Munson Medical Center
Traverse City, MI
Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, Michigan, is the regional referral center for all northern Michigan. Our 442-bed hospital has earned a national reputation for top-quality care, including repeated recognition as a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence.
Business & Technology Challenge
For years, Munson Medical Center searched for a way to unify the numerous computer and software applications that physicians, nurses, and other medical staff need to do their jobs. Like many other medical organizations, as the hospital grew, they adopted new hardware and software applications and added them to their existing network to support growth needs. The network ended up with various and incompatible technologies, making some applications difficult to use. Over the years, Munson Medical Center’s IT team tried to connect applications and make them easier to use through various trials. “Often, the technologies we reviewed did not satisfy our needs,” said Dale Atkins, Munson’s Technical Architect. “They were either expensive, had different password systems, or there wasn’t a lot of middleware available to build the seamless system we needed.” As a result, Munson’s 3,600 physicians, nurses, pharmacists, lab technicians, and other clinical workers had to log in to as many as 12 different applications every time they helped a patient. In addition, each application required different passwords to comply with federal health regulations. As a result, care teams wasted precious patient care time logging into applications rather than helping patients or processing vital information.
“When healthcare providers visited units throughout the hospital many times a day, these logins multiplied from dozens to hundreds or more logins, taking 15 to 30 seconds each,” Atkins said. “So that adds up. That’s a lot of time for a physician to stand there waiting for a computer. And if they were not logged into the PC, then it took another two to three minutes.”
With project funding and a clearer picture of what users needed, Munson looked for a partner to bring their vision to life. Munson chose Coretek due to its proven track record of helping healthcare organizations enable quick, secure, and easy access to clinical systems anywhere and on any device. Coretek’s Virtual Clinical Workstation framework allows physicians and clinicians to focus more time and energy on the patient and spend less time accessing records. It also reduces the administration overhead for the IT department through ease of deployment, consistency of desktop and applications for support purposes, and quicker recoverability. “Coretek had extensive experience in the healthcare space, which was a key criterion for our team,” said Atkins. “They understand clinical workflows and interactions, and their Virtual Clinical Workstation architecture was a proven entity with multiple successful deployments within other healthcare organizations.” Coretek’s Virtual Clinical Workstation framework provides a fully de-coupled virtualized desktop, user, and application delivery environment that can be quickly (5-15 seconds) accessed via proximity badge tap and roam seamlessly between endpoints and mobile devices. Munson’s project IT team of six worked with Coretek to design and implement this highly flexible, virtual desktop system that incorporated Citrix XenDesktop, Citrix XenApp, Imprivata OneSign, and AppSense Environment Manager. The project had an extremely tight timeline. Once they chose Coretek in May 2013, the design work took the month of June, and the first unit of 200 users and 100 physicians and IT staff was up and running by late August.“ Our first rollout went well,” Atkins said. “We didn’t miss any applications, and we went live with all the apps clinicians needed to do their work.” In late October, Atkins learned the virtual desktop environment needed to include another initiative: the addition of Dragon Dictation software, which Munson Medical Center administrators and physicians wanted to begin implementing in early 2014.
Six weeks after the initial rollout, Atkins surveyed users and learned that more than 80 percent were happy with the new virtual desktop environment and single sign-on system.“ Today, users get to their desktops in 30 seconds, and that’s the only time they have to do that during the day,” Atkins said. “They tap their badges to sign into another PC instead of wasting two minutes every time they need to log in.” Nurses who had abandoned laptops and laptop carts in patient rooms due to the long, frustrating, and laborious login process began using them again. Atkins added, “Nurses find the laptops are more valuable now because they can take a session into a room, and their desktop pops up within 5 seconds.” While laptops aren’t practical for moving from unit to unit around the hospital, the new virtual desktop allows physicians and others to use tablets or their smartphones—no matter what the operating system—anywhere in the hospital and from home. The mobility piece is huge for our providers,” Atkins said. “And the fact that it integrates with Dragon Dictation was critical.” Without integrating the dictation software with the virtual desktop, physicians would have had to log in to two different computers to do their work, he said. “Coretek created a flexible design, so we didn’t get boxed into certain requirements,” Atkins added. “Their understanding of the hospital and medical environment was the single biggest factor in selecting them.” While many companies are proficient in particular tools, “Coretek understands the workflow and user requirements as well as the competing needs of medical users,” he said. “They were able to integrate the tools and deliver a virtual desktop exactly how our clinicians need it, when they need it and where they need it.”