Lentis is a major mental healthcare organisation that provides care, community services and support to approximately 32,000 patients on a yearly basis, mainly in the northern part of the Netherlands. The organisation employs around 4,500 people at 63 locations and operates 300 protected living residences.
In 2006, the Dutch government introduced a new healthcare system, which placed additional responsibilities on healthcare providers. Under the new system, Lentis is required to keep much more detailed information on patients and to provide in-depth reports to a number of stakeholders.
As a result, Lentis has seen a significant increase in the amount of patient information that it must store and process—in the last three years there has been a 300 percent growth in data volumes.
The company has also undergone significant growth in recent years, which has had a significant impact on the size and complexity of its IT environment. There has been a 48 percent increase in the number of workstations in use at the organisation, and the IT team now manages around 5,400 end user accounts at 63 separate locations.
Eppe Wolfis, IT Manager at Lentis, said: “It is vital for us to ensure that all of our systems are kept up and running efficiently, in order to ensure that our staff have access to the information they need. If a doctor or nurse cannot retrieve patient information quickly, then it could potentially jeopardise the care that they provide. However, we found that it was becoming increasingly difficult for us to efficiently manage the growing amounts of users and data on our systems.”
In response to these challenges, Lentis launched the InfraLink project, which is aimed at renewing the company’s entire IT infrastructure.
“Our goal is to reduce the amount of effort involved in managing our systems and users, and to create a reliable platform that can support the organisation as it continues to grow,” said Wolfis. “The new infrastructure will also help us to meet the government’s requirements for providing quality healthcare at affordable prices.”
A major aspect of the InfraLink project will be to provide a future-proof desktop environment for employees, for both office- based and mobile platforms. To achieve this, it is deploying Novell Open Workgroup Suite 11, which includes Novell ZENworks®, Novell GroupWise® and Novell Open Enterprise Server. “The software included in Novell Open Workgroup Suite will help to streamline information sharing and systems management, enabling us to work more productively and deliver a higher level of service to the business,” said Wolfis.
The company has been using Novell Open Workgroup Suite 7 for several years, and has been impressed with the solution’s capabilities and ease-of-use. It was therefore a natural step for Lentis to upgrade to the latest version of the software during its infrastructure renewal programme, so that the company could take advantage of new functionalities. Lentis also decided to implement Novell Endpoint Lifecycle Management, because of the extra functionality that it offers for Novell ZENworks around application virtualisation. This will enhance the security of users’ mobile devices—for example, if an employee’s laptop or smartphone is lost or stolen, then the data will not be “out on the street”, so to speak, but safely stored in the company’s datacentre.
While Lentis is still in the process of implementing the Novell software, the organisation is confident that the solution will meet all of its requirements.
“From our past experience with Novell Open Workgroup Suite 7, we expect the new solution to offer the exact functionality we want, as well as excellent manageability and control,” said Wolfis.
In addition, Novell Endpoint Lifecycle Management will make it much easier for the IT team to manage Lentis’ desktop environment as it continues to grow. Creating standardised operating environments for all endpoint devices and automating manual processes will help to reduce the complexity of supporting users and improve the efficiency of IT administration. The IT team should also have a much better overview of users and licenses, and the ability to apply security updates and patches in a much more controlled way, which will boost the security of the organisation’s endpoint devices.
Most importantly, the new software will help Lentis to provide better service to patients. “The Novell solution will allow us to store and handle information more securely and effectively, resulting in higher safety and cost efficiency,” said Wolfis. “This frees up more money that can be spent on actual patient care, which is what really matters in the end.”