Giv­ing slow log-ins the boot

Modern Healthcare - - Information Edge -

Clin­i­cal staff at Seat­tle Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal were sim­ply wast­ing time, or bet­ter put, hav­ing their time wasted, with the hos­pi­tal’s com­puter sys­tem, ac­cord­ing to Vice Pres­i­dent and Chief Tech­ni­cal Of­fi­cer Wes Wright.

A physi­cian would walk into a pa­tient’s room and log into the com­puter, which would take two min­utes to pull up a pa­tient’s file. Mean­while, the doc­tor, pa­tient and any fam­ily mem­bers in the room would just have to sit and wait. “Some of our brand new PCs, we were get­ting eight-minute boot ups,” Wright says. “Busy physi­cians just can’t do that.”

Mul­ti­ply those lost min­utes times the num­ber of clin­i­cal en­coun­ters in a hos­pi­tal that treats 292,000 pa­tients a year, and you have a sense of the lost pro­duc­tiv­ity and frus­tra­tion shared by providers and pa­tients alike.

What the 250-bed hos­pi­tal found as a so­lu­tion was a change in in­for­ma­tion sys­tem ar­chi­tec­ture, cre­at­ing what techies call a vir­tual desk­top in­fra­struc­ture, us­ing what Wright de­scribes as, “es­sen­tially … a lit­tle black box” at­tached to each com­puter ter­mi­nal through­out the hos­pi­tal.

“You plug it in,” Wright says. “It doesn’t have soft­ware. The soft­ware is built into the hard­ware”

The boxes make a quick, di­rect con­nec­tion to the hos­pi­tal’s servers and ap­pli­ca­tions.

“If it’s a not clin­i­cal work­sta­tion, your first lo­gin for the day takes about 43 sec­onds and your sub­se­quent re-con­nect takes about 10 sec­onds,” Wright says. About 1,300 de­vices have been in­stalled, with the in­ten­sive-care unit sched­uled to get its up­grade July 14. Switch­ing to a vir­tual desk­top in­fra­struc­ture is ex­pected to save each doc­tor-and-nurse team about a half-hour daily.

“We’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some­thing that the in­for­ma­tion sys­tems shops never get to ex­pe­ri­ence—that’s peo­ple pound­ing down our door say­ing, when are you go­ing to get to us?”

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