Deploying Virtual Desktop Infrastructure to Better Manage the Hospital Data Center
The path toward the cloud fueled the expansion of existing hospital facilities and substantial development in new data centers around the world. From centralization to economies of scale to shared services, these things have become the name of the game now. Even the largest hospitals and organizations build or leverage massive data center facilities to use storage and processing whenever possible and unlock more savings.

The need to accommodate the explosion of patient data and applications, which also involve documents, images, and videos, drive the modern hospital data center. It is essential to secure the data of the patient, while reducing log-in times, so clinicians have more time to interact with the patients.

Related Read: How virtual assistants improve patient care

Implementing Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

It is a considerable challenge for healthcare IT professionals to manage user data in a hospital setting. For this reason, management and implementation of virtual desktop infrastructure or VDI can be useful for organizations. VDI can provide hospitals with better handling over user endpoint gadgets while speeding up log-in times of the medical professional.

VDI utilizes abstraction to remote devices, mainly desktops and mobile while separating the application layer and desktop environment from the endpoint device of the user.

How VDI Reinforces Patient Care

The virtual desktop infrastructure allows medical professionals to utilize technology while taking care of the patient to quickly access electronic health records or EHRs. This methodology improves patient care in several ways.
Value-based initiatives have encouraged several healthcare organizations to include more advanced technologies and prioritize them. At the same time, these organizations also focus their concerns on accessing information conveniently, quickly, and securely.

VDI and other related solutions have become prominent methods for hospitals to consolidate their healthcare IT systems while saving on infrastructure expenses and increasing operational competence. These days, healthcare information technology grows more advanced than ever. As a result, patients expect doctors and IT administrators to reduce the time they have to spend on logging into the system. They also aim to cut down the time required for monitoring devices, applications, and operations.

Healthcare Organizations Using VDI

Without question, clinicians move from exam rooms to reading various patient records to performing other tasks. These constant movements also require them to spend their valuable time to enter their log-in codes every time they need to access the files. With value-based initiatives taking more control than before, health organizations are now searching for technologies that will not only let them save on their expenses but also increase the level of patient care. It is why clinicians turn to virtual desktop infrastructure.

Optimizing Clinical Workflows with VDI

Helpful link: VMware Virtualization Overview

Without a doubt, clinical workflows are the center of patient care delivery. The make-up of these workflows is quite complex from the activities to communications to the tasks and the steps involved. As providers go to their paper charts to their electronic medical records (EMRs) and begin to leverage modern tools for communications, the need to improve clinical workflows is vital to drive EMR adoption and secure the information of the patient.

If clinical workflows are not considered when implementing hospital data center technologies or security policies, the adoption of technology will have several risks. Plus, care providers will easily become frustrated because of the technological barriers that they have to repeatedly encounter, especially when attempting to provide patient care.

It is why products and solutions, such as Imprivata and EMC VDI, are useful to health organizations. They optimize clinical workflows with quick and secure access to the information of the patient. These solutions allow care providers to talk to one another and collaborate effectively while enjoying more mobile-friendly healthcare technologies.

Desktop virtualization, coupled with other services, such as e-prescribing, can be seamless and easy additions to the workflows of the medical professionals. The workforce of today has become increasingly mobile in nature, which has created a demand for virtual desktop infrastructure. VDI allows users to enjoy roaming access to the data center of the hospital, as well as apps and information at all endpoints.

VDI also improves security as it helps keep sensitive patient and hospital data centralized, which means these confidential pieces of information are not distributed to laptops, smartphones, tablets, or PCs throughout the organization.

Since 2013, the implementation of VDI has amplified to 20% more and has reached 65% more by 2015. VDI is prevalent in healthcare today, which is why about 54% of health organizations use this technology. The unique challenges in healthcare, particularly those that are associated with the changes from paper-based records to the use of electronics, make VDI well-suited for this industry.

More Reasons Why VDI is Essential in Healthcare

In recent years, a growing number of organizations have embraced virtual desktop infrastructure. The software solution mainly separates physical devices from the desktop environment, which creates flexibility and efficiency within the workplace.

Many industries also use VDI, but healthcare is the one that truly benefits from its capabilities. If your health organization is still not implementing this solution, here are some reasons that will encourage you to use this strategy at your practice and take it seriously:

The Dominance of Mobile Computing Technology

With the majority of the population now walking around with mobile computers in their pockets, it only makes sense to be on the same track. These devices have become more efficient and sophisticated, but employees use them on a daily basis. It is why hospitals should let the staff utilize these gadgets because they are familiar with them.

Trends have given way to Bring Your Own Device or BYOD movement where employees demand access to processes and programs while at work through their mobile devices. It should be no different in health organizations.

Employees and clinicians should gain access to data and devices that are in the best interest of the health organization. In doing so, these individuals become more efficient, while achieving better computing power, the ability to improve a more mobile workforce and get more work hours. When the employees are more mobile, they can access programs and information whenever and wherever they may be.

With mobile access, healthcare professionals can take their device from one room to another, which results in a more fluid and versatile method of caring for patients and performing other important tasks. The use of VDI in healthcare makes all these jobs much more relaxed than ever.

Decreased Administrative Costs

VDI helps healthcare providers reduce the budget for purchases involving new hardware. It also helps in controlling zero or thin clients (lightweight computers designed for remote access) to cut back on running costs. Additionally, everyone’s desktop can be managed in just one central location, which makes healthcare IT systems simpler and less-time-consuming, especially when maintaining them.

Today, we are at the age of rising costs in health care, and the budgets have become stricter than ever. Cutting costs can be a huge incentive and can undoubtedly help hospitals and health organizations become more efficient. It is a long-range plan in which VDI can be used to make the process easier and more conceivable.

IT Security in an Unstable Environment

When it comes to the list of concerns about healthcare information, security is usually on top of the list. The recent years showed that data breaches not only continue to rise but they also get even worse. The use of sensitive data on various devices can easily make the organization worry about these private files. At this point, many health professionals already know that VDI can be helpful not only for them but for the entire hospital data center.

VDI provides an extra layer of protection because information is not truly on the device that is used to access the data. Instead, these important files stay within the data facility where they are secure at all times.

How Hospitals are Using VDI Today

It is significant to understand that VDI is not the all-encompassing solution in healthcare. In fact, it can have some downsides in certain organizations. It is often helpful to consult a qualified person or firm to figure out the right solution for your hospital. With the right solution, VDI can provide many benefits, including increased accessibility and security.

This virtual environment can save providers millions of dollars while offering ease-of-use and protection. Huge hospitals have to manage thousands of devices, and the demand to regulate them all has become a priority these days. Many of these devices are old and may even be near the end of their lives. Therefore, they are difficult to secure, which would often call for clinicians and nurses to log in and out of laptops and desktops for a much longer time than average.

The solution has become apparent with VDI, which can help eliminate at least 45 seconds over the course of the day just for logging in to the device. When accumulated, the extra time can be used to see an additional five or six patients each day.

Several vendors design VDI solutions from the ground up to come up with a new virtual desktop environment for hospitals. They can even be used for outpatient clinics. Thin clients reduce the work needed with operating systems, allowing clinicians to use and access workstations using badges. These developments are just the beginning since it is expected that more improvements will arise in the coming years.