Piedmont Healthcare

Piedmont Healthcare

Piedmont Healthcare is one of the foremost healthcare providers in the southern United States. A not-for-profit organization, Piedmont Healthcare is the parent company of three hospitals and The Piedmont Physicians Group (PPG), with more than 70 primary care physicians in a network of 18 offices throughout metropolitan Atlanta.

Sector: healthcare

The flagship for Piedmont Healthcare is Piedmont Hospital which has grown from a 10 bed sanatorium in 1905, to a thriving 500-bed acute-care facility with 3,700 employees and more than 900 physicians on staff.

The problem

Along with every other healthcare provider in the world, Piedmont has faced the problem of costs escalating far in excess of inflation. Rather than reduce the levels of service it offered, Piedmont implemented an on-going cost-reduction exercise which was aimed at freeing up valuable resource for patient care. Information Systems (I.S.) played a major role in streamlining systems and reducing costs, and it was decided to take this further by transitioning to a centralized patient record system based on Thin Client technology. A network-centric system was created so all of the applications and data could be managed in one central location using Citrix Presentation Server.

The solution

To access the Citrix system, Piedmont chose low cost VXL Itona terminals because of their close association with Citrix as evidenced by the Citrix Ready verification. A perfect prescription for health care environments, the Itona is silent and durable with low emissions and power usage.

Thin clients have proven to be more robust than handheld devices, and require far less maintenance and support than a PC.

“We chose VXL Itona terminals as they offered the right combination of price and performance, and because the Citrix Ready verification meant we were unlikely to run into compatibility issues.” said Steve Guthman, I.S. Field Support Manager at Piedmont, “VXL were the most flexible of the manufacturers we approached as they were willing to modify the Itona configuration to suit our requirements.”

Piedmont replaced PC’s with VXL Itona thin clients in nurses’ stations and also deployed the Itona clients in exam rooms for instant access to up to-date patient medical records. The rollout went smoothly and took less time that originally estimated. “The VXL Itona is very easy to deploy” said Steve Guthman. “The units are ready to go, straight out of the box, and if there any upgrades to be performed this can all be done centrally.” Piedmont has currently rolled out VXL thin clients across 20% of the desktop estate and the plan is to continue to deploy "thin" technology whenever feasible, as a longer term strategy.

The thin client architecture has given Piedmont an additional benefit. When the U.S. Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 1996, every medical facility had to meet stringent new privacy and security requirements for patient records. With their Thin Client based centralized record system, Piedmont was able to easily implement the necessary security measures to meet the federal standards.

Through its visionary adoption of thin client technology, Piedmont has improved patient care and significantly reduced operating costs. The deployment of VXL Itona Thin Clients has been an important part of this process and VXL is proud to partner with such a forward thinking organization.