DHBs begin move to national infrastructure platform

Four District Health Boards (DHBs) have signed on to migrate to the new national infrastructure platform (NIP) developed by IBM in association with shared services organisation Health Benefits Limited (HBL).

Northland, Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitemata DHBs have signed contracts to use the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform, with the transition to begin from mid-2015. Eleven other DHBs have conditionally approved the business case and HBL says it is making good progress with the other five.

The IBM solution will aggregate each DHB onto a single IaaS and enable them to purchase their IT infrastructure on demand without the burden of maintaining and owning their own infrastructure. In addition to reductions in operation risk, the platform is touted to provide almost $24 million in savings over 10 years.

The DHBs currently use 40 data centres to host their applications and systems but this will be reduced to two IBM-managed data centres with higher security classifications located in Auckland and Christchurch.

National Health IT Board director Graeme Osborne said in a statement that the new platform was a response to a number of IT outages at DHBs over the last two years.

“The improved resilience and strengthened disaster recovery capabilities of NIP will reduce the risk of IT outages affecting the efficient operation of health services,” Mr Osborne said. “The IT Board also notes the importance of the scalability of the platform.”

IBM is working with ICT engineering firm Computer Concepts Limited (CCL), cloud migration experts Racemi and fibre optic network provider FX Networks to deliver the project.

The transition is expected to take three years.

Posted in New Zealand eHealth

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