VMware Horizon

How to Increase Clinician Satisfaction with One-Touch Desktop Roaming

David Ting B&W Guest Blog Post (Part 2 of a 3 part series)
By David Ting, CTO, Imprivata

One of the biggest challenge hospitals face when implementing Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems is clinician adoption. For physicians and clinicians who are already pressed for time and in a stressful environment, taking the time to learn and use new technology can be a time consuming and frustrating. Also, if that technology adds more work to their day rather than streamlining it, it’s a trade-off many are unable to make.

How do you make the transition to EMR more attractive for clinicians? You focus on what the clinician needs to be effective, productive, and responsive to patient needs. Desktop virtualization, combined with integrated single sign-on (SSO), can accelerate EMR adoption by improving clinician productivity, satisfaction and providing time savings. 

Rather than having a desktop session reside on a specific physical computer, virtual desktops can follow clinicians throughout their day as they move between rooms and workstations. Because the desktop itself is hosted in the virtualized environment in the data center, clinicians can use mobile devices like iPads or iPhones to access their applications. 

Take for example the case of Memorial Hospital in Owosso, Michigan. Prior to using virtual desktops and SSO, clinicians struggled with multiple logins to their applications, interrupting workflow and patient care.  Frank Fear, VP of Information Services at Memorial Healthcare explained that after using the combined solution from VMware and Imprivata clinician satisfaction increased. “Clinicians can now access patient records quickly and securely with the tap of a card, so they can focus on delivering highly personalized patient care.”

In a common workflow, a physician would log into their desktop for the first time using a username and a password and touch their badge to a reader. They would then select the application they want to use on the desktop that would be automatically authenticated to every other application – without additional logins or passwords. The physician would then proceed to the patient room and would reconnect to their desktop session simply by touching their badge to the reader. If they had previously opened a patient record, it would be available on their desktop in the patient room.

Another important step is making it easy for clinicians to access their applications quickly and securely. This requires solving the password problem: how do clinicians login not only to the virtual desktop, but also to all of the applications on that virtual desktop? Because physicians and nurses are constantly changing locations and reconnecting with their virtual desktops, solving this problem is a high priority if you want widespread adoption. If a clinician needs to spend even 30 seconds struggling with passwords and logging into each individual application, it will undoubtedly cause frustration and lost productivity. Imprivata OneSign has worked in partnership with VMware to solve this problem by adding single sign-on and strong authentication to the VMware View virtual environment. 

Often, different methods are appropriate for different environments. For example, a hospital might use fingerprint readers in areas during medication order signing, but use ID badges in areas where gloves are required.  All the clinician needs to do is tap their badge or swipe their finger for fast, secure access to all of their applications. 

In order for hospitals to be able to demonstrate meaningful use – they need to pay close attention to understanding and simplifying clinician workflows. Desktop virtualization allows patient records to follow physicians throughout the hospital or office. Additionally, adding SSO to the virtualized environment provides clinicians with fast access EMRs – saving them time, increasing their productivity and overall satisfaction.

Bio: Named one of Infoworld's Top 25 CTOs of 2006, David Ting, Founder and CTO, Imprivata  has more than 20 years of experience in developing advanced imaging software and systems for high security, high-availability systems. David has been involved in a number of start-up ventures including Lexidata, Inc., and Delphax Systems, now a division of Xerox. He holds eight patents and has several patents pending.