Desktop Virtualization Opens Up New Possibilities for Hospital IT

The Marienhaus Klinikum Eifel Hospital in Bitburg Eifel was established by the Order of the Franciscan Sisters of Waldbreitbach more than 100 years ago. In the composite hospital with the three sites Bitburg, Gerolstein and Neuerburg today approximately 20,000 patients per year are treated in hospital. With a wide range of services that Marie Klinikum Eifel offers at the clinic location Bitburg there are now seven major departments, three document services and a psychiatric outpatient clinic.

In 2011, Marienhaus Klinikum Eifel Hospital and St. Elisabeth Hospital Gerolstein came together to ensure medical care in the region was at a high level. It was also about strengthening the network, the fields of medicine, nursing and management. "We only had about four months to integrate the 150 IT jobs in Gerolstein in our IT infrastructure," says Günter Eis, IT manager. "It was all about unifying the application infrastructure, consolidating the HIS systems to migrate databases and merge the Active Directory structures."

To provide users in Gerolstein as soon as possible with all the necessary applications, the virtualized the IT organization in Bitburg desktops. "For the Gerolstein location we to relocate the entire user desktop with all applications to the data center," said Günter Eis. "With the support of the IT Partners IT HAUS department we built in a short time a virtual desktop infrastructure based on Citrix XenDesktop."

The decision for XenDesktop was preceded by a comparison of different VDI products: "We looked at several solutions and found relatively quickly that the Citrix solution best met our requirements," says the IT manager "Especially in terms of performance and management, Citrix XenDesktop was superior to comparable products."

Users receive personalized virtual desktops

From the user point of view, working with the virtual desktop not differ from the use of a PC with locally installed applications. The user logs on to his or her terminal and immediately gain access to his virtual desktop in the data center. Based on Login scripts and group policies each required applications are made available to him. The Profile Manager XenDesktop also connects all personal profile information and user configurations with the standardized base image.

"It was important that users will also find in the virtual infrastructure their personalized work environment with all the individual software settings," explains Günter Eis. "The VDI concept of XenDesktop makes it possible, without causing large administrative overheads. With the XenDesktop Profile Management we can manage all personal user information centrally. Because only the parts of the user profile need to be loaded, the login times shorten noticeably."

To improve the performance of virtual desktop, the IT department installed two Citrix CloudBridge appliances at sites Gerolstein and Bitburg. The WAN optimization solution is reduced by caching the data traffic between the two sites and accelerates the Citrix protocol and other enterprise applications such as access to file services via CIFS.

CloudBridge optimizes WAN performance and save bandwidth

"Citrix CloudBridge shortens the response times when accessing desktops and applications centrally provided and reduces bandwidth consumption across the WAN to about a third," says Günter Eis. "We can therefore now run numerous other applications on this solution - such as medical systems, that need to exchange data with the data center in Bitburg ". In the field of medical technology very similar data streams are often transmitted over the WAN - for example for RIS requirements. This network traffic can be significantly reduced by caching data already transferred.

The entire Citrix infrastructure has been implemented with professional support by the IT-HAUS and could go in time for the official launch of the hospital network.

Flexible access to desktops and applications - even with the mobile ward

Users who frequently switch between the two sites - such as Staff Officer - appreciate the flexibility of the Citrix solution. From any device they can now use their personal virtual desktop with all the required applications. Simultaneously, the XenDesktop infrastructure opens up possibilities for more efficient workflows: "We are currently upgrading in Bitburg our hygiene-optimized station wagons for patient visit with thin clients," reports Günter Eis. "With w-lan doctors and nurses have bedside access to the electronic patient records."

The next steps in the development of the Citrix infrastructure are already being planned. In the future, mobile terminals are involved, so that, for example, doctors and administrative staff can access e-mails and documents on the road safely. For the management of mobile devices, apps and data that Marie Klinikum Eifel is currently evaluating the use of the mobility solution Citrix XenMobile.

Another project is the migration of the virtual desktop infrastructure to the latest product release of XenDesktop. From the current version, IT managers Günter Eis promises an even more efficient management of the environment, since now all administration tasks are bundled into a single console, "We have by no means exhausted the possibilities of Citrix technology, but is already clear that we no longer want to do without XenDesktop. With the Citrix solution, we save a lot of time in the administration of our client infrastructure and we can instead concentrate on other important topics - the optimal IT support for all processes related to the patient."

About Citrix

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With the Citrix solution, we save a lot of time in the administration of our client infrastructure and we can instead concentrate on other important topics - the optimal IT support for all processes related to the patient.
- Günter Eis

IT Manager

Marienhaus Klinikum Eifel Hospital


Key Benefits

  • Central provisioning of user desktops for multiple locations
  • Efficient management of KIS application and other applications
  • Bandwidth reduction and optimized WAN performance
  • Flexible access possibilities in using the user - for example in the mobile ward
  • Extend the useful life of devices by using thin clients

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