Parrish Medical Center (PMC) had deployed desktop machines to workrooms, alcoves and nursing stations on all patient floors, as well as clinical care and administrative departments to complete daily administration and clinical charting. Laptops were also being used with carts to allow for mobile charting around the facility. These laptops and desktops were also used to connect to the Citrix® XenApp® resources that PMC deployed a few years back. While the existing laptops and desktops met the basic requirements of PMC, the organization had challenges maintaining the system and delivering a seamless user experience across its entire user base.
Photo: Parrish Medical Center (PMC), located in Titusville, Florida
It was costly to expand the existing fleet of laptops and desktops, and the limited availability of computers often resulted in lost time for care providers trying to find available workstations to complete their daily tasks. The shortage of computers also impacted the ability for PMC personnel to chart in patient rooms. Additionally, the time and expense to support the locally installed operating system and productivity software on every machine was difficult to manage.
Beyond IT management and support, the workflow at PMC required its care providers to log in and out of applications during each session. The process was time-consuming and created problems when users locked computers without logging out, prohibiting them from being able to log in elsewhere and restricting access for other users on that computer. What PMC needed was a simple, affordable, but powerful way to deliver end user resources without having to rely on a big, expensive fleet of desktops and laptops.
Thin clients fill the prescription for improved computing and workflow
PMC set out to find a solution that could help it address these challenges and allow them to scale their computing environment in the future. Instead of trying a new breed of computers, they selected the N-series thin clients from NComputing for a variety of crucial reasons. Out of the gate, the cost to deploy the thin clients was less than $400 per device as compared to $800 per computer and the long-term maintenance costs and energy savings were great additional benefits.
Despite its exceptional affordability, the N-series was no slouch on performance, either. The N-series thin clients are Citrix Ready HDX Verified, which guaranteed an optimal experience for PMC end users without the need for thorough proof of concept testing. They also leverage NComputing’s own System-on-Chip (SoC), the Numo™ 3, which has Citrix Receiver integrated directly inside. All of these features come together to deliver a truly powerful and affordable thin client for Citrix virtualization deployments.
In addition to its power and affordability, the N-series thin clients are wireless which allows them to be deployed in PMC’s patient rooms, eliminating the cost of cabling and switch ports. They were also deployed on mobile carts for care provider mobility. And since all computers on the floor are available for users, care providers now realize time savings by no longer having to search for a device.
Another valuable feature of the N-series is its ability to work with Imprivata RF badge readers, allowing PMC users to tap in and tap out of the system while still using their unique credentials. Tapping in and out means devices are no longer locked so users can tap-in over an existing user if their session is locked or still logged in.
The N-series also allows user’s XenApp sessions (virtual desktops and/or applications) to remain open in the background while users are disconnected, and resume their session when tapping back in on the same computer or from another location. Because no data can be stored on endpoint devices, NComputing N-series thin clients assist PMC to maintain HIPAA compliance with protected health information (PHI).
“NComputing’s N-series thin clients have simplified our care partner’s workflow allowing them to focus on delivering the best possible patient experience,” said Shawn Newberry, PMP, Director of Information Systems at Parrish Medical Center. “Our care partners love the mobility and productivity the new environment provides. The roaming sessions and tap-in/tap-out features have really improved our clinical workflows.”
The IT team at PMC has experienced a great deal of benefits as well since implementing NComputing’s N-series thin clients. The group has seen a reduced need for overall IT support, and support times have dropped considerably with the ability to manage and troubleshoot issues at the server level.
“There are so many benefits for IT that comes with centralized management of the end users’ desktop environment,” said Newberry. “My desktop support team has successfully lowered our average resolution from 5.4 days to 3.4 days, and IT has reduced the need to go onsite to address application issues.”
PMC initially deployed 500 N-series devices in all of its patient rooms, emergency department, operating rooms, lab and pharmacy. Based on the success of the initial implementation, the organization plans to get 80 percent of its 2,100 devices onto N-series thin clients in the coming year. Areas targeted for the deployment will include PMC’s wound center, the health and fitness center, communications center, the rehabilitation facility, diagnostic imaging and finance.
About Parrish Medical Center
Parrish Medical Center (PMC), located in Titusville, Florida, is a 210-bed, not-for-profit acute care public medical center serving North Brevard County for more than 50 years. PMC is internationally recognized for its healing environment and is ranked by Consumer Reports Magazine as Florida’s safest hospital. PMC has earned five consecutive ‘A’ grades in patient safety from the Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Patient Safety Report. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rank PMC as Central Florida’s number one hospital, America’s number 5 independent public hospital, and in the top six percent of all U.S. hospitals in the areas of clinical care, the quality of the patient experience and cost.