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Category Archives: Healthcare

Why Patient Engagement Is Important & How Mobile Technology Drives Adoption

patient engagement

Patient engagement is the process of healthcare providers and patients working together to improve health outcomes. The more a patient engages in their treatment process, the healthier that patient becomes. Simply put, better educated patients make better decisions and choices, which in turn lead to healthier outcomes and reduced overall healthcare costs.

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VMware Horizon VDI Powers WCH’s New Hospital of the Future

Women's College Hospital

Electronic medical records (EMR) have become a quintessential part of modern healthcare. Doctors and nurses are busy. Patients want more personalized care. So the ability to quickly access accurate patient records online, without losing facetime, is transformative.

What’s more, clinicians increasingly want to be able to do this from any device and in any treatment setting (in the doctor’s office, bedside, over the phone, etc.). To do this seamlessly and securely, modern hospitals also now need a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to run an EMR solution.

[Read More: VDI Becomes A Reality for Hospitals]

When the Women’s College Hospital (WCH) redeveloped their medical center, they made the VMware Horizon VDI solution part of their healthcare transformation. Here’s how the leading academic and ambulatory, or outpatient, care hospital in Canada sped up processes for busy doctors and nurses with Horizon.

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Planning and Implementing a Horizon Virtual Desktop Solution for a Healthcare Provider

By Nancy Beckus, Writer and Editor, End-User-Computing Technical Marketing, VMware

Stephane Asselin, Senior Architect, End-User-Computing Technical Enablement, VMware

Chi Chung Wong, End-User-Computing Architect, VMware

In the fall of 2013, Carroll Hospital Center (CHC), a Maryland healthcare provider, faced a challenge: It needed to transform its end-user desktops to a secure, centralized desktop environment for local and remote users using a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution. CHC wanted to convert 800 users initially, but have the ability to scale up to 1,500 users, encompassing CHC’s main location in Westminster, Maryland, as well as users in managed practices throughout the surrounding area.

“There were two options available to us: improve the current Citrix installation or implement a new VMware Horizon with View solution. To improve and expand the Citrix installation would be quicker but not cheaper initially or in the future. After evaluation, CHC preferred the Horizon with View solution because the virtualization uptake and technology development at VMware is more progressive, and the technology is moving faster.” – CHC

VMware Horizon with View Reference Implementation Case Study for Carroll Hospital Center describes this project. Continue reading

VMware Expands Validated End-User Computing Solutions

By Tisa Murdock, Director of Solution Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

VMware today announced an expanded portfolio of validated desktop solutions for vertical industries to address challenges experienced by individual business sectors. The solutions meet specific performance, availability and security needs of vertical industries such as education, financial services, healthcare, government and manufacturing using the advanced technology found in VMware Horizon.

We worked very closely with our technology partners to create complete, tested and validated solutions for critical use cases within a particular vertical industry to meet specific use cases. As a result, the solutions help accelerate the time to value and minimize risk for customers.

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Best in class EUC solution with VMware, HP and Atlantis Computing

By: Pete Brey, Worldwide Marketing Manager, HP

By: Seth Knox, VP Products, Atlantis Computing

By: Muthu Somasundaram, Product Line Marketing Manager, VMware

The end-user computing landscape is changing rapidly. Where once it was difficult to justify initial capital expenditures and to demonstrate ROI for an end-user virtualization project, now it is becoming increasingly feasible. What’s more, current state-of-the-art solutions are not only able to hit ROI hurdles, they are also capable of delivering an improved end user experience with 24×7 anytime, anywhere access with high availability, mobility, BYOD, and security built in. Desktop virtualization strategies you once thought unachievable are now totally within your reach.

VMware, HP and Atlantis Computing are at the forefront of delivering such an advanced solution – a highly available and secure solution with excellent performance, lower deployment cost and risk, and support for mobility/BYOD initiatives. For many organizations, desktop virtualization is the right move, and with a mature solution using VMware® Horizon View™, HP Converged Infrastructure, and Atlantis ILIO it can be a reality. This new solution:

  • Mitigates risk – By delivering a proven solution, backed by the expertise of companies you trust—HP, VMware and Atlantis Computing
  • Enhances the end user experience – By delivering cost-effective, PC-like performance for all employee desktops
  • Reduces capital outlay – By optimizing storage performance and capacity to deliver virtual desktops that cost less than PCs
  • Lowers operating costs – By reducing the storage footprint in the data center and automating desktop virtualization deployment

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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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VDI Becomes A Reality for Hospitals

by Steve Poitras, Solutions Architect, Nutanix

There are two things I normally notice when I visit the doctor – 1) a massive stack of paper medical records and 2) long visit times…

The need…

I’ve always been huge fan of adopting and evolving the IT services utilized in the medical industry.  Here we have an industry who is pushing the forefront of technology for the analysis and treatment of patients – but plagued by archaic IT and paper based records.

In comes the consumerization effect…

The Consumerization of IT has been a big trend for businesses in the last years, essentially giving the “end-user” the ability to have flexibility over devices.  When it comes down to it there are a few key things people care about:

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Always On. Always Available

by by Pam Takahama, Director of Solutions Marketing, Riverbed Technology

Healthcare turning to VDI to improve patient care

I recently took my daughter to the doctor for an earache, and chuckled when the pediatrician reached into his lab coat for what I thought was an iPad to write up a prescription only to realize it was, ahem, a good ole’ fashioned pad of paper! Spending another 45 minutes filling the prescription had me wondering how far the healthcare industry has come in the last 10 years. Notwithstanding the isolated throwback to the pencil and paper era, the reality is that the healthcare industry is reinventing itself, and in the process reshaping our experiences, and reorienting our expectations from how care is managed, to how it is paid for, to how it is delivered.

Many healthcare organizations are working to embrace innovative solutions like virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to improve patient care and provide clinicians 24/7 access to their most current patient data and resources — even during unplanned downtime.

Recently, Riverbed and VMware announced a joint solution that integrates Stingray Traffic Manager application delivery controller (ADC) with the VMware® Horizon View™ AlwaysOn™ Desktop solution. The joint solution ensures end users have continual access to a secure virtual desktop no matter what device they use and no matter where they are.

Moreover, this tested and validated solution augments VMware’s latest announcement with a leading electronic medical records (EMR) software provider for a virtual clinical desktop. Designed for the cloud from the ground up, Stingray™ Traffic Manager will improve overall performance for clinical desktops by delivering around-the-clock access to data and applications even if a primary site fails or is compromised by other unplanned events, all while meeting industry compliance regulations. Customers will be able to quickly modernize their computing environment and provide a highly available cloud-based desktop.

Rx for AlwaysOn Desktop

As healthcare organizations seek to deliver robust and proven desktop solutions to improve how care is managed and delivered, they should consider the advantages that Stingray Traffic Manager offers to help lower costs while ensuring high availability and securing computing endpoints:

Accelerate virtual desktop performance. Offloads performance-draining tasks such as SSL and compression accelerating services, increasing capacity and optimizing implementations. Also, administrators can cache commonly requested content and optimize VDI traffic delivery, enabling healthcare clinicians to gain fast and easy access to their applications and data.

Provide 24/7 access to virtual desktops. By intelligently shaping and directing traffic and avoiding failed or degraded servers, Stingray Traffic Manager ensures users are always routed to the closest available site based on the end user’s geo-location, including continent and country, IP address, and site availability.

Secure virtual desktops.
Helps to preserve and maintain a highly secure virtual desktop environment by configuring the solution to admit certain traffic types only, and operating as a deny-all gateway. These capabilities ensure full control over how traffic is internally routed. Additionally, high-performance inspection interrogates any part of a request or response before applying global filtering or scrubbing policies.

Gain better control of VDI environment. Easily manage how users interact with the applications and the infrastructure that they depend on. Administrators can also use Stingray Traffic Manager to shape, prioritize, and route traffic; drain infrastructure resources prior to maintenance; and, upgrade user sessions across application while preserving user performance.

So the next time I’m at the pediatrician’s office and he whips out a pad of paper again, I may have to bring new meaning to an old adage and tell him that “an Apple” a day may help keep the paperwork away.  Click here to learn more about the joint VMware and Riverbed AlwaysOn solution.


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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