New techniques and tools make their way into the medical field all the time; new ways to treat patients, new medicines that can heal, new tools and procedures to enhance patient care. It takes a lot of effort and dedication to stay on top of all these medical advancements. With so many new things to learn and adopt within your field, incorporating new IT advancements seems like a minor concern. What you’ve got works, so why change it?
But what if there was a good reason to consider changing your IT setup? When new legislation mandated that electronic medical records be implemented across the country, many physicians were hesitant to make a change. The cost of implementing the new solution was one barrier, but so too was the general reluctance of many doctors to change how they work on a daily basis. Then more compelling reasons started to surface around making a switch to electronic medical records,1 and more and more practices started to make the change.
What if there was yet another tool available that could have the same transformative effect on your practice?2
How DiamondIT Brings VDI to Medical Practices
One of our clients is a central California medical practice that has been around for decades. As a result, the patient records that had to be digitized when we moved them to an electronic medical records system were substantial. While performing this migration from paper to digital, we had a few other suggestions for how the cloud might help improve their practice. Since they were familiar with the idea of cloud solutions from the hosted Exchange email that we provide for them, they were eager to find more ways to improve efficiency through technology.
First and foremost, we recommended they explore a virtual desktop deployment. With virtual desktops, physicians would have access to medical records and charts from any connected device at any time. Not only does this system make it possible for them to securely review patient information from home, for example, but also in patient rooms on a tablet or when visiting a patient in a hospital or recovery center. As significant, remote desktops mean that any notations or comments made on a record will be updated across the entire network. A doctor could leave her work computer and go home and, through the power of the virtual desktop instance, work on the exact same desktop from her home computer. The files would be the same and the notes she entered at work would be available for review at home.
But physicians aren’t the only ones that benefit from virtual desktop deployments. A practice’s staff, from nurses to office administrators, benefit as well. A nurse can work from any station or room and access their own files and applications, like electronic medical records, email, and research documents, through the remote desktop system. Front office staff can work in an environment knowing that financial information and correspondence with insurance companies is secure and being backed up automatically on a regular basis.
Just as importantly, the management of virtual desktops is much simpler than with traditional IT infrastructure. Instead of spending time in a server closet making sure the network is running smoothly, your staff can focus on delivering excellent patient care, while DiamondIT manages your network from a distance.
Realizing the Improvements Brought by VDI
Once we detailed the benefits that would come with a transition to virtual desktops, this Kern county practice decided that this change could indeed greatly improve how the practice performed. We combined the VDI deployment with the digitization of patient records, and implemented a cloud backup solution for the entire infrastructure. They were able to retire their in-house server, and get rid of all those old paper records. While it took a few weeks for everyone to get used to working without paper records, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive: no more difficult to-read-handwriting, no more searching for a record that had been filed out of order, no more waiting for someone else to finish working with a file before being able to access it. The efficiency of the practice was significantly transformed.
As for how virtual desktops can improve your practice, consider the challenges you face right now. Those challenges likely aren’t all that different from the ones listed above. Increase access for physicians and staff to patient data and useful tools with a VDI solution. Decrease the costs and time associated with managing your network with a VDI solution. Change can be hard, but in this case it can provide massive improvements on a number of levels. Virtual desktops can improve patient care and workflow in your practice, too. Let us know if you’d like to discuss how DiamondIT can help.