Healthcare Goes Mobile, Virtual WIth Dell Offering

Dell Mobile Clinical Computing solution provides clinicians with single sign-on and roaming capabilities.
Dell has introduced a mobile, virtual computing offering for healthcare providers, allowing clinicians single sign-on and session roaming capabilities on any device for applications they're authorized to use within a facility.

The Dell Mobile Clinical Computing (MCC) solution allows secure role-based access to applications and data from any computing device within a hospital. The offering is configured around the digital profile of a user, based on the user's role and location. So, nurses and doctors can each access data and applications they're authorized to use, while administrators can access their authorized applications for the same devices.

MCC saves time clinicians spend each day as they make their rounds to patient rooms and search out workstations that are equipped with the applications they need to use, said James Coffin, VP of Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences during a webcast to unveil the offering.

Instead of hunting down and logging on and off of various computing devices clinicians can "roam" and maintain applications sessions on any device within a facility by swiping an ID badge to log back in. Proximity detectors close down the applications 10 seconds after a clinician stops using a device.

Dell's first MCC customer is Silver Cross Hospital, a 300-bed facility in Joliet, Ill. The hospital helped Dell with the design, said Silver Cross CIO David Hillenmeyer. The computing option will play a key role in a new "patient-centric, bedside model" hospital that Silver Cross will open in early 2012, he said. The new hospital will have clinicians providing treatments and entering patient data at patients' bedsides.

The "real bonus" in the move to virtual desktops has been in freeing up clinicians to provide "extra time with patients," said Hillenmeyer. Before, log-ins took a minute or longer each time a clinician moved to another patient room, application or device. Now, it takes "seconds" to resume computing sessions, he said.

Not only are MCC's 1,000 clinicians saving about an hour day with the simplified access, but the time it takes for Silver Cross's IT team to update applications have also been reduced from hours to minutes, said Bill Bisch, Silver Cross director of technical services. "This gives us time for more innovative projects," such as work related to the opening of Silver Cross' new hospital in the first quarter of 2012, he said.

MCC pricing varies with the size of hospital, configuration and other details. A hosted or private cloud based MCC configuration is also available through Dell Services, formally Perot Systems.

While Dell is the latest, it isn't the only vendor selling virtual desktop, single sign-on offerings to healthcare organizations. Other vendors include Sychron and Novell.

Blue Cross of Northeast Pennsylvania, the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and a range of large and small healthcare providers are using mobile apps to improve care and help patients manage their health. Find out how. Download the report here (registration required).
Applications and data are "locked" and managed centrally in the data center.