Sponsored: Supporting a mobile healthcare workforce
The 90 physicians who work for Allegro Pediatrics are a mobile group, moving to and from its eight clinics and local hospitals in the Bellevue, Washington, area. The need for physicians to be able to access patient data anywhere or any time was the driver for providing mobility solutions, according to CIO Brock Morris. And a mobile environment such as this one requires a robust IT infrastructure to support both physicians and an IT team.
In 2009, when Allegro Pediatrics first implemented its electronic health record (EHR) system, Morris’s team decided to expand its Citrix deployment, which is now comprised of Citrix NetScaler, XenApp and XenServer. The goal was to securely deliver the EHR and other applications to the end user with performance, speed, stability and scalability in mind. The IT team leverages Citrix NetScaler to manage its user load across all of its XenApp servers and its EHR application servers.
Allegro Pediatrics outfitted its physicians with laptops and tablets, rather than deploying workstations in the exam rooms. With physicians seeing 250,000 patients a year –1,400 patients on a busy day – performance and speed are critical. Physicians complete rounds at three of the local hospitals and also Seattle Children’s Hospital for newborns. “With their mobile devices, they are able to access EHRs remotely when they are on-call at home, and even when they are away on vacation,” he explained. “They can pull up a patient’s chart wherever they are.”
With eight clinics, physician shortages often occur. Armed with the devices that they’re comfortable with, physicians can easily move from one clinic to another without having to become familiar with specific devices in any particular clinic. This seamless experience and accessibility to patient data has led to higher physician satisfaction, according to Morris.
One of the most important benefits of having a Citrix-based infrastructure is the fact that no patient data resides on devices. Instead, data remains in the data center. “If the devices are lost, retired or stolen, we can remotely disable them to ensure the safety of protected health information,” says Morris.
Allegro Pediatrics has also garnered business benefits. Now physicians are able to fill out billing forms online when they visit newborns in the hospital – a task that previously was often completed after the fact. Bills are sent out in a timely manner and accounts receivable is collecting payments sooner than ever before.
In addition, the IT department is benefiting from the infrastructure. In one day, Morris and his team recently rolled out 110 tablets pre-loaded with Windows 10 to medical assistants across its landscape of clinics. The medical assistants were able to power-on the devices, and with little training, they were able to log onto the Citrix storefront, access applications and start their regular tasks that morning. “We had a seamless migration to Windows 10. Despite provisioning brand new devices and operating systems, the Citrix platform enabled all end users to have the same consistent experience,” he said. The IT department received few calls the day after deployment. Morris concluded, “It is the most successful migration that we have ever performed in our organization.”