Deborah Heart and Lung Center selects Netilla for secure Web-based remote access to physicians

Somerset 22 October 2002Deborah Heart and Lung Center, one of New Jersey's premier cardiac and pulmonary speciality hospitals, has implemented Netilla Networks' Web-based remote access platform to provide its physician network with secure "anytime, anywhere" access to vital patient information via a standard Web browser. Thanks to Deborah's use of the Netilla Service Platform, both affiliated and on-staff physicians at this 161-bed, Browns Mills, New Jersey, health care centre can monitor the status of their patients by using a standard Web browser to securely connect to Deborah's centralised hospital applications.


These applications include Medical Information Technology Inc.'s MEDITECH Client/Server Health Care Information System, a comprehensive Microsoft Windows-based hospital information system. Following a successful pilot programme earlier this year, the Netilla-based solution has been rolled out to more than 70 physicians and administrators, with plans to extend access to more than 125 users at the centre by year-end.

Netilla is a provider of secure Web-based remote access platforms that allow companies to deliver their centralised legacy applications and data to authorised users over any Internet connection. Netilla's Web-based "thin client" approach marks a significant advance over existing virtual private networking (VPN) remote access solutions by eliminating the time and cost of installing applications on the remote user's PC. The Netilla platform uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, the proven technology embedded in today's Web browsers that provides a secure foundation for e-commerce transactions.

"What attracted us to Netilla is how non-invasive the system is for the end user. An authorised doctor can access our MEDITECH application from any Web browser, without having to configure software on their PC", stated Gerard Williams, Deborah's director of information systems. "No matter where they are located, our affiliated physicians are now able to monitor patient status and get test results more quickly, with fewer errors. And that translates into better, more timely patient care."

"Deborah's use of our Netilla platform is a prime example of how a hospital can implement technology that simultaneously reduces costs while saving physicians precious time", stated Reggie Best, president and chief executive officer of Netilla Networks Inc. "Netilla has emerged as the clear choice for secure Web-based remote access for health care institutions, primarily because of our ease of use, quick integration with existing IT systems and a lower total cost of ownership compared to a traditional VPN."

Deborah's status as a pioneering speciality cardiac and pulmonary hospital, one of its surgeons performed the first open heart surgery back in 1958, means that it draws patients from referring physicians located throughout south and central New Jersey. Providing an easy way for referring physicians to check the status of their patients admitted to Deborah was a primary goal in developing a remote access solution, according to Mr. Williams.

After researching alternatives such as Citrix and dial-up remote access servers (RAS), Mr. Williams settled on Netilla because of its functionality and clientless deployment. "What really got me excited about Netilla is that it could run on a standard browser. That means we did not need to send our support staff out to configure dozens of remote PCs of individual doctors, which would be impractical."

The MEDITECH application provides a centralised repository of updated patient information, including clinical, laboratory, pharmacy, and order entry data. Netilla also met Deborah's requirement to provide remote access while meeting the privacy requirements now coming into effect under federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) guidelines. Data Matrix Incorporated, a Netilla reseller in Malvern, Pennsylvania, installed the Netilla platform in Deborah's data centre in less than a day.

With the Netilla system up and running, referring physicians are now able to log onto the MEDITECH application to monitor the status of their patients once they are admitted to Deborah. For Deborah's consulting physicians, there's another benefit. They can electronically sign orders remotely. "Our unsigned orders have dropped by at least 80 percent because remote sign-off is now so easy. And until the chart is signed, you cannot close it or bill for services", Mr. Williams stated.

"We have gotten very positive response from our physicians, who love being able to get access to patient information from anywhere, at seminars, working from home, at other locations", stated Mr. Williams. Just as importantly, this advanced remote-access capability is helping Deborah grow its physician network by strengthening its reputation as an innovator and an excellent physician resource.

Deborah Heart and Lung Center is a 161-bed teaching hospital specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of heart, lung, and vascular diseases in adults and congenital and acquired heart defects in adults, children, and adolescents. Deborah's mission is supported by the non-profit Deborah Hospital Foundation, which raises funds and awareness for the centre.

Netilla Networks Inc. supplies Web-based secure remote access platforms that connect geographically distributed employees, partners, customers, suppliers, and branch offices to centralised applications, files, and data. With an appliance based on Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption and other Web technologies, Netilla service platforms enable browser-based secure access to legacy Windows, Unix/Linux, mainframe, and native Web applications. Unlike traditional networking approaches that require complex integration, Netilla provides a practical, quick to implement and simple to manage solution that lowers the total cost of ownership of remote access deployments.

Leslie Versweyveld

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