Practical implementations of virtualization technologies in medicine.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Virtualization of Health Care

Widespread EMR (Electronic Medical Records) Systems are a stated goal of the current US government. On the face of it EMR's improve patient saftey, reduce costs, provide highly available access to critical patient information, provide the ability to improve research, and the list goes on.

To hear most EMR software developers and President Obama, EMR's are wonderful and will solve many problems that exist in health care today. 

I agree that the benefits are many; however there are a couple of major problems. Many hospitals and Dr. Offices do not have the expertise to implement these new EMR systems in a way that is effective and that provides good workflow for the doctors and nurses that are suppose to utilize these systems. Far too often there are not enough PC’s available and logon times are long and repetitive. 

This is where virtualization comes to save the day. Now when I say virtualization I speak of small Endpoints, (Such as WYSE terminals) Virtual Machines, Terminal Services, Citrix, VMWare VDI, Symantec Workstation Corporate and others. My point is that a one size fits all approach is doomed before it begins. Each hospital or healthcare organization has different applications and requirements that effect which solution is best for them.

What would a clinician say if I were to provide a less than one minute logon first thing in the AM that automatically launches the correct applications, Signs on to the applications with built in SSO? Then we up the ante with 5 second reconnects, roaming from one device to another (in between floors and even between locations) along with roaming printing? Then we ice the cake by allowing remote access from the clinician’s home with SSO and everything? Well most clinicians would say sign me up.

EMR’s will achieve all of the goals that the President says they will; however only with careful implementation in a virtualized solution that provides solid workflow.


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