IBM, NoMachine and Novell announce that Glendale Adventist Medical Center (GAMC) in Glendale, California has improved the experience of its hospital patients by delivering email and Web access in patient rooms, while saving information technology (IT) maintenance and energy costs.
The hospital installed personal computing stations in 65 patient rooms of its new West Tower, enabling patients to surf the Internet, communicate with friends and family through social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, and research medical information about their condition.
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. GAMC says it also plans to extend its use of virtual desktops for employee and clinical use in the future.
“Just as easily as the hospital provides patients with TVs in rooms, now we provide personal computing,” said 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.”
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.
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.