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Archive for May, 2016

Connecting BYOD to Better Patient Experiences

Posted on: May 27th, 2016 by Daniella Lundsberg
  • The BYOD revolution is having a profound impact on healthcare today as organizations leverage mobility to revamp care delivery models, improve patient outcomes and launch new apps that enhance the patient experience. Organizations with secure wireless communications and an agile infrastructure can take advantage of this trend to outpace all others in their field.Enhancing Care

    Delivery From an operational perspective, giving providers mobile access to medical records and lab results empowers them and boosts productivity. When clinicians have both real-time and historical information at their fingertips, they can make more-informed treatment decisions. When they are free to take that data as they move from patient to patient, provider productivity increases and wait times decline. Mobility also increases efficiency and efficacy in organizations providing in-home services.

    Many hospitals are using sensor technology to remotely monitor data on patients with long-term conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, cancer and more. Patients are able to live a more normal life and clinicians are immediately alerted if a patient’s condition requires medical attention. Manufacturers of diagnostic equipment are also adding wireless options to ensure results are easily stored and immediately accessible by all consulting physicians. As more data flows directly to clinicians through mobile devices, they can continuously optimize treatment plans and improve patient outcomes.

    Differentiating with Personalized Patient Services

    To start, healthcare organizations need to give patients and their loved ones WiFi connectivity to help them pass the time if they’ll be staying for a while. However, they can also leverage BYOD to provide a wide range of new services that enrich the patient experience. For example, large hospitals can offer wayfinder apps that give step-by-step directions to a care provider’s office. Virtual pillbox apps remind patients to take their meds and keep their treatment on track. With real-time scheduling information, organizations can alert patients to delays and preempt waiting room frustration. Providers can also use mobile apps to quickly connect people with the information they are anxious to know – like white blood cell counts or the name of the drug that their doctor mentioned.

    Organizations can even use mobile apps to build stronger relationships with people in their communities. With care-on-demand solutions, potential patients can video chat with nurses and doctors. Offering wellness and health coaching apps generates goodwill and builds positive mindshare. Mobile apps are ideal for helping people navigate complex care and explore doctor and specialist options, and ensuring that they choose providers from within the network.

    Setting the Stage for Success

    For the BYOD revolution to be successful, it needs the right infrastructure to support it. Of course it starts with a secure, reliable wireless network capable of connecting with a growing number of devices, sensors and diagnostic equipment. Today, that means leveraging 802.11 ac Wave2 access points such as those offered by Aruba Networks. It also requires a centralized management solution to profile users, control who has access to what, and prioritize quality of service to ensure that patients playing games online don’t impact the performance of critical applications.

    At the same time, healthcare companies will need an infrastructure optimized to protect and store large quantities of data – patient records, lab results, sensor readings and more. Any latencies will cause delays throughout the organization and for the patients they serve.

    Don’t be left behind. Mobility is now critical to enhancing the patient experience – at the point of care and beyond. Let American Digital show you what it takes to start your own BYOD revolution.

In healthcare, the need for information is “right now”

Posted on: May 18th, 2016 by Daniella Lundsberg

Your hospital’s executive team is looking to the IT department to help solve more problems than ever before – and asking for a bigger budget or a larger staff generally isn’t an option.

Your executive team is trying to keep up with healthcare reform, increased demands from clinicians for mobile access and unprecedented market consolidation – not to mention the need to deliver coordinated care while ensuring that patients’ records are secure.

Here’s one of the problems you need to solve today: Chances are, your doctors and nurses practice medicine at one or two hospitals – and they probably have a day or two in remote clinic environments as well. When patient visits are only 15 minutes long, downtime isn’t an option. That means your clinicians require nimble and easy access to patients’ records.

With payment reform, coordinated care among clinicians is a must. Figuring out how to enable secure enterprise access to patients’ records is key to your healthcare organization’s success.

And that means your IT infrastructure must be simple but sophisticated. Your IT team needs to be able to quickly assess utilization patterns – and, in response to proactive alerts, change resource allocations in real time. The ability to deploy and manage virtual machines in just five clicks and update hardware and firmware in just three clicks enables your doctors and nurses to stay focused on serving patients, rather than contacting the support desk because the network is down.

Don’t forget about your billing department. That entire team relies on IT to provide always-up network access so billers can file claims in real time. A delay in getting those claims to insurance companies means a delay in receiving payment for the hard work your doctors and nurses do to keep patients healthy. And that means a hit to your bottom line. All the more reason that your IT infrastructure must be agile and responsive to your business needs.

With a proven architecture for virtualization and the cloud, your IT team can deliver on the promise of simplified upgrades and increased uptime and service levels. We’ll help get you there with an all-in-one virtualization solution that enables you to deploy virtual machines in minutes, while simplifying IT operations and reducing costs.

To learn more, read American Digital’s Indiana Health Information Exchange case study.

 

2016’s Can’t-Miss IT Trends for Optimized Healthcare Delivery

Posted on: May 10th, 2016 by Daniella Lundsberg

While the healthcare industry may spend billions on IT initiatives annually, most hospital groups today are working with limited budgets. Instead, they need to prioritize their efforts to maximize business impact and ROI in both the short and long term. Whether you’re a small clinic or a large hospital group, it’s time to embrace the top IT trends of 2016 – convergence and rightsizing – to create the efficiencies, services and outcomes that will set you apart from the rest.

At a high level, data center convergence is the next step in server virtualization and consolidation – one that removes much of the complexities previously associated with building out datacenters or enterprise infrastructures. It replaces the traditional, highly siloed IT model with one in which compute, storage and networking resources are shared across multiple applications. However, it lets companies use modular, repeatable and scalable building blocks to quickly transform healthcare IT operations for future growth.

At the same time, rightsizing ensures that your converged infrastructure is perfectly balanced to handle current workloads – i.e. it is not over or under provisioned. When implemented, it creates a highly scalable, flexible “add-it-as-you-need- it” infrastructure model capable of supporting healthcare growth and agility in an extremely efficient way.

For healthcare companies, a rightsized, converged infrastructure can support the workloads, applications, devices and security protocols needed to enable key corporate initiatives:

Transform care delivery models and increase clinician productivity by giving them secure, mobile access to EMR, test results and other data on tablets and portable devices as they move from patient to patient

  • Gain the flexibility and scalability needed to store an ever increasing amount of patient data, imaging files, test results, billing records, sensor data, communications and more – for both short and long term needs
  • Become data driven – prevent bottlenecks in urgent care and emergency rooms by analyzing patient flows; improve health outcomes by using patient data and national databanks to determine the best course of action; enrich expansion and specialization planning with geographic and public health data; etc.
  • Enact stronger security policies to ensure compliance with privacy regulations, protect confidential data and mitigate the risk of breach or ransoming attack
  • Speed the deployment of innovative patient services to that will differentiate providers from their competitors
  • Add capacity, cut costs and reduce datacenter footprints as you bring more departments onto a centralized IT infrastructure pre-tested and approved for healthcare workloads such as EMR and imaging system implementations

Transform to differentiate healthcare services

At American Digital, we’ve seen how convergence and rightsizing can help healthcare organizations of all types gain a clear competitive advantage by becoming more efficient, empowering clinicians and improving patient care in bold new ways. Infrastructure building blocks, such as those included in the HPE Converged Architecture, provide a quick and easy way to transform your IT environment, regardless of your budget limitations. Instead of maintaining a large number of disparate hardware and software elements, you can create a more transformative, adaptive infrastructure that facilitates future initiatives. Let the experts at American Digital show you how to get started. Call us today!

 

Why VDIs Should Be At The Top Of Your Project List

Posted on: May 9th, 2016 by Daniella Lundsberg

Clinics, hospital groups and healthcare practices of all sizes are looking for new ways to improve care, enhance productivity and cut costs. From a technical perspective, virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs) provide a fast track to achieving all these goals, especially when utilizing software-defined storage (SDS) technology that allows you to build simplified, agile, cost-effective and highly available applications for fluctuating VDI workloads. VDI enables healthcare providers to have more freedom to navigate healthcare applications regardless of their location for increased productivity and work flow.

VDI deployments, if configured in traditional siloed datacenters, can present performance issues and unpredictable user experiences, as well as high operational and capital costs. In today’s mobile and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) workforce, IT departments face additional challenges in meeting high-demand storage and compute complexities.

Simply put, when architected and implemented properly, VDIs can yield security, manageability and productivity benefits. Unlike traditional desktop deployments, the OS is virtualized and hosted remotely within the data center. This separates the physical computing device from the software­ and ensures that nothing is stored locally. The benefit? Quick, secure and instant access to critical applications and services.

Using Mobility and BYOD to Improve Patient Care

VDIs changes the mobile access landscape for healthcare providers.. It lets providers securely and quickly access to patient information – medical records, provider notes, test results, etc. – in real-time via tablets, smartphones, laptops and/or remote desktops. That means doctors can go from patient to patient without stopping to see if x-rays are ready or if the cardiology consult was completed. Every patient interaction is tracked and instantly accessible to every member of the care team – even those outside of the office. Hospitals and clinics can even integrate sensor and telemedicine data to complete the picture of a patient’s health.

Clearly, this is far more productive for the staff and minimizes patient wait time. Better, it ensures that all clinicians have the information they need to make smarter decisions at every turn, which then improves care and ultimately patient outcomes.

Boosting Data Security

Healthcare organizations are increasingly being targeted by cyber criminals looking to steal private patient information and deploy ransoming attacks. When no information is stored locally, VDIs eliminate one set of endpoint vulnerabilities altogether. At the same time, virtualization allows IT to set global security policies and ensure that updates are immediately deployed across all user devices for secure access to patient-regulated information.

Reducing Administrative Costs

VDI in your healthcare organization can deliver significant cost savings. Thin clients and tablets are typically less expensive than fully configured desktop computers. More importantly, VDIs eliminate much of the work spent maintaining user-based systems. Updates are done centrally and delivered automatically. New users are added centrally, so there’s no need to custom configure a device every time you add a new user or upgrade their technology. Additionally, your IT staff has more time to concentrate on value-added tasks.

Taking the First Step

If you are considering a VDI implementation or if you’re looking at ways to update a traditional IT infrastructure, it’s important to start with a highly scalable platform. American Digital partners with Hewlett Packard Enterprise to deliver Storage and Converged Data Center solutions to deliver simplicity in VDI management, security, reliability and performance. By building an architecture with these solutions at the start, you will be able to optimize workload performance and manage escalating storage requirements as your needs grow.

American Digital can help you implement a VDI strategy that strengthens your data security and supports better outcomes. Contact us to learn more.

 

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