55,000 emergency cases every year. When Giuseppe Profiti became Chairman of the Board in 2008, he wanted to raise the hospital’s profile even more.

“Great hospitals such as Bambino Gesù rely not only on impressive medical equipment but also on everyday information technology tools. Our doctors and nurses work in the operating room, the clinic, the office and even at home. They need communication tools everywhere they go.” says Profiti.

Giulio Siccardi, Chief Information Officer at Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital, heads a team of 30 IT staffers who support Profiti’s vision. Siccardi received numerous complaints from hospital staffers about the previous email services used by the healthcare organization.

“I couldn’t send email messages with large patient files as attachments, and I couldn’t share my schedules online with colleagues to arrange meetings or discuss patients. I perform high-risk surgeries that save lives, and I need to share information efficiently with the multidisciplinary teams that provide care for my patients.”

Dr. Mario Zama, Chief of the Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery Unit at Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital

The IT department evaluated a better way to deliver commodity communication and collaboration services to employees and thought of switching to cloud computing. OPBG’s email and collaboration software is hosted in a third-party data centre and accessed over the Internet through cloud services. In November 2010, Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital registered for the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, part of Microsoft Online Services. Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital gets the service for a per-user monthly subscription.

“We decided not to acquire a new product but to buy a service instead. Staff wanted a user-friendly interface, lots of storage, digital collaboration capabilities, and single sign on. It was very easy to deploy this solution. In one month, we distributed the single sign on agent to 3,000 employees’ computers and there were no problems. It was fantastic!”

Giulio Siccardi, Chief Information Officer at Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital

Since subscribing to Microsoft cloud services, Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital has gained what Profiti calls a double advantage. “We have increased the true wealth of the hospital; we have freed up our resources and provided better services – all at a reduced cost,” he says. Adds Siccardi, “With Microsoft Business Productivity Online standard Suite, we save 60 percent compared with our previous solution. Now we can invest this money in research.”

In addition to the cost savings, Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital experienced three key benefits:

  • More time and increased profile for IT group: the IT department is no longer encumbered with daily email maintenance, saving approximately 100 hours a month. “Now we have Microsoft working for us 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says Siccardi.

  • Better collaboration which helps to improve patient care: they can set up collaboration sites and share patient charts and lab results.

  • Better connection with patients. “With Exchange Online, I can receive patients’ email messages at home or on my smartphone,” says Zama. “This communication is essential. With craniofacial surgery, we are changing the aspect of the face. That is a very emotional situation, and I like to talk to the children and their families about their expectations and how to achieve what they want. Ultimately, this solution helps me to cure and heal my patients. And healing patients is the best part of my job.”

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