When Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth opened its first hospital in 1864 in Colorado, its mission was “to reveal and foster God's healing love by improving the health of the people and communities we serve—especially those who are poor and vulnerable.”
More than 150 years later, that mission remains unchanged, but the faith-based nonprofit—now called SCL Health—has grown to encompass 11 hospitals, 210 physician clinics, home healthcare, hospice, mental healthcare, and safety-net services in Colorado, Kansas, and Montana.
Not surprisingly, even with more than 118,000 employees helping carry out SCL Health’s mission, the logistics of delivering high-quality care in a timely manner can be daunting.
Doctors and clinicians need instant, secure access to patient information to make the split-second decisions that save lives. Patients need to be able to connect with physicians and services regardless of their locations. And all employees need comprehensive, coordinated information to do their jobs and meet the common goal of improved patient care.
A little more than 10 years ago, SCL Health turned to Citrix to help carry out its mission and make IT staff more productive, deploying the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops solutions to make apps and data secure and easy to access from anywhere.
Citrix solutions help SCL Health clinicians spend more time with patients and less time booting up systems. David Brim, director of enterprise systems and virtual delivery for SCL Health, says some physicians are now able to see an extra patient per day, thanks to a virtualized environment (with Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops software) that allows them to access applications wherever they go without relaunching apps or re-entering credentials.
In addition to Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops software, SCL Health uses the Citrix ADC solution, Citrix Endpoint Management, Citrix ShareFile software, and the Citrix Podio social collaboration tool for a complete Citrix Workspace Suite solution. “Now with the delivery of a virtual desktop, we are using the same image across the board, which means that the experience is identical wherever you go, whichever workstation or virtual desktop you hit,” says Brim.
“The pressure on physicians to see patients in very rapid fashion is critically important,” explains Brim. “The time we’re able to give back to physicians and the distractions we’ve been able to eliminate by employing Citrix virtualization solutions has led to happier doctors and improved patient care.”
Dr. Ann Ryan, director of the neonatal intensive care unit at SCL Health’s Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, says the Citrix-facilitated tap-and-go system allows her to access information instantly. “It’s really a privilege to be here when these new little people are born and to help families get on their way to long and healthy lives. Now that we’re able to use our badges to open up any computer, we can look at a patient’s chart, put in orders, and get it all done very quickly.”
In an organization with as many moving parts as SCL Health, it’s important to maintain a consistent, efficient workflow across locations and departments. Without it, confidential patient and hospital information could be at risk for accidental exposure.
Now that SCL Health uses the Citrix ShareFile tool, employees have an easy way to securely share files and manage permissions. This, in turn, has reduced the calls to IT staff for file-based moves, additions, and changes. “This empowerment,” says Brim, “is valued highly by our end users—both clinical and nonclinical.”
Further empowerment comes with the implementation of the Podio solution for social collaboration and workflow automation. SCL Health’s Talent Share department—which pools the organization’s employee resources for staffing among hospitals and clinics—was stymied by ineffective and disorganized manual processes that prevented the team from providing services to the entire hospital system. With the Citrix solutions in place, that department is now serving five hospitals rather than just one. As a result, says Brim, “the impact on the Talent Share department has been tremendous, but the impact on the organization has been immeasurable.”
The work of SCL Health isn’t confined to its clinics and hospitals. Citrix Endpoint Management software has allowed the hospital to roll out a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiative so clinicians can extend high-quality care off campus and into patients’ homes, and during off hours. SCL Health can provide Windows apps, native apps, data, workflow solutions, and productivity tools to any device with a security and compliance stance that far exceeds what it could deliver previously.
Says Brim, “Citrix gave our users the freedom to do their jobs without distraction. Our doctors no longer need to consider which devices, which passwords, which VPN, etc., to use when they’re not on campus. And the unified app store has changed the way our doctors interact with IT, giving them the freedom to focus on their patients to a degree not realized before.”
The time we’re able to give back to physicians and the distractions we’ve been able to eliminate by employing Citrix virtualization solutions has led to happier doctors and improved patient care.