De Tjongerschans Hospital in Heerenveen, The Netherlands, provides healthcare services to 120 000 local residents and conducts around 80 000 medical treatments per year.
Its 1 200 employees require daily access to a number of different IT services, many of which contain confidential patient information. This often meant that employees and professionals had to visit several portals, each with different sign-in details, to access the information they need to do their jobs.
Wiebrand Hoeksma, Head of IT for De Tjongerschans Hospital, realized the need for a more simple and secure solution to improve staff efficiency and protect the patients’ sensitive data.
Centralizing resources for anywhere access
Using Citrix XenApp, Hoeksma and his team centralized apps, information and data, making it quicker and easier for employees to access the technology resources needed to do their jobs. Now they can not only access everything they need from anywhere in the hospital, ensuring patients receive the care they need, but also while on the go or at home.
And with Citrix NetScaler Unified Gateway, people can use one set of credentials across all their various apps. Once signed in, they can access the full range of IT services, including their email, calendar, documentation and files, and information for which they have been granted access.
“Before Citrix, accessing any of the hospital’s IT systems was a slow process. You could never access anything in a hurry and certain apps were only available on certain machines,” explains Maarten Annema, System Administrator, De Tjongerschans Hospital. “Now there is no waiting for an available machine, no memorizing four different passwords. I can get instant access to the information I need, and spend my time helping patients.”
Security under control
NetScaler Unfied Gateway supports multi-factor authentication for an added layer of security, essential to protect sensitive patient information.
“Our decision to use Citrix technology was driven by a desire to get a good handle on security,” Hoeksma says. “We want to permit forms of two-way authentication and introduce single sign on for our end users, all of which is possible with Citrix NetScaler. That was an important reason for us.”
“When you are working in a pressured situation, trying to provide urgent patient care, the last thing you need to worry about is which password you need to access their patient information,” explains Erwin Ten Hoeve, Medical Co-ordinator. “One password to access any hospital workstation is a huge help.“
XenDesktop will allocate dedicated computing resources to each power user, ensuring each person has the storage and processing power required for the job in hand. Currently, the XenDesktop solution is being rolled out to the first two use-cases (power users and remote developers).
A high-performance experience
To ensure a positive and consistent user experience, the hospital also uses NetScaler ADC for load balancing. NetScaler automatically provisions traffic among hospital servers so no single server gets overloaded and affects performance—all with no additional work by Hoeksma's ICT department.
“For us, the benefits of the advanced NetScaler software are that it future-proofs our IT environment, allows us to consolidate various services, and is secure,” Hoeksma says.
Hoeksma is now investigating other ways Citrix technology could help the hospital, including improving the performance of its Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) portal for images like radiographs and MRI scans.
“Citrix provides solutions that meet our requirements: a roaming workstation, a secure workstation, a workstation with portals,” Hoeksma says. “I can no longer imagine operating a workstation environment without Citrix.”