Watershed Addiction Program Improves Patient Care with Dell Private Cloud Solutions

Addiction is an issue that unfortunately touches many in our society. Treatment centers that provide care to recovering addicts have had to grow in recent years to provide hope to more patients. This growth has in turn resulted in technology challenges, as centers find themselves managing multiple properties from a central location while dealing with stringent health data protection requirements.

Dell client virtualization solutions have allowed the Watershed Addiction Program’s nine inpatient facilities in South Florida and Houston to keep its focus on treating patients and saving lives while diminishing the need to service traditional PCs and constantly-monitor legacy IT hardware. Indeed, in healthcare environments, Wyse endpoints and Dell EMC solutions act as a “force multiplier,” allowing medical professionals and caregivers to accelerate clerical tasks and technology deployments without adding significant IT staff.

As Watershed has expanded its original footprint of just 16 beds to more than 500 patients in its live-in care facilities, its IT footprint has expanded to 350 computers used by 600 employees. Historically, the task of maintaining these endpoints might have been a challenge requiring a large IT staff and a major allocation of resources. However, the Watershed Program is able to service its endpoints and its central data center solution with fewer than five IT administrators.

With a private cloud architecture powered by Citrix desktop virtualization software and Microsoft Hyper-V, running on Dell EMC Storage, Networking, and Servers, the center can manage data flows and ensure that each facility is up and running and in HIPAA compliance, safeguarding sensitive patient information.   And, clinicians have more flexibility to access patient data, quickly, from any system in the facility, allowing them to focus on patients, not technology.

Dell cloud client-computing solutions streamline management and servicing requirements since all endpoint updates, downloads, and patches are easily executed within the data center. And because Wyse endpoints do not have onboard hard drives they lack local storage that can eventually fail or be corrupted. As a result, there is less need to constantly send IT staff out to service individual machines. Updates can be made quickly to a single image that is then distributed to just a few or even thousands of endpoints. Having a single data center that houses all of the program’s backend IT hardware means that patches can be added once to update all machines and data backups can be made quickly and easily, facilitating disaster recovery programs. This also means a consistent quality of service can be maintained across all program facilities.

On the data center side, the program leverages a Dell Hybrid Flash Array with the SC220. Combining a mix of SSD drives and traditional spinning media allows IT departments to achieve nearly 100% uptime for both its VDI and storage environments. Live volume migration and the ability to efficiently move data from SLC to newer MLC solid state drives allows the program’s IT department to improve datacenter performance over time and extend the longevity of its investment. The choice of high-performance Dell Networking N3048 switches keeps the individual facilities connected to their data and enhances the throughput to the Wyse endpoints, minimizing latency, while PowerEdge R920 servers give Watershed’s IT team greater management of each server in the cluster.

Without the right technology, it might be impossible to care for patients and share information that facilitates their treatment. With Dell EMC and Wyse endpoints, the now 18-year-old Watershed Addiction Program is able to focus financial and staffing resources on quality of care and patient outcomes rather than on making sure its staffers PCs are up and running. By helping Watershed grow its footprint so efficiently, Dell has helped the program bring health and hope to more families by providing patients with care and compassion.

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About the Author: Reed Martin