About BJC HealthCare
BJC HealthCare is one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States, delivering services to residents primarily in the greater St. Louis, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri regions. With net revenue of $3.2 billion, BJC serves urban, suburban and rural communities; and includes 13 hospitals and multiple community health locations. Services include inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care and hospice.
With 26,000 employees across 13 locations, BJC HealthCare needs a reliable collaboration platform. Employees need 24/7 access to e-mail, as any delays could affect the quality of patient care. Security and regulatory compliance is also a top concern for e-mail that contains confidential patient information.
For a centralized IT staff, BJC HealthCare needs a collaboration solution that is easy to administer. The organization must also provide its clinicians and staff with secure e-mail access regardless of their location—whether from a workstation, a patient room or from a mobile device.
BJC HealthCare selected Novell GroupWise® and BlackBerry Enterprise Server to support its 26,000 users.
"Our small, centralized IT staff to needs to be able to manage collaboration across our entire enterprise," said Doug Mills, manager of Communications Services at BJC HealthCare.
The organization runs Novell GroupWise on SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server for high performance and availability. The IT staff can perform server maintenance during the day–even with critical mail flow–without any performance impact. Running on Linux also provides opportunities to simplify its environment by virtualizing servers and consolidating post offices.
"Reliable e-mail is a mission-critical requirement for us," said Bruce Bramon, group manager of Information Services at BJC HealthCare. "We cannot tolerate downtime."
All Novell GroupWise e-mail is automatically encrypted, helping BJC HealthCare safeguard confidential patient information and comply with strict privacy regulations, such as HIPAA.
"Encryption software is another absolute requirement," said Mills. "As we exchange confidential patient-related data, it is critical that our e-mail is encrypted and secure."
Many of the organization's clinicians and staff members access e-mail on shared workstations or from mobile devices. Using GroupWise WebAccess, users can access e-mail from any machine via any Web browser. BlackBerry Enterprise Server ensures that mobile users can access the data they need to perform their jobs while moving around the community.
"We are seeing a high growth rate with employees accessing e-mail via the web, particularly in departments that have several shift rotations," said Mills. "Users get the e-mail and calendaring functionality they require."
Remote medical staff and on-call personnel rely on the shared calendars in Novell GroupWise to determine their schedules and activities. BJC HealthCare relies heavily on calendaring to schedule people and resources, such as conference rooms, across its multiple locations.
"We're caring for systems that care for our patients, so we must ensure that our systems are highly available and secure," said Bramon. "An effective, reliable and secure e-mail system contributes to our overall patient care, while maintaining proper regulatory compliance."
The organization also leverages SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z as its platform for DB2 Connect.
Novell GroupWise running on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server provides a reliable and cost-effective collaboration solution for BJC HealthCare. Users can securely access their e-mail and calendars, anytime and anywhere, with nearly 99.999 percent uptime.
Novell GroupWise provides the scalability BJC HealthCare requires to keep pace with a three-percent annual increase in users, without having to purchase new servers or hire additional IT staff. The company plans to leverage virtualization to consolidate its post office servers by 70 percent.
"We need a solution that is easy to administer," said Ron Whittington, Information Services at BJC HealthCare. "We support 26,000 users with a team of five people who also manage a variety of other third-party applications."