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The Barnet ITU had switched from paper-based records to digital records in the early 2000s. The switch allowed for more transparency and reduced risk of human error, as well as offering the ability to extrapolate data for analytical purposes.
It then fell to Dr Tony Wolff, who was also the doctor running the ITU and had designed the information system, to ensure that the system was up and running and the database secured. In his own words, ‘it was challenging and stressful looking after the databases with not being a DBA and being a one man band‘.
Without daily database management support, the situation was challenging to sustain: the old operating system and the lack of consistent maintenance meant that the system was difficult to upkeep and at risk of failure.
With the clock ticking, and the first news of a deadly virus appearing, WellData was called in.
WellData didn’t waste any time: the first step was to secure the infrastructure, migrate the operating system to Windows
and to upgrade the database from Oracle 11g to Oracle 19c.
Once the data was secured, and the immediate need resolved, the WellData team proceeded to provide ongoing support: these were the early days of the March 2020 lockdown, as admissions skyrocketed, WellData stepped in to take over housekeeping and capacity planning.
The migration took less than 8 weeks to be completed and by the time the pandemic had reached its peak, the ITU team was
able to rely on a modern Windows operating system and on on-going support of a team of experienced DBAs.
Before the migration and the outsourced database management, the ITU had so much unkept data that any new information
could hardly be added without risk of destabilising the whole system. Now, the Royal Free Hospital is able to confidently and efficiently record and track every new patient, taking the burden off the already stretched medical team.
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