The Health Informatics Service, which provides IT services to 12 healthcare organisations across South West Yorkshire, can now electronically audit all the software and devices in its area, using the Centennial SAM.Suite.
IM&T portfolio manager, Neil Asling, told E-Health Insider that manual audits were taking engineers weeks to complete and the service was unable to keep up-to-date information for technology refresh plans, which the local strategic health authority was asking for.
"We were being asked to regularly audit the software and devices being used across South West Yorkshire, but were increasingly finding we just didn’t physically have the time to do this,” he said. “In one of our primary care trusts alone, there are 74 different GP surgeries and additional health centres. It was simply too difficult to manage.
“Also, the manual process meant that by the time we had finished, the information we had collected was out of date. And work would often be duplicated for different projects, because previously collected data would need to be double-checked, or previous audits would have omitted the data required.”
The SHA initially agreed to try the Centennial system for 90 days, to see if it could resolve the issues. Asling says it helped the informatics team to accurately audit systems in real-time without engineers having to go to the various sites. The SHA then agreed to purchase the system.
“With SAM.Suite, we can tell organisations exactly what is on their network from our headquarters, rather than spending unnecessary time and money on sending an engineer to a site to audit their IM&T estate,” Asling said. “This has massive implications for our current expenditure, as it allows us to make much more informed and efficient decisions on all aspects of IT infrastructure.
“It also ensures we are saving more money from avoiding over-licensing. As we work towards ITIL certification, we are expecting to see more and more benefits, both in terms of productivity and cost savings, as the automated system frees up so many more resources for us. It has also allowed us to start creating a configuration management database.”
Matt Fisher, vice president at Centennial, told EHI: “It is very common for software and asset visibility to be an issue for any organisation. IT has grown incrementally over time without controls and without visibility, the products will get worse.
"The Health Informatics Service now has full visibility of hardware and software assets across the network and will be able to electronically capture, validate and reconcile licences for all users. This should help to save time and deliver cost savings on the road to ITIL.”