The hospital estimates that the energy-efficient "thin client" computer monitors save 60 percent in electricity costs versus stand-alone PCs. The hospital estimates that the new desktops have saved 98 percent of the IT costs that would have been spent maintaining normal PCs.
GAMC patients have responded enthusiastically to the desktops, and the hospital sees this service as a way to attend to the patients' emotional needs and stand out from competitors. Some patients use the computers to blog about their hospital stay or update CarePages, popular patient web sites that connect patients with chronic illnesses to their friends and families.
"Just as easily as the hospital provides patients with TVs in rooms, now we provide personal computing", stated Roger Pruyne, senior programmer/analyst and project manager for the GAMC Patient Computing project. "The solution from NoMachine, Novell and IBM has delivered fantastic results for patients and the IT team. Considering our patients' positive feedback, we're looking to expand the project to other Adventist Health hospital locations."
GAMC said it also plans to extend its use of virtual desktops for employee and clinical use in the future. For more than 100 years, GAMC in Glendale, California, has been on the leading edge of medical technology. The hospital offers a wide range of advanced services, including many that are normally available only in major university-affiliated hospitals.
Using virtualized Linux desktops has kept the costs of the patient service low while maintaining a high level of privacy and security. Updates and maintenance to the software can be made on a centralized server by the hospital's IT staff, while no data is left on the local client monitor after the patient checks out of the hospital room. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop from Novell is the operating system that virtualizes the 65 desktops. NoMachine, creator and global distributor of NX desktop and application delivery software, provides complete and efficient remote access. An IBM System x3650 server provides the back-end computing system, and IBM experts also advised GAMC on the project's design.
"Glendale Adventist Medical Center has found a healthy balance of new patient services and lower IT costs", stated Inna Kuznetsova, director of IBM Linux strategy. "With web access to friends and family, the hospital's virtual Linux desktops are improving its patients' real hospital experience."
The NoMachine NX system provides easy set-up and installation, reducing the need for software support and technical assistance, enabling a smooth deployment of the in-hospital remote desktop solution for patients. NX's data encryption allows the secure transfer of confidential information and patient records.
"An important feature of this project is NX's ability to enable a connection over any type of network, including low-bandwidth and dial-up", stated Sarah Dryell, business development manager for NoMachine. "NX's unique compression and caching features also provide a seamless remote connection from the thin client to the server, giving the patients the feel of being on their own personal computer, while reducing power consumption and support costs."
Since 1905, Glendale Adventist Medical Center (GAMC) has been providing quality health care services to residents of Glendale and the surrounding communities. GAMC is a full-service, not-for-profit medical centre, providing state-of-the-art inpatient and outpatient services that meet the needs of the hospital's diverse community, including the area's growing Armenian, Latino and Korean populations. GAMC specializes in the following services: emergency, stroke/neuroscience, heart/vascular, spine injuries, joint replacement, cancer treatment, behavioural health, rehabilitation services and women's issues.
Glendale Adventist Medical Center is a part of Adventist Health, a not-for-profit, faith-based health system operating in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Founded on the Seventh-day Adventist heritage of Christian health care, Adventist Health is comprised of 18 hospitals with more than 2800 beds, nearly 18.000 employees, numerous clinics and outpatient facilities, the largest system of rural health clinics in California, 15 home care agencies and three joint-venture retirement centres with a fourth on the way.
Based in Rome, Italy, NoMachine is the creator of award-winning NX software, an enterprise-class solution for secure remote access, application delivery, and hosted desktop deployment. Since 2001, NoMachine's mission has been to revolutionize the way users access their computing resources across the Internet to make seamless desktop access as easy and widespread as web browsing. NoMachine provides a comprehensive software infrastructure stack, core development, and support services built around the self-designed and self-developed NX suite of advanced components.
IBM works with clients around the world to create smarter health care systems. This includes better integrated data so doctors, patients and insurers can share information seamlessly and efficiently. IBM also helps clients apply advanced analytics to vast amounts of data to improve medical research, diagnosis and treatment to improve patient care and help reduce health care costs. More company news is available in this VMW issue's article IBM award for innovative solution to tackling world's most critical social and environmental problems.