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Thin clients a malware-free desktop option

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"The PCs were just killing us," says Barter.

That was just part of the challenge he faced. Andro-scoggin's electronic medical record system was aging. Care providers didn't always have the most up-to-date patient information when they visited offsite, and they were often forced to re-key redundant patient and medical information. So Androscoggin streamlined its operations with an upgrade to a new integrated clinical and financial information electronic medical records (EMR) system, HealthWyse. For that implementation, Barter had a choice: install the application locally on 150 separate desktops, each with an ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) connection to the backend database, or centrally deploy the software on a handful of servers that could be accessed by thin clients deployed throughout Androscoggin's five offices.

Androscoggin went thin.

"We knew it was time to move the entire organization to thin clients," he says. Androscoggin deployed Citrix Access Suite, including Citrix Access Gateway Standard Edition and Citrix Password Manager for the installation. Initially, Citrix Access Suite was deployed with Microsoft Windows Server 2003 on two HP ProLiant and four HP Blade servers. The rollout took about six months; now, 500 clinical and administrative employees access about a dozen applications, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat and Photoshop, a medical monitoring system, and others. Soon that access will be expanded to include accounting, human

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resources and payroll software using HP Compaq t5525 thin clients and HP iPAQ handhelds. "I no longer had to worry about staff downloading things they shouldn't. No more spyware. None of that exists in the thin client world," says Barter.

This was first published in March 2007

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