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Country Doctors Practice - a case study

Habitat3 enabled the medical team at GP clinic Country Doctors Practice to access a secure and reliable cloud-based server that hosts their patient database, as well as their practice management and clinical software.


Country Doctors Practice is located in the regional town of Ipswich, west of Brisbane. Dr Michael Ifesanwo founded the practice and is an experienced clinician of over 18 years. He did his primary training in Nigeria where he worked in general practice for a while, then migrated to South Africa where he worked and started his family medicine training. He relocated to Australia in 2009 with his family and worked in Ipswich Hospital till 2011 after which he moved to Laidley where he had worked as a general practitioner and also a senior medical officer to Laidley Hospital. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of general practitioner and also a Fellow of the Skin Cancer College of Australasia.

Dr Ifesanwo and his team had been using on-premise server and networking equipment for some years but had found their regional location meant it was difficult to ensure reliability and security due to the lack of service providers in their area with the sufficient knowledge to maintain their systems. In addition, obtaining parts for their hardware at short notice was difficult and could leave them without access to their data for days or weeks in some cases.

The Challenge

Dr Ifesanwo and his team were looking to ensure ongoing reliable and fast access to the patient data they manage. They also wanted peace of mind that it was stored in Australia at all times and backed up. The team of nine is made up of a number of doctors, nurses and administrative staff all needing access to different data at different times to ensure the practice delivers the highest quality patient care.

The practice is located within a regional location and therefore had few options when it came to local IT support and hardware suppliers. Ongoing uptime of their server was a high priority and having to wait for parts or services was unacceptable.

The Solution

Habitat3 created a secure AWS and Windows server environment to allow for the team at Country Doctor's to access their applications and data in the Cloud.


First an AWS account was created in the AWS Sydney data-centre followed by the setup of IAM user security standards and the implementation of a secure AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) including the configuration of all firewall configuration.

Then a Windows Remote Desktop server was attached to a SQL server all managed via MS Active Directory. An additional security layer was added in the form of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to provide in-transit security for the sensitive patient data. The data "at rest" was also encrypted across all data storage using AWS' EBS encryption.

Finally, the AWS Application Migration Service was used to migrate a total of 200GB of applications, practice data files and SQL databases to AWS. EBS storage was used to store all data and includes automated backups. AWS Cloudwatch metrics and Cost Explorer budget alerts are in place to ensure any anomalies are detected as soon as they occur.

“We are really happy with the service provided by Habitat3. We can access our patient data quickly whenever we need it and the various accreditations held by AWS give us the peace of mind that the data is stored securely here in Australia.” Dr Ifesanwo said.

Cost Optimisation

Habitat3 created a further cost optimised solution to allow Country Doctor's Practice to reduce their EC2 instance sizes on a schedule.


This means that overnight there are less resources available as usage is less. During the day when usage is higher, more server instance resources are available.  ​This reduction in the EC2 instance sizes on a scheduled basis significantly reduces the overall hosting cost to the practice. 

Overall Solution Benefits

The team at Country Doctors Practice can now focus on their patients care, secure in the knowledge that they can access patient data as and when they need it in a fast and reliable way.


They know that the sensitive patient data is secure within an AWS data-centre in Sydney and under the management of Habitat3.

Dr Ifesanwo is happy now that he has an efficient IT support and billing structure as both AWS and Windows environments are fully supported by Habitat3 and all charges associated with all services are invoiced by Habitat3 on a monthly basis.

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