Smart ICT, blue TV Host
Manfred Wicki, Director and owner
Willisau GP practice
In 2021, two established GP surgeries in Willisau merged to form the new Willisau community GP practice. This was a great opportunity to update and future-proof the ICT infrastructure, with the support of Swisscom and its local partner.
Dr Manfred Wicki is the director and owner of the modern practice close to Willisau’s picturesque old town. What does he want from an ICT solution? “It needs to be fast, standardised and easy for our employees to learn,” he explains. “And, of course, it needs to be highly secure because of the sensitive patient data that we process and manage.”
In fact, this is something of an understatement, as when it comes to automated digital processes, Willisau GP practice is one of the leading medical practices in Switzerland. For example, it operates a robotic medication dispensing solution, deploys time-saving fully digitised X-rays and posts the latest information on a large monitor in the waiting area.
Building an ICT infrastructure from the ground up allows it to be tailored precisely to the current and future needs of the practice. However, as Manfred Wicki notes, this is easier said than done. “We still need access to the data archives and the existing applications used by both of our former practices. Moreover, we need to be able to merge the “old” patient data efficiently with new electronic clinical records. A further challenge was integrating our robotic medication dispenser and our practice information system, which is accessed from the software provider’s cloud.” The high security requirements inherent in the sector presented further notable challenges: “We don’t have the time to update the firewall separately on each PC, or perform regular backups.”
Manfred Wicki and his team looked at a wide range of ICT providers to examine whether they had the skills to solve these and other problems. They finally opted for Swisscom and its local partner, Illi ICT Solutions. Explaining the decision, Manfred Wicki says: “With Smart ICT, the Swisscom specialists presented an impressive solution, giving us a one-stop solution at a budget-friendly fixed cost. Moreover, I was aware that the Spitex Nebikon-Altishofen health centre had also had a positive experience with Smart ICT. Swisscom therefore has a good understanding of the specific needs of the health sector.” After three months of planning and installation, it was time for the practice team to switch on the system. All the systems have been running smoothly ever since.
« We don’t have the time to update the firewall separately on each PC. »
Swisscom’s integrated ICT solution provides everything that the community practice requires to work smoothly and efficiently. The telephony system provides a number of options. A managed LAN, a PWLAN and a secure connection to the data clouds ensure a reliable flow of data. The protective Managed Security shield includes a cloud-based firewall operated by Swisscom. Backup as a Service ensures the automatic storage of data in Swiss data centres. The all-in-one solution also includes PCs, routers and other hardware components. Watching the latest news or maybe even a ski competition through blue TV Host makes time spent in the waiting area more bearable. Patients also have access to the WLAN.
All doctors would like to have more time with their patients and deal more efficiently with their mountains of admin. This is where a sophisticated ICT solution comes in handy, as illustrated by the robotic medication dispensing solution at Willisau community practice. During the patient consultation, Manfred Wicki places an order on his PC. A few seconds later, the correctly labelled medication is waiting to be collected from the reception desk. The automatic storage of patient ECG results in the patient’s medical file is a further example of the improvements in efficiency. Manfred Wicki understands that digitisation will be even more important in the future. “In all likelihood, the EPD is set to become a reality. And tools such as eMediplan will allow us to significantly improve our patients’ security and convenience. Whatever happens next, our ICT solution means we are ready for further digitisation. It is fast, modern and secure. And we can rely on effective support from Swisscom and its partner.