Challenge: Taking on the Challenges of an Aging Population
One of the seven districts of the Canton of Fribourg in Switzerland, La Sarine district is home to around 100,000 people. As in other parts of Switzerland, the elderly population of La Sarine is growing rapidly—creating new and complex healthcare demands on public health organizations in the area.
To tackle these challenges, the Canton of Fribourg founded La Sarine Health Network in 2015. Uniting 12 publicly funded healthcare organizations across La Sarine district, La Sarine Health Network provides a wide range of specialist care services: including residential care, homecare, emergency ambulances, and community transport services for people with disabilities.
Rémi Goyer, CIO at La Sarine Health Network, explains: "One of the major objectives for La Sarine Health Network in the coming years is effectively serving the growing number of people aged 80 and over in the community. Most elderly people in the area are in relatively good health, and don't wish to leave their homes—so ensuring that we can ramp up our homecare services will be crucial to deliver high-quality experiences for citizens throughout the district."
Like any modern healthcare organization, digital systems play a key role in La Sarine Health Network's service delivery. The organization depends on its IT platforms to drive its operations from end-to-end: from back-office administration, to booking appointments, to managing patient data.
Previously, La Sarine Health Network relied on two virtualized, standalone servers to support its digital services, physically hosted at the region's residential care center. Because each server used its own built-in storage, the organization was unable to rapidly move virtual workloads from one platform to another—reducing flexibility and increasing the risk of downtime in a disaster-recovery scenario. Crucially, the onboard storage was fast approaching capacity, with utilization of around 85% on each server.
"When I joined La Sarine Health Network, one of my immediate priorities was to increase the security, availability and scalability of our IT systems," Goyer continues. "The goal was to create a platform that would support the long-term growth of our digital healthcare services—empowering our people to deliver a consistently high standard of care across the district."