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"The Orange project is crucial to provide patient healthcare in the trusted home environment as much as possible."
A fast, secure connection on the go
The Antwerp Wit-Gele Kruis department has about 1,050 employees. Most of these are nurses and midwives who provide healthcare at home.
Wit-Gele Kruis has long been a pioneer in the mobile devices it offers to its employees. The home nurses have worked with tablets for several years already, but the connection could be faster. The connection and bandwidth were also not guaranteed. The employees were therefore never really certain of a suitable mobile data connection. “Our services require a fast, constant, secure connection”, says Peter Daems, IT Manager at the Antwerp Wit-Gele Kruis department.
Dedicated APN with guaranteed bandwidth
Wit-Gele Kruis searched the market for a solution and chose the fast, reliable connections offered by Orange. “I chose Orange because it was the only provider who offered us a dedicated APN with guaranteed bandwidth”, says Peter Daems of Wit-Gele Kruis in Antwerp. Such an APN – or Access Point Name – offers a seamless connection between mobile and fixed networks. “Our mobile systems always achieve 50 megabits per second. The Orange experts monitor the network connection 24/7. Our people always need to be able to retrieve up-to-date information at their patients’ homes.”
The Orange connection is an IP VPN connection from the mobile network. Peter Daems: “It is set up in a redundant way for our two datacentres. The home nurses in the field are also connected to this network. Our solution is based on an end-to-end connection. The mobile users are connected once they have completed the authentication process. The system is very transparent for our home nurses. They only need to log on once and follow the necessary security rules on the Windows tablet provided to all home nurses to connect to the organisation’s network, which includes our back office.”
More focus on the job and an option for photos and videos
“The result is that we can focus more on the job of patient healthcare. That is extremely valuable to us”, Peter Daems says. “In the past, our nurses mostly did administrative work at patients’ homes. Today, they have all medical records available online on their tablets”, the IT Manager adds. “They can enter certain parameters such as blood pressure and blood glucose levels”, he says, “and they can access their email and their patients’ prescriptions on site.”
The opportunities this project brings are the basis for the myWGK extranet, which is also being rolled out by Wit-Gele Kruis. “The extranet can securely and efficiently provide patient health information to many different parties, such as doctors, hospitals, patients and contacts. The Orange project is therefore crucial for us to achieve our objective of providing patient and elderly healthcare in the familiar home environment as much as possible.”
We are still exploring further possibilities at patients’ homes. “One of the projects we are developing now is the use of photos and videos. This would allow home nurses to send images to one of our wound care experts over a secure connection to make our patient care better and faster, for example. With the current Orange 4G connection, the use of video is perfectly possible.”
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