Any healthcare organization, large or small, knows how imperative it is to have an effective business continuity plan should disaster strike. Building out that plan, however, takes a lot of time and effort to ensure all the right pieces are in place to become operational within a short time frame.As my fellow Citrite Stacy Bruzek Banerjee’s recent blog pointed out, Citrix’s business continuity plan wasn’t something that was formulated overnight. It took years of planning and working with an IT team that spent 25 years weathering Florida’s hurricane filled summers, all to ensure the company’s day-to-day operations continued without any hitches.
While enterprises have business continuity plans to provide their task workers the ability to work to prevent business disruptions, healthcare needs an effective plan for something more paramount than the aforementioned; patient’s lives and securing their information. Which is why the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), mandates all healthcare organizations using healthcare data comply with data security and business continuity standards. When disaster strikes, healthcare facilities cannot afford a disruption, even if it’s for a few seconds. Therefore, when providers are building out their disaster recovery plans, their priority is to be back online in a short time frame, ensuring continuous care.
When disaster struck for a major healthcare provider in Texas, Citrix proved to be a vital part of their plan to ensure their staff was able to provide uninterrupted care.
In 2008, with a powerful category 2 hurricane barreling down, the University of Texas Medical Branch’s (UTMB) business continuity plan was put to the test. Wide scale flooding caused issues to IT systems on campus. UTMB had to shut down their Citrix environment on campus and run operations through their mirrored site, located in Arlington, Texas for a month. At the time, UTMB was fairly early in their Citrix deployment, simply providing displaced users the ability to have access to email and Epic Hyperspace. However, due to the widespread flooding, PC users were pulling computers out of flooded facilities and bringing them to their Arlington site, taking up valuable space and power.
They needed a different solution for their users that needed a full Windows desktop experience. As a result, they acquired Citrix XenDesktop licenses, bringing these users online within a week. Seeing the advantages that virtual desktops were able to provide, Citrix became an essential piece to their desktop infrastructure and overall IT strategy for the coming years. UTMB would eventually roll out desktops to low cost thin clients, enabling them to save money on power consumption and replacement of costly PCs.
This is one use case highlighting the presence and value Citrix has delivered within the healthcare industry for more than 20 years. Citrix has been integral to meeting providers IT and strategic goals; improving patient outcomes, meeting regulatory standards, providing clinician’s instant access and streamlining operations.
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