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Thin clients a malware-free desktop option

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Streamlined Access, Improved Accuracy
Androscoggin isn't alone. Security, centralized management and lower maintenance costs are big drivers for centralized computing and thin clients, says Gartner analyst Mark Margevicius. "This centralized computing makes perfect sense in areas such as health care, finance and government. They're all great targets for a more controlled approach to their computing infrastructure," he says. Gartner expects thin client shipments to grow quickly over the next few years, as security and data protection become even higher priorities for organizations.

This wasn't the first Citrix implementation at Andro-scoggin. A limited Citrix Presentation Server installation was used to virtualize a homegrown EMR system used by a few administrators spread across several remote offices. "It worked well," says Barter. But the same couldn't be said for an IPsec virtual private network that was set up for remote access. "The system was slow when it worked, and when it broke, it broke big."

The new centrally managed system, however, gives visiting nurses the ability to provide updated patient information securely, using their HP handhelds. In addition, the system was leveraged to provide on-call nurses the ability to securely retrieve medical records from HealthWyse. Before this implementation, on-call nurses had to go to the office to retrieve those records.

"No more paper documents for an on-call nurse to do her job," says Barter.

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The result has been streamlined access from patients' homes and improved patient record accuracy. "This system allows us to deliver information faster and more smoothly, which in turn enables staff to provide better care," Barter explains.

In addition, Androscoggin bolstered security and HIPAA compliance with the deployment of Citrix Password Manager to enforce workstation password protection, including required password changes every 60 days and 10-minute timeouts. Initially, the new password capabilities were put into place for high-end users and administrative assistants, but now that capability is being phased in for everyone who accesses HealthWyse.

This was first published in March 2007

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