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Category Archives: Healthcare

The ABC Guide to Secure Printing

We did the secure printing demo at the HIMSS New Orleans this March. For the upcoming HIMSS AsiaPac 2013 in HongKong, we will again demo extensively on the secure printing solution with VMware Horizon View. This blog will share the design concept and why you should care about secure printing for HIPAA compliance.

Secure Printing allows a user to print a document, which is not immediately sent to a printer, but sent to a secure print queue. At a subsequent time, the user may release the document to be physically printed through a variety of signal mechanism, i.e. MFP printer menu control or proximity card two-factor authentication (2FA) dongle attached to network based printers.

Within healthcare, secure printing is a necessary feature, especially within the constraints of HIPAA. Because patient data is not to be available to any person except designated care givers, leaving patient documents sitting on a printer exposes healthcare businesses to liability.

To support HIPAA, Print Jobs must be logged to include:

  1. Print job submission need to show date, time, user and, if possible, application and document name;
  2. Print job release event;
  3. Print job error and/or resubmittal;
  4. Print job success;
  5. Print job deletion;
  6. Print job moved to storage;
  7. Print job moved to different owner queue.

We will talk about the technical architecture and design flow on “Print Job Creation” and “Print to a Print Job” in the next “The ABC” blog series.

There are many secure printing solutions including JetMobile, ThinPrint, and PrinterLogic etc which are compatible with Horizon View Client-Agent communication model. Here is a little story from JetMobile to walk you through “the day in a life” of a print job.

VMware View and Jetmobile SecureJet: A Short Story

Dr. Anderson had a very busy day at the hospital. That night he worked from home to catch up on paperwork. Although he was able to remotely access his desktop to work on patient charts, he was not able to print. He could have easily printed to a printer at the hospital, but the documents would have printed and been left on the output tray unattended. He couldn’t risk violating HIPAA policies and exposing patient charts by printing without physically being present to retrieve the documents. He would have to wait to print until he returned to the hospital the next day.

Upon arriving at the hospital, Dr. Anderson realized his preferred printer was being serviced. He couldn’t use the nearest printer down the hall, because he didn’t know the IP address or printer name. Unfortunately, the printer on the cardiovascular floor was the only one he was sure of, but it was also very far away.

Reluctantly, Dr. Anderson sent his document to the printer on the cardiovascular floor. After 139 paces, two left-turns, one right-turn and a short elevator ride to the 4th floor, he finally arrived at the printer…and somebody else was printing. This was a big problem because that ‘somebody’ was printing a 200-page document. Dr. Anderson was going to be waiting awhile.

After a very unsatisfying lunch, Dr. Anderson returned to the cardiovascular floor to retrieve his document. To his surprise, his document was not at the printer. His mind raced. Did it print? Did it get thrown away? Did someone take it? The document he printed was very confidential. Dr. Anderson now found himself in an ethical dilemma. Not to mention, he was potentially in a lot of trouble because the document he printed contained personally identifiable information for some of his patients.

On his way to report the incident, Dr. Anderson pulled out his tablet to write some notes for later. His notes were automatically sent to his smartphone and synchronized with his office computer. He couldn’t help but ask himself, “Why can’t my print jobs follow me wherever I go, just like my notes?”

Dr. Anderson’s story represents a common problem. Desktop virtualization software from VMware has significantly increased mobility, convenience and efficiency in the workplace. With virtualization in place, users are no longer concerned with where, when or how to access their desktop. However, desktop virtualization can further complicate the task of printing documents. A user may move between floors throughout the day easily accessing their desktop as needed. Eventually, a time will come where printing is necessary. When selecting ‘Print’, the user will be faced with all sorts of printer options that could look something like this:

It may be that the user has been at the organization long enough to have memorized one or two of the most ‘reliable’ printer names, but the challenge is that the list will change every time it is accessed from a different workstation. Printers can also be moved, so an IP address or printer name can be misleading or unreliable. It is also possible users may learn to navigate the challenges associated with printer-location awareness, but may run into problems keeping documents confidential, or print to a device that is in use or out of order.

Fortunately for Dr. Anderson and the entire mobile workforce, virtualization now extends to the printing environment. Jetmobile’s SecureJet Enterprise allows a user to print anywhere, from any device in the building. SecureJet eliminates location awareness by utilizing a single print queue. Remember that long list of available printers? With SecureJet, no matter what desktop you are printing from, it will look like this:

The user doesn’t have to remember the printer IP address, printer name, or where the printer is located. Users can already access their desktop from any PC workstation. Why not be able to print from anywhere too?

NetApp has now introduced its VMware AlwaysOn Point of Care™ reference architecture built for healthcare

by Monty Zarrouk, Product Marketing at NetApp

How will this improve patient care?

VMware® AlwaysOn Point of Care™ architecture helps solve customers’ problems by providing ready access to patient information from any terminal or mobile device. This allows clinicians to make informed decisions regarding treatment plans while protecting the confidentiality of patient information. Providing access to clinical applications in a virtual environment, healthcare providers maintain continued access to their desktop as they move from patient to patient, floor to floor, or building to building. Just like any sector, technology dictates a successful organization. And healthcare is no different. Medicine is changing, and a virtual desktop can mean all the difference in a patient’s outcomes.

Why did NetApp introduce VMware AlwaysOn Point of Care for healthcare?

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Achieving Epic Status

by F5 News

Healthcare providers face a unique challenge: continuously deliver quality patient care that is both effective and affordable. Today, this depends largely on technology – from diagnostic systems to patient record systems accessible by health care professionals dispersed amongst hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies.

Today these organizations increasingly rely on new software solutions from companies like Epic Software to manage every aspect of patient care. Epic infrastructures are the gold standard today, assisting health care organizations around the world to improve patient care through accessible and reliable health care systems.

It is critical that such applications are supported by an equally accessible and reliable IT infrastructure. To assure a high level of quality from top to bottom, Epic carefully certifies IT infrastructure providers that support a disaster-resilient, highly available, secure and increasingly mobile deployment.

Because of its focus on quality, resilience and affordability it has become a great honor to achieve full target platform status with EPIC. And that’s what happened recently with VMware® Horizon View™ – the first desktop virtualization solution to have achieved this status. Using VMware’s AlwaysOn™ Desktop for Healthcare reference architecture, F5 partnered with VMware for this historic launch.

VMware and F5 have long been offering joint solutions targeting desktop virtualization with a focus on resiliency, scalability, availability, security and performance. Together, along with partners such as NetApp and EMC, these joint reference architectures are the basis for secure, fast and available virtualization infrastructures capable of meeting the most demanding standards, such as that of Epic Software.

F5 is also establishing and documenting jointly with Epic a set of best practices for application delivery, designed to improve the scalability and availability of the most common HTTP, SSL, and FTP Epic components. F5 will be providing these best practices both as technical documentation as well as an iApp, to streamline deployment of these critical healthcare systems.

We’re excited about this announcement and extend a hearty congratulations to VMware on this notable achievement.

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Imprivata OneSign and VMware Horizon View: Streamlining access to EpicCare

By James Millington, Director Product Management, Imprivata

Virtual desktops are gaining great traction in healthcare, a fact supported by the announcement that VMware® Horizon View™  has been awarded Target Platform status for Epic Hyperspace

The reason for this uptake, is that desktop virtualization is delivering compelling value across the spectrum of healthcare users and decision makers.

Imprivata and VMware have partnered closely in a number of healthcare environments including Johns Hopkins and Metro Health to deliver a combination of functionality that streamlines clinical workflows, helps meet compliance goals and provides flexibility for users and IT.

Lets take a look at the 2 predominant workflows that we see in EMR environments and consider some of the benefits. The first workflow is the workflow that we see in inpatient settings, the roaming desktop workflow. Here we have care providers moving quickly between nurse’s stations, patient rooms, treatment rooms, physician’s lounges etc. The combined Imprivata OneSign and Horizon View environment enables users to simply tap a badge and bring their desktop with them exactly as they left it. Not having to re-launch the EMR application, not having to re-navigate to the patient record. When you consider that care providers may log into different devices up to 70 times in a shift, OneSign authentication combined with desktop roaming is (arguably) the most compelling use case for this technology in any industry, creating compelling time savings and enabling providers to focus on patients, not technology. For IT you have the benefits of centralized data, no PHI left on the endpoint devices to potentially walk out of the hospital with a stolen computer, helping to limit the number of ways data breaches may occur and helping to reduce the potential for hefty PHI breach fines. For clinical leadership, they have care providers that feel that IT is doing something to help them, providing them with a system that works with them, not against them and helps encourage the use of the EMR and work together towards Meaningful Use dollars.

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Why Physicians love iPads and how VMware helps IT Embrace BYOD

By Tisa Murdock, Product Line Manager, Enterprise Desktop

Physicians love the iPad for the mobility, lightness of form factor, screen resolution and long battery life. It is easy to take bedside and engage patients in their treatment and care.  CIOs and IT struggle with how to introduce iPads into their environment, continue to protect patient data and not have to manage another device.

Delivering clinical workspaces and patient care applications as a managed service means IT can satisfy clinician’s requirements and alleviate security concerns.  With a virtual clinical desktop, there is nothing stored on the device used to access the clinical desktop. Think of it as a TV screen. But a TV screen where you can interact with keystrokes and mouse clicks. Or in the case of the iPad finger gestures.
At Children’s Hospital Central California- their nutritionists had to take heavy binders bedside to consult with patients. Now all the information can be displayed through an iPad using a VMware View virtual clinical desktop. They have implemented about 400 View virtual clinical desktops and they are now considering a “Bring your own device policy” allowing physicians to purchase their own iPads. They simply provide physicians access to their point of care applications securely over the LAN or the WAN using VMware View.

Another emerging use case is clinical imaging. VMware View with PCoIP is brilliant at delivering lossless clinical images and proving to be an ideal solution for viewing these images remotely. Again- the iPad is quickly becoming the client of choice here as well. Imagine you are a physician and you get paged. You need to look at an image of your patient. Before VMware View you had to:

  1. Get in your car and drive to the hospital and use a dedicated workstation to check the image
  2. Have someone at the hospital look at it for you and report back

Physicians are demanding a better work life balance and using a VMware View to securely deliver images means that physicians can get that life work balance.  

MidMichigan Health another VMware View customer with about 1200 virtualized point of care desktops in production are using thin clients within the hospital to access patient care applications and data. During a panel discussion on VDI for Healthcare we heard this comment about how delighted their physicians are with iPads and View, "  I give the product a big thumbs up. I read a head CT in a restaurant last night during a business meeting and was able to give a preliminary report. The iPad screen is better than the laptop we had been using and the app speed is faster.” Nice!

Here at VMware we have recently installed a new demo in our Executive Briefing Center featuring View for Clinical Imaging. See firsthand how seamless the user experience is by stating your virtual desktop session with a clinical image on a laptop or zero client and then transfer that virtual desktop session to an iPad. Very Cool. Here is a picture of me showing a customer the demo.


For more information please see our website,  watch some great videos from HIMSS12 or visit the VMware Healthcare team in the Intel Booth  in Copenhagen for the HIMSS World of Health IT, May 7 – 9.

VMware AlwaysOn Point of Care ™ Solution Solves Healthcare Dilemma

By Tisa Murdock, Product Line Manager, End User Computing

For healthcare IT today – it is all about application and data availability. When the paper based records go away – the desktop will be viewed as a Tier 1 “life critical” device and it will be absolutely imperative to provide immediate and constant access to patient care applications. If a physician is in the middle of a procedure and they cannot access a clinical image or patient history to see drug allergies – there can be serious consequences. With so much change and disruption happening in the Healthcare industry, how can Healthcare IT take on such a huge undertaking? 

Let’s look at the problem…Shared clinical workstations within hospital are like hummingbird feeders. The clinician quickly swoops in – accesses or enters information, charts a patient and moves on. If the end point device is not working the clinician will move to another device until they find a working unit. If the system is down the clinicians may be forced to file a patient safety violation and Healthcare IT is then forced to prepare a corrective action plan so the violation is not repeated. 

Applications in healthcare are typically client server applications. Most healthcare providers have some apps delivered over network using Citrix Metaframe/Presentation Server /XenApp. This has caused them to build out huge siloed server farms that are complex, hard to manage, expensive and with multiple points of failure 

How can VMware help solve these issues?

First of all, we can start by installing the client portion of the client server application on the virtual desktop for a better more stable end user experience. Think about it… the application is installed and running in a Windows environment where it was designed to run. Nobody built their applications to run in a shared services environment such as Terminal Services or Citrix XenApp. Simply moving the client portion of the client server application onto a virtual desktop means the application performs and behaves better.

Next we can deliver the clinical workspace as a managed service from the datacenter or private cloud. Easily manage all of your desktops and applications from a central location and allow physicians to access their virtual clinical workspace with that iPad. Go ahead! Nothing is stored on the tablet so there are no security concerns; and you don’t have to manage the device. Sweet! 

Next we provide a solution to solve the last mile of Electronic Medical Record/Electronic Health Record delivery. VMware AlwaysOn Point of Care is a tested and validated reference design using VMware View for delivering constant availability to patient care applications and patient data. This load- balanced active active configuration has no single point of failure, built in redundancy and multi pathing to ensure an end user is ALWAYS able to reach a clinical desktop with their patient care applications.

Now that is what I call a home run – a single solution solving healthcare IT’s application availability dilemma AND creating a more secure and mobile clinical desktop.

Need a visual? Watch the short demo of VMware AlwaysOn Point of Care:

For more information please visit: www.vmware.com/go/transformhealthcare

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