Maryborough Family Practice
How BITS helped a busy & Thriving Family Medical Practice move premises
Maryborough Family Practice is a thriving GP practice based in Portlaoise – and has been serving the health needs of the local population for more than 30 years.
Due to the ongoing growth in demand for its services, as well as an aging physical and technical infrastructure, the practice had decided that it needed to move from its town centre location to new premises. The location needed to be close to the town centre to cater to the existing patient base. This inevitably narrowed the range of available options. The chosen location was the Parkside office complex on the Abbeyleix Road – for reasons that included the substantial internal space, the free and ample parking, and the ease of wheelchair accessibility.
Any office move is significant – a challenge in itself. However, this particular move presented three additional challenges:
- The unit in Parkside needed to be completely kitted out, e.g., it had no lighting, heat, or electricity.
- By the time of the transition, Covid vaccinations were in full swing, and it was imperative that this vital public service had to continue without interruption. Not just that, but the rapid roll-out of the vaccination programme required the move to the new premises.
- The practice needed to be fully operational from an IT perspective at its new location within one working day of leaving its town centre location.
BITS had been the practice’s IT provider for over 10 years and won the contract to manage all IT aspects of the location change – a serious challenge as moving office can be quite daunting from an IT point of view.
HOW BITS HELPED
During its 20 years, BITS has developed deep expertise in the management of complex IT projects – including office moves. BITS also has recent experience of moving location itself – a move prompted in part by existing and anticipated growth. This meant that BITS knew first-hand what success for the practice’s move would require. This project management included:
- Identifying what needed to be done,
- What dependencies there were,
- Who needed to do what, and
- What the schedule was
This necessitated regular site visits to meet with other stakeholders. For example, BITS had liaised with multiple internet service providers to find the optimal provider for the practice. In addition, knowing that connectivity is such a key part of any office move, BITS engineers were present onsite on the day of the internet installation to ensure that the installation went ahead and that any IT issues were handled on the day. That’s the sort of crucial detail that got identified, assigned and sorted because BITS was there, embedded, throughout the fitout process for the new building.
BITS collaborated with other stakeholders in a variety of other ways including:
- Working closely with electricians on site to ensure that there were sufficient power points.
- Liaising directly with Socrates – the practice’s patient database provider
- Installation of a wireless network for both staff and patients/guests – whilst ensuring that they were separate and secure for all users.
- Extending the number of phone lines.
- Working with developers on the provision of a dedicated comms room as well as ensuring sufficient network points for all staff and equipment.
- Optimal positioning of devices such as photocopiers and printers.
In addition to the above collaborative efforts, other IT-specific elements of the overall solution included:
- The server being replaced, and PCs being upgraded to Windows 10. There had been Windows 7 devices on the old network and BITS had gotten an extension from Microsoft to keep things patched. However, that situation could not be let persist.
- The addition of a Backup and Disaster Recovery system (BDR). This has added a layer of security against the likes of ransomware.
- A phone system consisting of a physical Private Branch eXchange (PBX) with all phone traffic out of the practice being through a VoIP solution and new phone handsets and headsets for all staff.
“We’ve been working with BITS for years as our IT provider and as we have evolved over the years, so has BITS. We find their technical support team second to none and their professional approach and client-focussed attitude was key to ensuring we were able to smoothly move into our new offices recently.”
Dr. Michelle Byrne,
- The practice was up and running in its new premises on the prescribed date. There was zero slippage.
- This happened within one working day of the practice having been fully operational at its original location.
- The move was seamless to the public – there was zero break in the practice’s responsiveness to phone calls.
- The move was seamless to staff – there was immediate and full access to all IT equipment which ensured zero downtime on inter-communications between all employees as well as zero downtime in staff’s ability to access patients’ medical records.
Maryborough Family Practice
Portlaoise, Co. Laois
Staff can work with confidence and patients can avail of reliable WiFi.
All relevant staff can access confidential patient records securely
New disaster recovery solution installed to increase overall security.
Practice is future-proofed and primed to expand in response to demand
Successful project management of complex premises move (on time, high quality, within budget)
E-mail: [email protected]