Patient records always available | De Nationale Trombose Dienst

De Nationale Trombose Dienst

De Nationale Trombose Dienst

Rob Neeter
De Nationale Trombose Dienst

"I am still impressed when I think about the fanaticism with which the people of BIT started to work for us. Their attitude form the very beginning was:
We are going to solve this. We will help you out."

The National Thrombosis Service (NTD) is the biggest national provider of thrombosis self-care. With the concept of 'thrombosis self-care', the NTD offers the opportunity to regulate coagulation and dosage over the internet, independent of time and place, to patients who use anticoagulants.

"In the Netherlands, over 400.000 people with an increased risk of thrombosis take anticoagulants. Because the effects of the anticoagulants can vary significantly due to all kinds of external influences, all these people need to have the coagulation value of their blood determined. Most people visit a prick post to have this done, but around 150.000 people need to be visited at home, for example because they are bedridden. The day after the blood collection, the patient will receive a letter with a possible dosage adjustment. All that is provided by 58 regional thrombosis services.

The comfort and the service that patients experience

The NTD offers these patients a modern alternative. With a simple prick of the finger, at home, out camping or on the road, people can measure their coagulation value. They can enter this value on our secured internet page and receive an email with their new dosage that same evening. Our clients are very excited about this new alternative. They don't need to be in a waiting room every two weeks or need to have needles in their arm so often, and they can contact our call centre 24/7 in case of any questions. The medical quality of our dosages is assured, because everything is done under the responsibility of a cardiologist. The biggest changes from the traditional way of thrombosis care are the freedom, the comfort and the service that patients experience.

Slight panic

The hosting of our servers was done by a relatively small party until early 2014. On a rainy Friday morning in January, our server broke down. That had happened before, but only for a few minutes at the time, but now something else was wrong. Suddenly, our provider was hard to reach and in the course of the afternoon, it was clear that it was serious: they could not tell us when our servers would be functional again. Slight panic arose then, because we could not access our backup data either and of course we had to provide dosages that evening.

Eventually we had to help our patients by email en telephone for a while. People have worked around the clock and more. We met with a recovery specialist on Saturday, who proposed to contact BIT. BIT's people came to our office the same afternoon and began to set up a system to have us up and running as soon as we had our data again. I am still impressed. The fanaticism with which these guys worked was very inspiring. We were a client of course, but not a big one. Their attitude from the start was: 'We will solve this. We will help you out.'

A kind of Miele-feeling

Later that weekend we learned that the problems were even worse than we had initially thought. Our provider did not only have no access to our data, but had no ability to restore the access at the moment either. For a few days I honestly believed that the NTD was done for. How would we ever be able to provide good thrombosis care with no access to patient data?

With a very old backup, we managed to launch a temporary website to be able to help most of our patients anyway. The people of our service staff, medical department and communications department have provided continuity of the care and communication with our patients for days. In the mean time our IT staff and the people of BIT worked nonstop on redesigning our systems.

It took all of seven days to get our patient data back. A true nightmare. In retrospect, I realise I have never felt very comfortable with the original hosting party, even though I carry the responsibility for the wellbeing of thousands of people. I have never had a day that I have not felt at ease with BIT. They just do good work. They are a leading brand, I have a kind of Miele-feeling with them.

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