Netsilon 7 chosen by Montpellier University Hospital to synchronise its equipment
The time server: a crucial tool for the smooth running of hospitals.
In the health sector and care establishments, Bodet time servers make it possible to synchronise IT equipment and also to benefit from precise time stamping to identify malfunctions.
Montpellier University Hospital
Montpellier - France
5 centres on 67 ha
Synchronisation of IT equipment
How does the regulation of health information systems impact on hospitals?
For some years now, hospitals in France have been subject to high demands in terms of IT security. They must comply with certain regulations. The ARSs (Regional Health Agencies) are responsible for the regional control of the health system and the implementation of national policies. They require hospitals to meet a set of precise specifications. These are also regularly audited by the ANSSI (National agency for data protection), which checks that the establishments are equipped with reliable and high-performance computer equipment.
The ANS (Agency for Digital systems in Healthcare) supports the Directors, CISOs and CIOs of health establishments in the digital transition of their systems, which has now become essential. It aims to regulate good practice, particularly in terms of security and interoperability and to facilitate the sharing and exchange of health data.
Since their creation, hospitals have taken on many constraints and responsibilities linked to their duty to guarantee continuity of care for their patients (24-hour availability of machines, application redundancies, networks, people, setting up an on-call system, etc.).
Synchronising hospital IT equipment with time servers
©photo: Montpellier University Hospital - Gabrielle Voinot
Montpellier University Hospital is one of the most home-based health establishments in France. Today it has more than 400 automatic machines and its electrical installation is one of the most modern. More than 250 human operators from various trades monitor and manage the work carried out on these machines on a daily basis. PLCs control, pilot and regulate all the electrical systems used for air treatment (pressure, temperature), water treatment, but also for the general surveillance of equipment (cameras, biomedical systems, lifts, etc.).
Given the very large number of interconnected IT devices (switches, PLCs, clocks, cameras, servers, etc.), it has become essential for Montpellier University Hospital to provide reliable and secure time synchronisation.
In addition, a second power plant is being built on the university hospital site. All the active equipment in this future power plant will need to have the same time to be able to replay failure scenarios after a malfunction, thus reinforcing the need in the short and medium term to have two time servers.
The high demand for machine availability and the interaction between different information systems (computers and healthcare devices and medical examination machines also require uniform and very accurate time stamping (to the hundredth of a second).
How to ensure time synchronisation of the networks and IT equipment at Montpellier University Hospital?
After a study of the technological constraints, Bodet Time's teams recommended Montpellier University Hospital's technical department to install the Netsilon 7 because its technical characteristics met the needs of non-critical systems.
This time server ensures the synchronisation of computer networks and all the equipment connected to these networks. As a result of the accuracy of the time distributed, timestamping makes it possible to build an accurate and reliable database of events that occur on the network. This data is used to monitor the proper functioning of IT equipment and identify the origin of one or more incidents.
Thanks to its multi-source capabilities (GPS, ALS162), the Netsilon is able to overcome the problems of GPS signal interference generated by aircraft passing near the University Hospital site. The time server compares the quality of the reference sources in real time and thus detects interference. To ensure the best service, it will then use the source detected as being the most reliable. The modularity of the Netsilon also allows the time to be distributed over 4 different and independent Ethernet networks.
“We were looking for a time synchronisation system for our clocks that was sophisticated enough to implement a time stamp that was as accurate as possible. Our problem was to synchronise four completely separate, autonomous and hermetic networks. We already had Bodet clocks at the university hospital, so it was quite natural for us to contact the company.
Today, the Netsilon fulfils all these functions. Its different option cards allow us to synchronise our four networks to the same time and have an identical and accurate time display on all our clocks. The timestamp function allows us to monitor every important event to the nearest millisecond.
Overall, we were satisfied with the services provided and we appreciated the quality of the services and the responsiveness of the Bodet Group's technical teams."
A testimonial from Mr David MESSINA,
Centralized Technical Management Engineer at Montpellier University Hospital Centre