Cloud Client-Computing Streamlines Healthcare Infrastructures

While most people don’t consider how much faster they can spell-check when considering a hardware refresh, IT professionals know that even millisecond improvements in everyday tasks can add up over time. That’s why when it comes to evaluating thin client endpoints and new data center solutions, the ability to accelerate data entry, streamline user access, and enable greater mobility can provide dramatic results, especially across an entire enterprise footprint.

In Addressing Changes in the Healthcare IT Legislative and Regulatory Environment, we examine how Wyse thin clients and Dell cloud client-computing solutions can enhance healthcare environments by accelerating several time-intensive functions often taken for granted. We also address how could client-computing solutions accelerate data input and access while maintaining compliance regulations. Most importantly, we discuss how the ability to streamline the storage, retrieval, and analysis has a positive impact on medical care by cutting patient wait times and allowing doctors to spend more time making diagnoses.

According to Federal statistics from 2015, the average wait time for patients visiting emergency rooms in the U.S. was 138 minutes, long enough to watch Alfred Hitchcock’s North By Northwest. As a result, some emergency rooms in have recognized that efficiency is a tangible, monetizable advantage. Those that pride themselves on speed have taken to advertising such as St. Francis Healthcare in Wilmington, Delaware which posts its 30-minute wait time on billboards along I-95 and St. David’s Heart Hospital of Austin which posts its four-minute wait time on its Web site.

In addition to greater security and accelerated intake, the benefits of adopting a cloud client-computing architecture include:

Greater reliability – Thin clients do not have moving parts and require no local OS to be loaded on the machine. Since they stream their OS and user data from centralized servers, users cannot customize a thin client with unapproved software which could disrupt its functionality and lead to downtime.

Reduced operational costs – On average, traditional PCs can cost more than twice as much as a thin client. This is because PCs typically incur significant annual maintenance costs associated with software maintenance and upgrades, hard drive failure, and troubleshooting. Cloud clients are essentially maintenance-free, and can be easily swapped out when necessary. The lifespan of a thin client averages six to eight years compared to the three to four year lifespan of a traditional PC, thus extending the buying cycle and reducing costs over time. Thin clients also provide a greener solution from an energy perspective, consuming a tenth of the wattage (under 7 watts versus 100 or more) required to operate traditional PCs.

Anytime, anywhere access – The streamlined profile of thin client devices allow them to be mounted with flat-screen monitors in hospital corridors, nursing stations, patient rooms, and anywhere else healthcare data is needed. Cloud client-computing architectures can also support mobile workstations. The ongoing shift to EMR’s has enabled a new level of mobility as doctors and healthcare professionals can now access patient data and medical images without having to be tethered to a fixed location.

Simplified desktop environment and ease of use – Since information and computing resources reside on centralized servers, thin clients are not encumbered by redundant or extraneous applications which can impact performance and compromise quick access to critical data. It also eliminates the need for multiple desktops and displays to support multiple applications running on separate operating systems. A thin client can run any application and OS supported by the virtual server environment.

Dell has been helping healthcare facilities architect and deploy private cloud architectures to ultimately improve patient care. Our Wyse endpoints have helped medical care clinics and hospitals better-protect patient data and accelerate physician log-in times by enabling persistent desktops that move from room to room as healthcare providers make rounds. Additionally, healthcare providers no longer have to wait sidelined while a traditional endpoint downloads virus definitions or OS updates during their shift. With an estimated 7,000 urgent care clinics treating basic emergencies in the U.S., the move to adopt cloud client-computing solutions can be expected have a beneficial effect on patient care nationally. Going forward, medical professionals will be able to spend more time with their patients and patients will be able to spend less time in the waiting room.

To find out more about Wyse endpoints and Dell Cloud Client-Computing solutions, please click here.

About the Author: Reed Martin