End-user virtualization in a hospital.

InformationWeek:”Norton Healthcare, the largest health care supplier in the Louisville, Ky., region, has adopted end-user virtualization as a means of giving doctors and nurses a desktop that follows them on their rounds.

The five-unit acute-care hospital chain and supplier of 11 neighborhood clinics is in the process of providing 1,000 thin clients to end-user end points, such as nursing stations, clinic treatment centers, and 50 physician offices. With three shifts a day, most end points have three different users every 24 hours, noted Brian Cox, director of IT customer services.

With VMware view set up, Cox has been able to let doctors and nurses move around the hospital and still access their desktop from the closest thin client, often at the nursing station of a wing instead of having to go back to their own desks. Their desktops can be called up from any location and used to enter patient information or look up patient records.” – Thin clients can be a useful piece of hardware in a hospital setting and I’ve touched on them before. The article doesn’t make it absolutely clear, but your personal desktop actually follows you around regardless of what machine you use to log on. Thin clients are also easier to manage and maintain than traditional desktop PCs from an IT standpoint. I realize this is not cloud computing, however it’s the same basic idea on a small, internalized scale.

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Thin clients are computers that depend on a centralized server for processing power. They are simple devices that typically contain only the most basic hardware, and frequently do not contain a hard drive. Thin clients essentially serve as the interface to the server.

Thin clients are mostly inexpensive compared to traditional desktop PCs, and offer easier management and security secondary to their connection based on a singular source.

Our facility has plans to utilize the Dell thin client as a major component of our bedside barcode scanning system. Thin clients will be attached to monitor, keyboard, mouse and scanner creating a complete scanning solution in each patient room. The result is a simple, low maintenance platform.

I wouldn’t want to use a thin client computer as my primary work machine. I like to customize my work environment and they lack the flexibility. They are, however perfect when a secure, inexpensive solution is needed for use in high trafic areas like hospital wards.