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“Hot Hot” for Healthcare

Author: Sarah Semple

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Tisa Murdock, Group Manager – End User Computing Healthcare Solutions

NetApp recently announced its tested and validated architecture for VMware AlwaysOn Point of Care™ solution. Let’s look at how this solution designed by VMware and supported by our partner eco-system helps accelerate the adoption of technology that solves real challenges facing the global healthcare industry.

Healthcare worldwide is undergoing an amazing transformation as the entire industry moves from fragmented care to collaborative care. Using technology to ease the free flow of information and accelerate the adoption of new Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems and Computerized Physician Order Systems (CPOE) makes perfect sense… but what does that mean for day to day operations if you are a nurse or physician? They need to learn new applications and a new way to work. Physicians are used to picking up the phone and calling in an order or prescription. Now they have to enter it using a computer.  Changes are disruptive and can slow care delivery as the clinician struggles to become familiar with new systems and new workflows. Making new workflows easy to use is key for user acceptance – fast login times, high performance, constant availability, mobility and single sign on are “must haves” from the clinician’s point of view.

Designing a solution to meet all of these end user requirements is challenging, and end user needs are not the only consideration in developing a healthcare point of care solution.  Think about the stress Healthcare IT is under to provide non-stop access to new digitized system and make sure patient data and information is secure and protected. No healthcare organization wants to pay a fine for an information breach or see their name published on in the US.

Delivering cloud based clinical workspaces as a managed service from the healthcare provider’s private cloud using VMware AlwaysOn Point of Care solution meets needs of both clinicians and IT.   Data is secured in the datacenter and completely removed from all end point devices – no need to worry about lost laptops or data leakage.  Virtualizing clinical desktops with this solution untethers caregivers from stationary clinical workstations. And we made sure to include single sign on  as a key component of the solution to make the clinician experience fast and efficient.  Passwords are now managed by the solution – removing the headache from the clinician. Caregivers access all their applications with the tap of their ID badge or a swipe of a finger.  Physicians can use modern devices such as iPads or other tablets to securely access clinical workspaces, applications and data – inside the hospital or on the go. Doctors have the freedom to finish charting patients at home or view a clinical image remotely giving them access to the information needed  to make faster initial decisions about patient treatment.

AlwaysOn Point of Care reference architecture includes multiple levels of redundancy with no single point of failure. It supports an active active or hot hot architecture for the virtual desktop environment, each site runs identical desktop images, and user’s data is constantly replicated between the sites. If the primary site fails for whatever reason, clinicians and caregivers simply log back in and are given access to their clinical desktop within seconds.  Constant load balancing and monitoring route users appropriately through the application deliver controller. This tested and validated solution solves the tough challenge around making EMR systems available as a non-stop service through an always on desktop.

Cloud-based clinical workspaces make the healthcare industry’s journey to connected care a reality by giving clinicians 24/7 access to the most current patient data and resources needed to make informed decisions.  VMware AlwaysOn Point of Care solution delivers non-stop access to real time data for better collaboration leading to comprehensive care plans, which in turn produce healthier outcomes and ultimately better patient care.

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