The Children’s Hospital in Riga, Latvia uses GNU/Linux for most of its tasks. Around 2003, the hospital deployed openSUSE on some of its machines and installed a basic HIS (Hospital Information System) on it. Later, they developed their own HIS, and moved their new services to Xen virtualization servers. (An HIS is a software used to manage all the data and operations of a hospital in an integrated fashion.) Currently, the hospital has about 600 workstations, and over half of them run Ubuntu.
The hospital mentions two principal reasons for choosing GNU/Linux over other proprietary operating systems. The first one is cost effectiveness. GNU/Linux delivers adequate performance and reliability at fairly low costs.
Whenever we see that a workstation does not really need to use a proprietary system, we replace it by Linux. We’re happy not to have to spend money on software licences.
The second reason for their choice of GNU/Linux is the ease of maintenance. Since the IT department is quite familiar with GNU/Linux, they have no problem maintaining it. However, for the new staff, there is a learning curve, since they are usually new to GNU/Linux. Nonetheless, they are known to catch up soon.
The Children’s Hospital is a perfect example of how GNU/Linux can be easily adapted to any use case thrown at it.