|by Paul Bulmer
Head of Propositions
The Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) is the next big project for many healthcare organisations and the key to success is partnering with the right supplier.
When it comes to HSCN, it’s not just about finding an accredited supplier that understands the processes and procurement methods, but also what you’re trying to achieve and how to get you there.
A close look at the migration process shows how much there is for Consumer Network Service Providers (CNSPs) to get right, and why it’s critical that they work through your transition with you in partnership:
|Forecasting||providing a forecast of your anticipated migration to the HSCN Programme, enabling them to plan resources and manage the allocation of migration slots.|
|Commissioning sign-off||testing newly-installed HSCN connectivity prior to starting migration activities.|
|Migration slot initiation||securing a migration slot with TACO, the BT-led team responsible for the migration programme; if CNSPs miss the allocated slot, it could take weeks for another to be available.|
|Migration sign-off||following migration activities, checking the transition has been successful, then confirming with TACO that the migration has completed without need for rollback activities.|
|Migration failures||identifying and resolving any failure in your migration (in a project of this magnitude (migrating ~13,000 connectivity services for 1,100 organisations) it’s inevitable that sometimes a migration will fail)|
The stakes are high.
NHS Digital is keen to ensure that consumers and CNSPs take a serious view of how migrations are coordinated and managed through to completion.
If migrations go wrong, they could be delayed by weeks or months, or the consumer could end up with no service at all for weeks, which is unimaginable on every level.
KCOM has been designing national customer networks with HSCN in mind for some time (and, as the incumbent connectivity provider in Hull and East Yorkshire, has been providing N3 connections for years), equating to a huge amount of experience in providing strategically important services to hospitals, CCGs and doctors’ surgeries.
But how can you make sure you choose the right CNSP to guide you through your transition?
NHS Digital’s advice is to directly question shortlisted suppliers about their knowledge and experience.
Questions to ask could include:
|Can you evidence experience in migrating complex strategic networks?|
|What’s your experience in adhering to strict quality standards in terms of network management, data security and advanced monitoring?|
|Can you provide case studies that demonstrate your understanding of how NHS or private healthcare organisations work, and how have you adapted your processes and systems to accommodate their needs?|
The right long-term CNSP for your organisation will be the one that gives you confidence in placing your migration in their hands, so you can focus on what you do best.
It’s unlikely to be as simple as the one that provides the cheapest quote or what looks like a quick shortcut to installation.
Considering what’s at stake, your HSCN migration deserves a lot more consideration than that.
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