Danish healthcare authority readies client platform for EHR system in just four months with Citrix XenApp

For healthcare providers, rolling out an electronic health record system is no small endeavor—especially on a tight deadline and with no disruption in patient care.

That was the case for the capital region of Denmark, Region Hovedstaden, or Region H, a public authority that governs, operates, and manages nine hospitals, plus research facilities and services for the disabled.

As part of its technology strategy to improve clinician productivity and patient care, Region H along with its neighboring region Sealand wanted to implement Epic electronic health record (EHR) software so clinicians can quickly access complete patient records to make better-informed decisions.

But when the region’s IT department learned that their existing VDI infrastructure wouldn’t support the latest version of Epic, they teamed up with Citrix to design and deploy a new environment that not only gave IT full control of operations but enabled them to implement the client platform for Epic in just four months.

A seamless transition

The two regions had spent about a year and a half planning for the Epic deployment. With four months until their deadline for delivering the final client platform so the user tests and education could begin, they learned that their existing VDI infrastructure wouldn’t support the latest version of Epic.

The deadline was especially critical because any delays would affect the planned deployment at both Regions—the two regions together cover 20 hospitals and 44,000 clinicians.

So rather than investing in expensive updates to their current infrastructure, Region H partnered with Citrix to design a new app-delivery system with XenApp software.

“XenApp was the best solution to satisfy our needs for a cost-effective solution that would also give us freedom of choice regarding future IT strategy and solutions,” says Søren Bank, section manager of Region H’s Client Services in the Region H Centre for IT, Medical Technology and Telephony Services (CIMT) department.

Working closely with Citrix and Epic, CIMT designed and implemented the new environment to two selected hospitals in Herlev and Gentofte on schedule.

“We were able to focus on this challenge because of our very committed employees and excellent cooperation with Citrix as well as Epic. We found Citrix to be a very dedicated partner, willing to give our project high priority,” Søren says.

“So despite very little time, we succeeded in having both production and nonproduction environments up and running according to schedule… This was a major feat, both in terms of the size of the project and especially the short time we had to complete it.”

The best possible patient care

Clinicians can now access the patient records they need quickly and securely in an always updated version of the application.

“This is of great importance, as the EHR system is becoming the most vital system for clinicians in Region H,” Søren says. “It holds all patients’ data and must be accessible anytime and has to always be updated and respond quickly, in order for clinicians to care for patients in best way possible.”

Simple management for IT

Because the application is stored in the data center and not on individual devices, IT is able to centrally manage and update apps in only a few hours without any downtime.

The reliability and stable app performance provided by XenApp also has reduced the amount of time IT uses on technical problems and software that fails. “That is better than ‘business as usual,’” Søren says.

And the scalability of XenApp allows Region H to adapt IT infrastructure as capacity and functionality needs evolve.

“We simply add more servers and applications when we need them. In contrast to many other solutions, this is not an IT straightjacket,” Søren says. “Due to the flexibility and the connectivity built into Citrix products and our Citrix environment, we have a great degree of freedom to choose future strategy and to plan our future client platform.”

Delivering Epic with XenApp ensures reliable, responsive and stable application performance. This is of great importance, as the EHR system is becoming the most vital system for clinicians in Region H. It holds all patients’ data and must be accessible anytime and has to be updated and respond quickly, in order for clinicians to care for patients in best way possible. After the first week, many users expressed how pleased they were with the system’s responsiveness. As a result of the virtualized application deliverance, CIMT is spending less time dealing with technical issues. That is better than ‘business as usual.
- Søren Bank

section manager of Region H’s Client Services in the Region H Centre for IT, Medical Technology and Telephony Services (CIMT) department

About Citrix

Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) aims to power a world where people, organizations and things are securely connected and accessible to make the extraordinary possible. Its technology makes the world’s apps and data secure and easy to access, empowering people to work anywhere and at any time. Citrix provides a complete and integrated portfolio of Workspace-as-a-Service, application delivery, virtualization, mobility, network delivery and file sharing solutions that enables IT to ensure critical systems are securely available to users via the cloud or on-premise and across any device or platform. With annual revenue in 2015 of $3.28 billion, Citrix solutions are in use by more than 400,000 organizations and over 100 million users globally. Learn more at www.citrix.com.

XenApp was the best solution to satisfy our needs for a cost-effective solution that would also give us freedom of choice regarding future IT strategy and solutions.
- Søren Bank

section manager of Region H’s Client Services in the Region H Centre for IT, Medical Technology and Telephony Services (CIMT) department

Citrix Products  

Key benefits

  • Cost-effective technology allows Region H to focus on user needs
  • Virtual delivery of Epic system helps optimize medical decisions and patient care
  • Secure, flexible application delivery platform offers a future-proof solution