Leading Hospital Chain Delivers Healthcare with Desktop Virtualization

SAN JOSE, Calif.: Wyse Technology, the global leader in thin computing and desktop virtualization, today announced that Leon Medical Centers have completed the first stage of their migration to a major desktop virtualization IT infrastructure to support clinicians, nurses, and administrators in delivering high quality, affordable healthcare services in the Miami, Florida area.

Leon Medical Centers Switch from PCs to Virtual Desktops to Improve Secure Access to Patient Data, Achieve Greater System Reliability and Cut Cost

Leon Medical Centers serves the Miami-Dade County area with a full range of medical services, working exclusively with Leon Medical Centers Health Plans, Inc., a Medicare-contracted Health Management Organization (HMO).

As a healthcare provider expanding and opening new centers, it’s important to always keep achieving a higher quality healthcare IT infrastructure, while also introducing a more cost-effective and flexible computing system. Additionally, they are required to comply with more stringent patient privacy and data security specifications set out by HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

Leon Medical Centers had already identified the advantages of centralizing key applications and data through running its electronic medical records (EMR) and patient management applications on Citrix XenApp™ 5. To further optimize the delivery and reduce overall TCO, Leon Medical pursued a desktop virtualization solution that offered greater reliability with minimal up-front investment and lower ongoing maintenance costs.

Following a formal review and pilot, Leon Medical Centers decided to replace its PCs with a thin client approach based on the Wyse R90L desktop units and Wyse Device Manager (WDM) software from Wyse. As Jose Moncada, PC Technician at Leon explains, “I was skeptical, because we had tried thin clients from a different manufacturer. They couldn’t handle the resolution or range of colors we needed for PACS X-ray images. But Wyse Technology sets the bar high. We were impressed by the functionality, and convinced by the company’s reputation.”

Initially Leon Medical Centers decided to implement the new Wyse-based solution at two of their sites before rolling it out to all locations. Three hundred Wyse thin clients where installed at one location, providing staff at that location with access to Leon Medical’s new domain, built on Windows 2008 and running on virtualized servers. While the same applications still run on Citrix XenApp 5, on the same hardware, the team reconfigured the infrastructure to create a new domain of updated Citrix farms and print servers. The older centers will transition to the new domain as soon as possible.

At the front desk, administrative staff uses Wyse powerful R90L clients to access Leon Medical Center’s NextGen EMR and EPM applications to schedule appointments, check in patients, and answer questions.

Medical assistants, doctors, and nurses use these applications to view a patient’s history, tests, and X-rays; and to gather new information. With a Wyse R90L client in every exam room, they can check the Internet and the company’s own resources on the spot to provide patients details and print-outs on their conditions. Other users include area managers, transportation coordinators, primary care physicians, specialists, and dentists, as well as urgent care stations and pharmacies.

Switching to the new domain and infrastructure has made a huge difference in information security.

Securing the PCs had been difficult and security software tended to slow down performance and risked restricting legitimate access. In some severe cases, PCs had to be taken out of action because of spyware or viruses. “With our Wyse-based infrastructure, we’ve locked down the end points. Every connection is handled through the servers, which have extensive security, and users can’t load anything onto the device,” says Moncada.

Wyse thin clients are helping Leon Medical Centers deliver quality care at an affordable price. Wyse R90Ls cost about half as much as a PC. They also last longer than PCs: six years or more, instead of four, saving Leon one refresh cycle every twelve years. Operational costs are lower with greater ease of administration, reducing the need to hire additional people. The WDM software enables application and software upgrades to be done centrally within minutes. Thin clients substantially reduce energy costs by consuming far less energy and generating much less heat, saving on air conditioning costs.

The Wyse thin clients have performed well in the two centers and Leon Medical Centers is eager to roll them out to existing sites. This will be facilitated by the speed of deployment demonstrated in the roll-out to the two centers. Leon IT team discovered that 300 clients could be deployed in 100 hours, while per replacement cycle 300 PCs would take about 500 hours. This saves $380,000 in IT staff time per replacement cycle of 300 PCs and can be $570,000 in IT staff time savings.

According to Alicia Rey, director of product marketing, XenApp product group at Citrix, “Healthcare providers are under huge pressure to reduce costs and increase services, while adhering to stringent governmental requirements for patient data protection and privacy. Leon Medical Centers is a great example of how healthcare organizations can address these challenges by adopting a solution that marries technology from Wyse and Citrix XenApp to fully streamline and secure systems and data throughout the medical center and significantly reduce the cost of desktop management.”

Don Lopes, Director of Reseller Channels & Programs at Wyse said, “By migrating from PCs to a thin computing infrastructure, Leon Medical Centers are realizing significant immediate and long term cost savings that help make excellent health care affordable. Secure, high-performance, and reliable thin clients now connect health care professionals with the information and services needed for optimal patient care.”

Wyse Technology and Healthcare
Wyse has been providing thin client and desktop virtualization solutions to the healthcare industry since 1995. With Wyse in place, IT administrators are replacing their high-cost, high-maintenance PCs with thin clients. The benefits to healthcare organizations include having a safer computing environment, lower TCO, greater energy efficiency, and less maintenance; all while helping organizations make the move to Electronic Health Records, maintaining HIPAA compliance, safeguarding sensitive patient and employee information, and supporting a mobile medical staff.