By Martin Littmann
Healthcare may be the one of the only industries that experience universal stress across the organization when its customer base (patients) grows.
From facilities management to professional personal support, everything shifts into overdrive when patient numbers spike, and information technologies are not immune. Each new patient and patient encounter generates a great deal of new information – both structured in form of patient records, and unstructured, in the form of medical images, audio and video.
From the systems that have to process that information to those that have to store, manage and retain that information, healthcare institutions are increasingly looking for ways to get higher performance out of over-stressed systems, while easing the management of those systems as much as possible.
That’s why we at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, here in Houston, turned to virtualization, and specifically, a major desktop virtualization solution. Working with partners, Atlantis Computing, Mark III and IBM, we set up a clinic-wide desktop virtualization solution based on Citrix XenDesktop that enables our employees to utilize thousands of virtual desktop environments that are provisioned on IBM PureFlex systems. Rather than having individual laptops and desktop computers distributed throughout the 20 clinics and administrative facilities that make up our medical practice, we are migrating to a configuration where employees now access their “desktops” from any device at any location to gain access to their personal applications and data.
The primary function we’re leveraging the solution for is to deliver Electronic Medical Records quickly and easily to exam rooms for staff to view and manage. But we have also realized significant benefits to improved desktop management and overall application delivery optimization.
So far our “desktop” speeds have increased and our management capabilities – which are now centralized – have streamlined. Central to the overall performance boost of this IT solution was the addition of IBM’s FlashSystem and its Storage virtualization software. The combination not only speeds application performance but enables us to scale the storage footprint easily and quickly as storage requirements and response time expectations grow.
Kelsey-Seybold is Houston’s largest and most renowned private multi-specialty physician group. Making moves like these to improve the performance of our technology is strategic for us from both a patient care, and a business standpoint.