BrabantZorg, in southeastern Netherlands, provides healthcare services to seniors and patients recovering from surgery, with about 6,000 employees, 3,500 volunteers, and around 10,000 clients and patients across senior living homes and short-term care facilities. When it came time to reassess their infrastructure and collaboration tools to fuel their mission at the end of 2020, they realized their Microsoft 365 environment was making it difficult for teams to deliver world-class senior care.
For example, the process of opening patient electronic health records (EHRs) took too long, and Identity and access management (IAM) relied on single authentication, leaving important data vulnerable. Meanwhile, key decisions were being stalled at the point of care, and at departmental levels, for lack of the right collaboration processes. BrabantZorg decided they needed to transform their technology approach.
Putting Google Workspace to the test
To provide the best healthcare for their patients, BrabantZorg needed to give their teams faster, more secure access to patient records and improved technical support so they could operate autonomously. This meant finding an integrated, cloud-native solution to replace Microsoft 365. The requirements included faster, more accessible web-based collaboration, multifactor authentication (MFA), and the ability to streamline disparate processes.
This led them to Adapta, a Google Partner, and to Google Workspace as a collaboration solution. Adapta proposed a six-month proof of concept, using 10% of BrabantZorg’s workforce, including participants representing a broad set of teams, including everyone from healthcare workers to administrative assistants and executives.
During the pilot, the old identity access management solution was replaced by Google multifactor authentication and Adapta helped integrate new systems for invoicing, HR, and electronic health records. Pilot participants received Chromebooks running Chrome Enterprise and Google Workspace. Even when COVID-19 changed the way employees worked, Adapta and BrabantZorg continued the pilot by swiftly integrating Google Meet for both e-learning and patient-caregiver interactions.
Turning a successful pilot into a full migration
By the end of the pilot, participants were able to make more informed decisions built on streamlined integrated processes thanks to Google Workspace. They could access health records more quickly and collaborate in real time over Google Chat and Meet, helping them align on key decisions that drove better patient outcomes.
“Nearly 90% of employees told us they did not want to go back to the old system. That made it quite easy to decide to implement the Google environment for the whole organization,” said Arno Boudewijns, Manager of Support and Advice (ICT, Catering and Facilities) at BrabantZorg.
Building on this momentum, BrabantZorg set the next major goal — migrating the rest of their teams to the new environment. “Thanks to the thorough training, thoughtful integrations, employee buy-in, and Google services put in place during the pilot, the migration was complete in just five months,” says Matthias van Alphen, CEO and founder of Adapta.
Driving lower costs while boosting collaboration
After the migration, BrabantZorg’s staff reported savings of both time and money. Adoption was quick—with tools like Chat and Meet requiring very little training—letting teams gain the productivity benefits from improved collaboration without costly delays.
These productivity improvements also led to better outcomes. By replacing tablets with always-connected Chromebooks, it took 9 minutes less to deliver new care plans and staff could access health records 60% faster — going from 28 seconds down to 11.
And the new environment as a whole offered even more savings. As Boudewigns points out, “For us, Google is more cost effective to use than the whole Microsoft environment. It saved us substantial costs compared to the previous environment — almost 50% total reduction in cost.”
Taking a secure by design approach
As part of the migration, Adapta helped BrabantZorg implement an improved security plan, including two-step verification involving one email address, one password, and Yubikey — a physical security key. They also replaced simple passwords with “digital identities,” and single sign-on in combination with the System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM) protocol.
Also, with Google Workspace’s secure-by-design approach, updates are automatic and employees access the tools through a browser. This ensures that every device with access to data follows IT’s security standards.
Transforming collaboration to drive patient outcomes
The BrabantZorg migration project showed that a healthcare organisation can move to the cloud in less than six months with minimal disruption and no lengthy, costly onsite training and workshops. With easy-to-use tools like Chromebooks and Google Workspace, and support from partners like Adapta, BrabantZorg transformed collaboration to drive better patient and employee outcomes. As it looks to attaining new levels of service, BrabantZorg is actively exploring Google Cloud solutions, such as chatbots and connections to medical devices, to meet the demands of the future.