Even in this digital age, patients have to explain and re-explain their story as they journey through a large, distributed health system. Care teams in different locations may not have access to all of the patient’s records. They often use disparate, siloed clinical and records systems. “Patient-centric care is a common goal, but it’s difficult to achieve without a common platform,” says Shafique Shamji, the Executive Vice President and CIO for The Ottawa Hospital.
However, it’s too costly for smaller regional partners to invest in a large-scale healthcare information system such as EPIC. To address the challenge, The Ottawa Hospital’s IT team and Citrix partner DLS, created an Integrated Digital Health Network serving the hospital and 15 (so far!) regional healthcare partners. “The model for the Digital Health Network is based on installing large systems once, and then sharing the benefits across the entire region of healthcare partners,” says Shamji.
Other goals include creating a common, intuitive user experience across disparate platforms, combined with strong but simplified security.
At launch, the network supported 12,000 users (close to 6,000 concurrent users per day). Beyond information sharing, the project created a common, intuitive user experience.
DLS was able to deliver the Citrix portion of the project in six months. The timeline had to coincide with government spending cycles, which meant that work had to be executed within specific spending windows.
The Citrix infrastructure integrates the extended healthcare system, with all of the disparate, legacy applications and hardware. The network makes important patient information accessible to support timely, informed clinical decisions and care plans. Users can access their own applications and 300 EPIC applications from any hospital or remote location connected by the Digital Health Network. Citrix Application Delivery Controller (ADC) siloes workloads based on different priorities and traffic demands.
The Citrix solution provides platform and application-agnostic support. This will make it more straightforward for IT to move from on-premises to cloud-based applications. Already several new applications are being hosted in the cloud rather than in the data center. It’s the leading edge of a much larger multi-cloud strategy that IT is developing.
DLS implemented the full Citrix Workspace using Citrix Virtual App with StoreFront. For the first time, users have the same common look and feel across all domains.
DLS also created single sign-on spanning 16 different domains. Users can work from anywhere with any application on the network using one ID and one password. Help desk calls and the support costs associated with credential problems have all but disappeared. This seamless security is one of the major project innovations that DLS couldn’t have created at such a scale without Citrix technology.
When the COVID-19 pandemic swept across Canada, the network enabled real-time coordination. It also enabled The Ottawa Hospital to meet the surge in demand for telehealth and remote working.
About The Ottawa Hospital
No Canadian academic health sciences centre sees more patients than The Ottawa Hospital. The hospital serves 1.2 million people across Eastern Ontario, striving to provide each patient with the world-class care, exceptional service and compassion that they would want for their own loved ones.
A Citrix Platinum Plus partner, DLS is a leading technology solutions integrator and service provider to the public and private sectors with expertise in IT based solutions for the government, healthcare, defense and finance sectors, recognized as one of Canada's Top 500 Growing and Growth 400 companies. DLS takes a solutions-agnostic approach when developing its clients' unique solutions. DLS focuses on delivering comprehensive solutions that address clients' specific needs and outcomes.