St-Joseph Family Medicine Clinic (SJFMC) is one of the largest medical clinics in the Ottawa Valley. Bringing more than a dozen doctors and various health professionals together, SJFMC provides quality healthcare services to more than 50 000 patients. Having recently adopted an Electronic Medical Record system, their organization now fully relies on an IT infrastructure of Apple iMac workstations, a dozen network printers that serve more than 50 users.
SJMC spent countless hours addressing network and workstations problems as users would make inadvertently make system-wide changes to their Apple workstations. The lack of security & workstation controls allowed a user to install unapproved software updates and limit their access to the EMR software. Remote access was also an important challenge for the clinic. Initially, users were unable to work from home as the system suffered extreme slow speeds. The proprietary Checkpoint SecureClient VPN software was unreliable and incompatible with recent versions of Apple’s operating system. This caused lots of frustration amongst users & staff. Having the ability to share files between workstation was also a challenge that the employees faced. Sharing electronic documents such scanned PDF documents was inefficient and time consuming. A user would need to copy it onto a removable storage device and physically bring it to another workstation. SJFMC also wanted to provide its patients with complimentary secure Wi-Fi access in the waiting areas. The challenge was to provide wireless in a separate network, isolated from the EMR network. Previous attempts at integrating wireless access to their practice were unsuccessful.
Using more sophisticated enterprise level products, doctors now have the same experience accessing Electronic Medical Records from home as they would from their office workstation – fast and reliable. The remote access solution also lets doctors work from hospitals and public networks where VPN connections would normally get blocked and limit access to their work. The machines have been deployed with controls limiting the user to the areas where management has authorized, thus protecting the workstations from security threats. Additionally, all workstations can be administered remotely from the IT coordinator’s desk, improving the response time to requests for support. Users can also easily share documents, faxes with a common folder accessible on all workstations.
SJFMC has seen an increase in productivity due to lower downtime and less IT/network related issues. Doctors can accomplish more remotely thanks to an increase in their connection speed. The medical staff can now rely on a robust network and computer environment.