Green Clinic turns to Dell to enable doctors to use iPads at work

VDI infrastructure gives mobile devices access to patient data without risk of breach
Tools

The chief information officer at Green Clinic Health System, a physician-owned medical organization located in Ruston, La., needed to enable doctors to use iPads and other personally owned mobile devices at work.

Green employs 475 individuals, including more than 50 physicians, and operates a surgical hospital, a community clinic and six satellite locations.

"We are physician owned, so when our doctors started getting iPads for Christmas, they decided they wanted to bring them to the office and use them there," Jason Thomas, CIO and IT director at Green Clinic, told FierceMobileIT.

"We have had our electronic medical records system in place for about three years. When you have an electronic medical records system that is accessed through a computer, you can't really tell somebody who is not technically literate that they can't use a computer to access it. Explaining to people who own the organization that they can't use the device they want to use is not really a good answer," Thomas related.

So, Thomas turned to Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) for a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) running VMware View software. The VDI is built on virtualized Dell PowerEdge R610 servers and Dell PowerEdge R710 servers, with Dell PowerVault MD3200 and 3220 storage arrays. Staff access virtualized desktops using a combination of thin-client devices, laptops and personally owned tablets and smartphones.

"We set up a VDI environment for our hospital, and it just naturally extends to a mobile environment. We run a bunch of Windows desktops, and they don't care what the display device is, whether it is a thin-client, a full laptop, an iPad, or an Android device," Thomas explained.

Green also installed Dell's KACE systems management (K1000) and deployment (K2000) appliances to provision its PCs and laptops. The KACE deployment appliance enables Green to create images for new devices coming onto the network, which helps with BYOD devices.

"On our clinic side, we have terminal services for our remote clients. We decided to use Dell PocketCloud to bridge that gap between mobile devices and terminal services. Because the actual medical record never touches the device itself, no patient data is stored on that device, so we don't have to worry about if the device is lost or stolen ... It has made moving ahead with BYOD as easy as possible," Thomas noted.

Green Clinic also installed Dell SonicWALL firewalls to lock down its network connecting the clinic and satellite sites to protect patient data, which is automatically encrypted on all hard drives and in transmission.

Thomas explained that Green is currently running Cisco's (NASDAQ: CSCO) Meraki cloud manager as its mobile device management platform, but is considering the K3000, which is Dell's new KACE mobile device management product. "We are waiting on a couple new features to come in before we jump into it," Thomas noted. Dell plans to release the next version of the K3000 at the end of July.

For more:
- check out Dell's release
- read Dell's Green Clinic case study

Related Articles:
Spotlight: Mobile devices are biggest worry for healthcare security pros
Nearly two-thirds of organizations do not enforce encryption policies, says analyst