4ways is a leading UK-based tele-diagnostics provider serving over 90 NHS Trusts, community diagnostic hubs and private healthcare organisations with radiology reporting. With a 16-year track record of innovation its aim is to improve patient outcomes.
4ways works in close partnership with the NHS and its community of over 350 UK-based GMC Consulting Radiologists to provide reporting for elective care, urgent reporting, and specialist radiology scans across the whole spectrum of radiology disciplines.
4ways has been a Redcentric customer for over seven years, and as it has scaled, Redcentric has worked with 4ways to deliver solutions which meet its needs.
To support 4ways strategic growth plans and service innovation, it was looking for a trusted IT partner with extensive experience within the healthcare sector; a partner who could understand that resilience is critical as patient lives depend on effective service delivery.
As the business grew and it innovated with new services it wanted to increase its ability to scale and deliver rapid radiology reporting and triage services to demanding timescales. It needed a partner to support its organisational and technological strategy.
Alex Sweeting, Head of IT at 4ways, commented,
“Our NHS clients demand service assurance and zero downtime. The NHS needs us to deliver on our strict SLAs for diagnostic reporting. The adoption of Redcentric IaaS services provides us with the resilience and quality of service our clients expect. It allows us to demonstrate this to our customers continuously and gives our NHS customers that assurance and peace of mind.”
Redcentric has worked with 4ways to provide services to meet the following requirements over the last seven years:
With a lean IT team, this can present a challenge around skills and capabilities, whilst maintaining full business IT provision & support. However, we are now backed by a significant national provider with a wealth of experience and technical experts that we trust and can rely on, which effectively extends the capabilities of our own internal team.
4ways first engaged with Redcentric in 2012, initially to provide scalable bandwidth and to migrate to the new NHS HSCN network. 4ways built on those services by also consolidating its WAN services with Redcentric in 2016 and adding geographic diverse routing for resilience. The upgrade to the HSCN network took place in 2019. Then in 2021, all services were migrated seamlessly from its old HQ to new premises using the Redcentric team.
In late 2021 through to spring 2022, 4ways adopted two key platforms described here:
What we really value is that Redcentric understands the healthcare sector and our NHS customers and that they understand that we are serving public health nationally and that our services impact patient’s lives.
In 2022, Redcentric supported 4ways with services to underpin growth plans as it increased market share. Redcentric moved its on-premises production environment to the Reading Data Centre. 4ways and its NHS clients required a migration with full operational uptime. It needed increased resilience and it wanted to speed up operational workflows to deliver new urgent services as part of its growth plans.
At this point 4ways adopted a fully managed infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform from Redcentric.
Alex Sweeting commented,
Resilience – ‘We have greatly increased resilience by migrating to the managed infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform at Reading and using Harrogate as a failover site. We now have a fully scalable, robust solution which is currently running at 99.999% availability.
Service continuity – Moving to Redcentric’s IaaS platform has meant we could meet the challenge of being able to move offices whilst continuing to provide our reporting services both routine and urgent to our clients with zero downtime.
Improved KPIs/customer assurance – It’s extremely important that we can provide assurance to our clients that we are always open for business. By increasing resilience and efficiency, the data journey from clients to radiologist has been reduced, enhancing our KPIs and operational workflows.
When the Redcentric team came to demo the voice platform to all our stakeholders from across the business, they not only showed us that the platform could meet our functional requirements, but the team were able to demonstrate their professionalism and expertise and they fielded and answered questions from all corners of the business on the spot without delay. The senior leadership team approved a full migration without delay.
VoIP service – 4ways had adopted a VoIP solution from a previous vendor which allowed staff to work from home or in the office, but they were experiencing technical failures which were not being resolved in a timely manner. 4ways needed a provider who offer a robust and responsive voice service given the life and death nature of its business.
Increased demand for new services – Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, demand for 4ways 24/7/365 urgent services increased considerably across existing and new clients.
Call wait-times – 4ways needed to reduce call waiting times as demand grew for its urgent services, especially for urgent stroke and trauma reporting. It needed to remove any factors slowing down communication to ensure patient safety.
3-way calling and routing – A carefully architected design and VoIP enterprise features were needed to support 4ways’ triage service and to maintain patient safety at all times.
Call audit trail – Comprehensive call recording was necessary for both training and clinical governance. Teams needed a flexible solution which allowed 4ways to access and distribute call recordings efficiently for all internal requirements.
4ways began discussions with Redcentric in November 2021. The Voice migration was quickly approved, and deployment was successfully completed by March 2022.
Urgent cases have increased by 65% in the last year and Redcentric has supported 4ways with managing huge demand and growth in its services by ensuring operations remain fully serviceable. The VoIP deployment, call recording and reporting has supported delivery of service innovations which rely on zero downtime and efficient lines of communication supporting overall business growth objectives.
Increased flexibility – Redcentric gave us a Voice platform with far more functionality which meant we could deliver calls to different teams in a much more efficient way, and it has significantly improved service levels.
Improved efficiency – The call reporting enabled us to streamline processes and generate efficiencies within the call workflow. We benefited from close to 40% increase in efficiency by reviewing our call workflows.
But it wasn’t just the call wait times which improved. For our ‘urgent services’ the call could be directed to the right radiologist team straightaway, which allowed us to use our resources more effectively. This was critical for urgent cases such as strokes and timebound out of hours reporting and supports better outcomes for patients, but it also means we can deliver on our customer SLAs. We’ve gained customers as a result.
Accountability and governance – The call recording solution has proved to be a real winner, it’s very easy to use and it allows us to respond to our customer queries quickly and efficiently.
Trusted partner – We’ve always had a constructive and open relationship led by our engagement with our Account Manager. That personal engagement is necessary because I know I can trust him and the team at Redcentric will deal with whatever the problem is.
Members of our C-suite team have met the Redcentric C-suite team and that gives us confidence, and it’s allowed us to sustain our relationship and consolidate all our services with Redcentric.
The quality of the resource that I have always had from Redcentric whether at the management level, project management or the engineering level has been extremely high. In many ways you set the bar for us.
As the healthcare market changes and technology develops you need a partner that is aligned with you on the strategic technology roadmap. It’s not just about providing robust solutions, it's that understanding of the healthcare sector and our business. For us, Redcentric is that partner which has raised the bar high and the benchmark against which we measure everyone else.
One of the things that’s really impressed me about our relationship with Redcentric is that it’s not just about the services provided: the IaaS platform and the VoIP service. The Redcentric team understand our need for robust solutions and an element of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity at all times.
It’s not just a commercial relationship or a matter of delivering on uptime and SLAs. What we really value is that Redcentric understands the healthcare sector and our NHS customers and that they understand that we are serving public health nationally and that our services impact patient’s lives.