Sweden’s first and only privately-owned emergency hospital, the Capio St. Göran’s Hospital is also one of the country’s largest. It has 2,000 employees and 500 consultants. Its busy emergency unit receives 77,000 visits per year.
In emergency room medicine, speed and efficiency are critically important. However, on St. Göran’s aging PCs, each user login took nearly three minutes to complete – consuming an hour per week of each clinicians’ valuable time. To reduce this wasted time, emergency room staff created workarounds that led to new problems. As IT Infrastructure Manager Rene Lambin explains, “All the computers were open. Everyone used the same, generic, network login.
“Security wasn’t good,” he continues, “We had no audit trail. We couldn’t trace who did what.” Users logged into individual apps, like the medical notes system, but each login took 15 seconds. Some applications were only available on certain PCs, which meant doctors often had to run back and forth between patient and PC to complete their work. Occasionally, a user would inadvertently lock an individual machine and prevent others from using it.
To find a solution that was both faster and more secure, St. Göran’s worked with Gold Citrix Solution Advisor Xenit. “Xenit are Citrix specialists and we felt they would do everything to make the project work for us,” Lambin says. Together, Xenit and Lambin’s team deployed a new solution built on Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops and Imprivata. Existing PCs became thin-client terminals for the new, virtual desktop. Each user now logs into a personal desktop session using their hospital ID card.
Dynamic, “follow me” desktop means more time to treat patients
Login time has been reduced from nearly three minutes to less than five seconds. According to Lambin, “With Citrix, the desktop session moves with the doctor. It makes clinicians more dynamic and faster. And that means more time to spend with patients.”
Medical staff now simply scan their ID card on the nearest available PC to access their current desktop session. This eliminates slow logins and “The desktop experience is consistent, wherever they log in,” Lambin says.
And there are no complaints from the busy emergency staff. “The best feedback is no feedback,” Lambin laughs. “If we don’t hear from the hospital staff, then we know it’s working well. The Citrix / Imprivata desktop has become the new standard: faster with better functionality.”
Single sign-on eliminates unlocked desktop sessions
“With Citrix and Imprivata, we now have two-factor authentication at session login, so we can relax security on individual apps and give users single sign-on,” Lambin explains. “That helps streamline the clinicians’ working day without compromising security.”
Now that every user logs into a personal session and PCs are no longer left open, St. Göran’s has a full audit trail of system activity helping to keep patient data confidential. IT management is also simpler, as data is secured in the data center rather than stored on individual PCs. This also means security patches and software updates are managed centrally so every user session is secure.
Secure sharing beyond the hospital campus
St. Göran’s Citrix solution is also streamlining and securing care processes outside the emergency room.
The third party transcribers of medical notes can now use Citrix to securely access audio dictation files from wherever they are based. Again, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops ensures files remain secure in the data center, as data is encrypted in transit and never stored on the transcribers’ devices.
Other Stockholm healthcare facilities, such as care homes for the elderly, also use Citrix to access patient notes prepared by St. Göran’s clinicians. In both cases, the Citrix solution streamlines workflows to improve patient care.
With St. Göran’s Citrix solution fully deployed, Lambin is exploring options to deliver even greater efficiency for the hospital’s clinicians, such as moving from a chip-based to a software-based security certificate. “That could be read faster,” he says, “and would make logins faster. Then maybe, in the future, we could move to face recognition.”
Lambin also wants to increase clinicians’ mobility further by expanding support for iPads and other tablets. The simplicity of the Citrix solution helps makes this innovation possible, as Lambin says, “We chose Citrix because it’s used by many other healthcare organizations in Stockholm and across Sweden. We had tried other solutions before but found them difficult to implement. Citrix works well ‘out of the box.’”