REDONDO BEACH, CA – March 12, 2014 – T2 Tech Group, a leading provider of information technology consulting services, announced continued success in the roll out of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Single Sign-On (SSO) at Kootenai Health. Beginning in 2012, T2 Tech was engaged by Kootenai Health to manage multiple strategic IT initiatives to improve patient care and support the long-term information needs of the hospital. One of these undertakings is a 2,000-user roll out of VDI and SSO. This project revolves around improving clinical workflows, improving information security, and easing the implementation of CPOE.
Improving Clinical Workflows
Clinical workflows are very fluid. As such, they call for flexible IT systems that can support, rather than hinder, their dynamic responsibilities. Unfortunately, standard physical desktop environments tend to be a hindrance, because they fix user information to a single location.
With the implementation of VDI and SSO, clinical computing makes sense again. Clinicians can move freely from station to station and seamlessly resume their desktop session with a simple tap of their ID badge. Logins to both desktop sessions and applications are automated, reducing duplicate logins and down time.
After rolling out VDI and SSO to only 50% of users at Kootenai Health, the positive impacts have been significant. In the month of February alone, this solution automated over 250,000 application logins, simplified desktop login processes, and significantly reduced desktop login times. This has resulted in significant time savings for clinical staff, allowing them to spend more time focusing on patient care. As VDI and SSO continue to roll out, these numbers will continue to grow. Over the next five years, Kootenai Health anticipates approximately $6.4 million in cost savings through streamlined workflows.
Improving Information Security
In addition to improving clinical workflows, VDI and SSO are also improving information security at Kootenai Health. These improvements are focused on two primary areas: (1) eliminating generic login credentials, and (2) implementing tap and release for secure printing.
When it comes to clinical computing, a common problem in many environments is the wide-spread use of generic login credentials. This problem is directly related to the inefficiencies of traditional, decentralized computing environments. Because logins and logouts take much longer in those environments, clinicians have been known to use generic login credentials and leave stations continually logged in to reduce computer wait times as they go about their day.
Despite their innocent motives, the use of generic logins is a critical security issue. If there is a security breach involving a generic user ID, tracking down the source of the breach is very difficult. Through the use of VDI and SSO, login credentials have been tied directly to ID badges and the use of generic logins has become not only a nuisance, but an impossibility.
Another common information security issue is related to printing. In clinical environments, many print jobs contain sensitive patient information. Because clinicians have active schedules, print jobs can easily get lost in the shuffle, putting sensitive patient information at risk. T2 Tech Group and Kootenai Health are solving this problem through the use of tap and release printing. Using this technology, print jobs are held on a server until the user who printed them arrives at the printer to pick them up. With a simple tap of their ID badge, all print jobs tied to that user are immediately released and printed so clinicians can be quickly on their way with sensitive patient information in hand.
Easing the Implementation of CPOE
One of the biggest hurdles to implementing CPOE is obtaining buy-in from clinical staff. Change can be a hard sell to nurses and doctors who have developed engrained workflows through many years of experience. However, if nurses and doctors are convinced that new methods and technologies better support their natural workflows and ultimately save them time, implementation becomes much easier. Because VDI and SSO have drastically simplified the use of computers for clinicians, Kootenai Health is one step closer to implementing CPOE with ease.
Looking Forward with VDI and SSO at Kootenai Health
As the roll-out of VDI and SSO continues, T2 Tech Group and Kootenai Health are planning multiple related projects in order to capitalize on the many benefits of VDI and SSO. This includes: (1) a roll-out of VDI and SSO to clinics in order to provide a seamless experience from location to location, and (2) an overhaul of remote access systems to make all applications easily accessible remotely via web-based virtual desktops.
About Kootenai Health
Kootenai Health is a regional healthcare provider located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho that provides healthcare services from northern Idaho, eastern Washington, Montana, and the inland northwest. Kootenai Health is anchored by a 254 bed hospital and is embarking on a strategy to aggressively develop an information services infrastructure serving the region’s critical access hospitals, clinics, and primary care physician office groups. Kootenai Health continues to partner with a variety of healthcare providers to form joint ventures dedicated to delivering advanced diagnostic imaging, radiation therapy, laboratory services, outpatient surgery and better access to physicians. By creating these collaborative relationships, Kootenai is determined to have a future as successful as its past. For more information, please visit Kootenai Health.