SNHMC deploys VDI platform to boost system performance and provide high-quality healthcareDownload the case study
Founded in 1891, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center has grown from an eight-bed emergency hospital to a 188-bed acute care facility that retains the personal touch of a traditional community hospital while offering patients the resources of a regional medical center. With provider offices and rehabilitation clinics located across the greater Nashua, N.H., area, the medical center has one of the largest physician networks in the state, including more than 500 primary and specialty care providers. Focused on making healthcare more affordable, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center makes smart, targeted investments in technology and provides collaborative programs to maintain and ultimately improve the overall health and well-being of area residents.
As director of Information Technology at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, Larry Moore always looks for new solutions to boost operational efficiencies and service delivery, and lower overall costs. “After studying industry best practices, I’ve determined that one of the best ways to lower IT costs is through the adoption of a VDI solution,” said Moore. To convince the hospital’s executive team, Moore created a VDI solution using the organization’s current infrastructure and rolled it out to 50 people, easily proving the concept’s value. But to gain greater efficiencies, better system performance and simplified system management, Moore turned to the industry for a better all-in-one VDI solution. After considering several options, the Medical Center chose Pivot3 because it delivers more local storage and RAM to boost the capacity per box, uses Dell hardware – important because the Medical Center is a Dell shop – and offers the best price point. “We really liked the Pivot3 technology, which far exceeded the performance of our old environment.”
Southern New Hampshire Medical Center installed six Pivot3 vSTACTM VDI appliances to host VMware Horizon View on the Windows 7 operating system. The medical center has more than 100 virtual machines, which are accessed by hundreds of users. A Single Sign-on (SSO) solution was added to provide users, particularly in the clinical setting, with easy access to the applications needed to do their job. “Using proximity sensing badges to access the system, we log into the system once and can roam from machine to machine to retrieve critical patient information from anywhere across the organization,” explained Moore.
The hospital is also working to roll out a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) program that will give healthcare providers access to patient information from their mobile phones, tablets or personal PCs. “The Pivot3 VDI and VMware solution, combined with SSO for added security, gives users easier, faster and greater access to the information and applications they need to deliver the best patient care possible – wherever they are.”
According to Moore, the total VDI solution, including Pivot3, VMware and SSO, has dramatically changed the way the hospital operates, speeding up system performance, ensuring system availability and delivering a much more secure environment. “Pivot3 was great to work with during deployment, proactively resolving any issues and delivering excellent customer service and support throughout the whole process,” noted Moore. “The Pivot3 solution is extremely reliable, causing no hardware issues since installation.” Moore adds that for new customers who are creating their VDI platform from scratch, Pivot3 offers a fast and easy way to build a reliable environment. “Once the Pivot3 appliances are installed, all you need to do is activate VMware, and you are up and running.”
The medical center has realized several significant technology benefits since deploying the Pivot3 VDI solution. For example, the new VDI environment is far more secure than the previous infrastructure. Users are now locked out of the system after three minutes of inactivity or if they’ve swiped into a different workstation. “Our old environment never logged off, forcing users to log-in and log-out of each application, which not only presented a security risk, was also time consuming,” noted Moore.
The organization can also save on storage costs, because each Pivot3 VDI appliance comes with 12 TB of storage, so expensive external storage is not required. At the same time, the applications running on the VDI platform are faster and easily scalable. “We are currently moving from Windows XP to Windows 7, but it takes four hours per thick client to make the upgrade,” explained Moore. “In the new VDI environment, I can make the conversion with just a click of a button, saving a huge amount of time.”
Moore is confident that he will be able to prove a strong ROI when the new VDI platform is completely rolled out. “The real ROI will come in the time saved in making system changes and resolving issues,” confirms Moore. “With the Pivot3 VDI environment, I will be able to upgrade or fix problems across the organization in just an hour or two.”
As a centrally managed solution, VDI will save the IT department significant support time as well. “We are trying to support 2,500 employees and 70 different ambulatory practices across a 40 mile radius — a model that is simply not sustainable with our current infrastructure,” asserts Moore. “VDI will allow us to support our systems remotely, without having to grow the IT team.”
In addition, the new VDI environment allows medical staff to roam from environment to environment to improve patient care and hospital operations. “With workstations located in most exam rooms, the Emergency Department and nursing stations, our physicians and nurses can move from location to location and continue to work on documentation as needed,” stated Moore. The VDI solution is a patient value-add as well because staff can pull up information wherever they are to answer questions and review records on the spot.
Moore has known for a long time that VDI is the way of the future, but the healthcare industry in general tends to be slow to adopt new technologies. “With our VDI environment, we remain on the leading-edge in the industry,” concludes Moore. And as a result of this and other initiatives, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center is recognized as a value-conscious choice for patients. “The Pivot3 VDI solution has proven to be an effective way for us to keep our costs down so we can focus on providing high quality care that is the most affordable in the state.”