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Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) uses WITNESS simulation software to implement the NHS Care Records Service for the UK’s North West and West Midlands Cluster

Background

When Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), a leading global IT services company, was tasked by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) to implement the NHS Care Records Service (NHS CRS) for the UK’s North West and West Midlands cluster, it used WITNESS simulation as a key element in the design and management of key processes. The NHS CRS will give NHS professionals unprecedented 24-hour access to up-to-date patient records.

The NHS CRS will hold Electronic records for all NHS patients and will be accessible by hospitals and GPs nationally. It is part of the National Programme for IT (NPfIT), which is expected to transform NHS levels of service and efficiency and has four particular elements: electronic appointment booking, an electronic care records service, electronic transmission of prescriptions, and a fast, reliable underlying IT infrastructure.

CSC has signed a 10-year contract with the NHS to design, deploy, and operate NHS CRS in the North West and West Midlands - a region with 25% of the UK population and 250,000 potential users. Under the terms of the contract, CSC must provide a reliable, efficient and cost effective service for practitioners and patients throughout the region, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The CSC system will interact with the NHS CRS Data Spine, which is provided by BT. The Data Spine will hold summary patient records, so that patient details can be viewed no matter where in England they are.

Because of the scale and complexity of the project and the contract terms, CSC considered it essential to apply the best possible tools to allow a full understanding of the performance implications of various design options.

CSC had investigated different process simulation tools, but WITNESS from Lanner clearly emerged as best of breed and best in class. “We had formed an Alliance with Lanner, because we shared a vision of a flexible, fully integrated BPM tool.

When the NHS challenge arose, it was natural to engage Lanner,” says Dr. George Simpson, Principal Consultant at CSC. ”WITNESS is proven technology that quickly gave us a way to estimate the performance of our business processes prior to implementation - vital to our work with the NHS. We are now able to simulate different business process and technology alternatives and estimate the level of performance we will achieve.”

Results

CSC is now using WITNESS to simulate system performance and predict a range of key metrics for the individual applications and services within their responsibility, each of them related directly to vital Service Levels, for example;

  • Response times: how quickly will the system respond to user commands, and how will response time vary as more users come onto the system?
  • Availability: will the system be able to achieve the 99.9% availability target?
  • Fix times: how quickly can the different tiers of the various support organisations work together to resolve incidents?

The simulations, together with live performance data, will give CSC the insight it needs to optimize process performance for the NHS. 

“Working with Lanner has seriously enhanced our ability to best serve our customers,” Dr. Simpson concludes.


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