Like many public sector organizations, the Finnish city of Loviisa has been looking to improve flexibility and productivity in both its IT operations and across its broader citizen services.
Loviisa’s CIO Marko Perttilä had already been discussing the possible advantages of a cloud infrastructure with Silver Citrix Solution Advisor (and Microsoft Gold Partner) Onrego when the perfect opportunity presented itself.
“The city was outsourcing the medical services provided as part of our care for the elderly, and that was the catalyst,” Perttilä explains. “We had a need, and we had a potential solution.”
Medical services in Loviisa use Pegasos healthcare management software. The package is widely used in Finland but is of a legacy, client-server architecture. Perttilä’s team needed to provide doctors with secure, remote access to Pegasos — and to its confidential patient records — from the independent, outsourcing partner. And they needed a solution before the new contract commenced in just a few months.
Information security was paramount, but Perttilä’s team had to solve other challenges, too. Pegasos’s client-server architecture did not function correctly if there was too much latency — a problem Loviisa already suffered with remote-working internal staff.
Onrego and Loviisa developed a new hybrid environment using Citrix Cloud services and the city’s own data center. The Pegasos application is hosted in the data center and virtualized using the Citrix Virtual Apps service.
“Doctors could start work immediately with no configuration issues.”
Perttilä’s team met its deadline with a fully flexible solution that enabled authorized third-party medical staff to access Loviisa’s healthcare system from any device, anywhere.
“Their first reaction was very positive,” Perttilä says. “They were able to start work immediately, with no configuration issues. All they needed was a user name, password, and some simple instructions to install Citrix Workspace app (formerly Citrix Receiver) on their chosen device.”
Doctors can now access a patient’s notes wherever they are: visiting a nursing home, making a home visit, or reviewing notes from their own office. Because Pegasos now runs in the data center, confidential patient records are always secure. All processing takes place on cloud servers so there is no latency between the client and server operations. As a result, critical functions like doctors’ ability to dictate medical notes work seamlessly enabling doctors to be more productive.
“We always need to have security in mind. With Citrix, we are able to monitor our security domain much, much better. It is a good and secure solution for this sensitive application,” Perttilä says.
Future flexibility and scalability
Loviisa has gained flexibility in its business and IT operations.
“Scalability is the key word,” Perttilä says. “With Citrix Cloud, we can grow as we need without any big upfront investment in hardware. Our time is more productive, too. We have more time to spend on important things instead of managing the infrastructure. We can also easily add external resources when necessary.”
With the critical healthcare project delivered, the team is now looking to extend the Citrix Cloud solution to other city departments.
“It was really easy to move from an initial proof of concept, make a few changes, and go into production quite rapidly,” Perttilä says. “Now, we want to extend that model to other use cases. For example, we have another legacy application we want to make available to mobile workers, and we want to provide virtual desktops for our schools and libraries. With Citrix, we have a scalable solution and no extra on-premises infrastructure.”