By William Atkinson
Founded in 1948, Green Clinic Health System employs approximately 450 people, including more than 50 physicians. Based in Ruston, La., the organization provides health-care services from a surgical hospital, a community clinic and six satellite locations.
As a way to improve patient care, Green Clinic recently embraced leading-edge technology as a means to provide its physicians, nurses and administrators with electronic access to patient files and other medical records from any location, and on any Internet-connected device. Green Clinic made the decision to completely refresh its technology due, in part, to problems caused by its aging desktop computers. Strategically, it also wanted to reduce IT costs and complexity, while improve information security, employee productivity and patient care.
Green Clinic selected Dell to deploy a full range of end-to-end solutions and services, which include end-user computing, servers, systems management and security software, storage, virtual desktop solutions and professional services.
After purchasing new desktops and laptops for its hospital, clinic and satellite locations, Green Clinic deployed Dell KACE Deployment and Systems Management appliances, which enable the clinic to automate system provisioning, saving about $20,000 in overtime costs by provisioning 155 laptops in just one day. The clinic has also reduced machine rebuild times from hours to minutes using the KACE solution to wipe and re-image any corrupted or infected PCs. As a result, applications now run faster and with fewer problems. “We looked at several systems management software packages with our most recent PC refresh three years ago, both to manage the new system and to rein in control over existing systems,” says Jason A. Thomas, CIO and director of IT for Green Clinic Health System. “One of the ones we kept coming back to was KACE.”
Green Clinic has also moved to a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) fueled by Dell DVS Enterprise, with Dell PowerEdge R610 and R710 servers using Dell PowerVault MD3 Series storage arrays. With assistance from Dell technicians, Green Clinic was able to get its VDI up and running in three weeks. Now, the medical staff can access virtualized desktops using a combination of Dell Wyse C90 thin clients, Dell Latitude E6420 laptops, and their own tablet PCs or smartphones.
Green Clinic can also leverage its KACE systems management appliances to push out updates on both physical and virtual desktops with new software releases in as little as five minutes. In addition, Green Clinic employees rely on KACE to manage devices both on and off the network, which meets HIPAA requirements for consistent levels of management for both remote and onsite workstations.
The Dell-enabled environment also allows clinicians and physicians to use their own personal tablets and smartphones without any restrictions. The clinic’s IT team works with physicians to recommend BYOD strategies, while ensuring that any personal laptops are managed with the help of the KACE appliances, which automatically encrypt data on the hard drive and during transmission.
Dell’s end-to-end solutions have helped Green Clinic streamline data security and HIPAA compliance, which safeguard its physicians from the risk of financial penalties. To ensure that protected health information is always secure, Green Clinic installed Dell SonicWALL firewalls, which lock down the network connecting the clinic to satellite sites, while also optimizing bandwidth, which is especially important in rural areas with low bandwidth connections.
To further protect critical systems and patient data, Green Clinic deployed Dell SecureWorks’ Managed Intrusion Prevention Service, which alerts and blocks the organization’s network from potential cyber-attacks. “With Dell’s connected security solutions encompassing Dell KACE, SecureWorks, SonicWALL and Dell Wyse, we are able to meet existing system requirements while addressing the growing need for BYOD and virtualization,” says Thomas.
“Dell’s end-to-end solutions help us proactively support and centrally manage our crucial EMR systems across Green Clinic’s physical and virtual environments,” says Thomas, “while ensuring that our physicians, nurses and clinical staff have unrestricted, yet secure, access to all the information they need from whatever device they choose to use in order to deliver the highest levels of quality patient care.”