Barwon Health is one of the largest and most comprehensive regional health service providers in Australia. Barwon Health provides a SaaS solution called PROMPT which is used by over 105 hospitals across Australia. PROMPT is a document management system that is used to ensure the right information is available at the right time to provide the right care for patients, ensuring quality and safety is at the forefront of all patient care.
PROMPT was a legacy system created by Barwon Health in 2006, largely as an on-premise client server application with a centralised cloud repository for documents. By 2018 PROMPT needed the ability to scale rapidly, transforming to a true SaaS application without the requirement of on-premise servers in hospitals. It needed to be modernised to improve its security, increase its technical functionality, and ensure it was always available. Whilst also becoming easier to maintain, support and improve.
Creating a roadmap for the future
Barwon Health didn’t just want to take their SaaS solution and rewrite it into a modern environment. Barwon Health wanted PROMPT to retain its core integrity while gaining the flexibility to open up other possibilities. They wanted a roadmap into the future where they could take all their learnings and create a reliable application that would be faster and built for the future, whilst also being able to scale and grow to support many more users working across more hospitals.
Lancom’s DevOps team was comprised of developers, designers and engineers. In line with Barwon Health’s vision, the team created a roadmap of how to move PROMPT to an end point of exceeding the project’s goals by building a fully distributed, loosely coupled application with features that hadn’t yet been contemplated. The focus was also on implementing tighter controls to automate and create an accredited program.
Deciding on an infrastructure design and partner, AWS ticked all the boxes and more. With AWS the team had the choice of the widest range of databases and AWS’s focus on compliance and governance is exceptional. Their pace of innovation is brilliant, and their eye remains firmly on the customer and creating what they need next. The team found AWS were innovating as they were developing, which meant they were able to offer the project more than what was expected.
This SaaS project needed everything application modernisation has to offer; cloud migration, creating a robust infrastructure that allowed for contraction and expansion whilst ensuring governance and security. Barwon Health had 105 hospitals with local servers running the application. The team needed to migrate all of these into the cloud, so there was a massive infrastructure setup. Working with AWS the team could create code to automate this process, reducing the risk of mistakes and increasing speed.
Once the team had built everything, it was time to migrate the old documents into the new. This was done as a sync process using middleware Lancom wrote as the team wanted to ensure AWS was working with very little outside input. Every document, every user and all the hospitals relevant data would sync automatically from the legacy environment to the new modernised application. This allowed for rapid migration and roll out to hospitals and the team was able to achieve zero downtime when transitioning from the old to the new.
Partnering with Lancom allowed Barwon Health to completely modernise their legacy SaaS application. Hospitals were migrated with zero downtime so medical staff and administrators always had access to the right information to treat their patients. Lancom’s extensive knowledge of AWS gave them the confidence to expand the scope of the project and push what they believed to be possible.
The new PROMPT SaaS uses all the security services that AWS has to offer. Features like anomaly detection, detection of users and devices within a hospital and the ability to scan and contain rouge behaviour has all put the application and its users in good stead.
Automated CI/CD pipelines with stage gates and approvals allow for deployments to move from Dev/Test, UAT to Production. With Blue/Green deployments the application can be deployed rapidly, more frequently and with zero downtime.
Building an entire application based on distributed architecture using micro-services, containers and serverless architecture, along with Aurora as its core database has significantly reduced the running costs of PROMPT. So much so that the new SaaS solution is faster, has more features but costs less than the legacy application to run.
PROMPT is now able to meet user demand as and when required. Onboarding new hospitals happens at rapid pace and the application is ready to go Australia wide, then worldwide.
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