About Glendale Adventist Medical Center
Glendale Adventist Medical Center is a full-service, not-for-profit medical center, providing state-of-the-art inpatient and outpatient services to residents of Glendale and surrounding communities. Glendale Adventist Medical Center is a part of Adventist Health, a not-for-profit, faith-based health system in California with nearly 18,000 employees.
Improving its patients' experience is a primary goal for Glendale Adventist Medical Center. The center wanted to provide computer access in its rooms to give patients an opportunity to keep in touch with friends and family.
As stand-alone PCs would have been cost-prohibitive, the center needed a desktop solution that was secure, reliable, easy to administer and cost-effective. Resiliency and remote management were also important to prevent technical staff from having to enter patient rooms.
Glendale Adventist Medical Center evaluated several thin-client desktop solutions before selecting SUSE® Linux Enterprise Desktop.
"We knew that Linux was the right operating platform and Novell (now a part of Micro Focus) provides the best enterprise Linux desktop," said Roger Pruyne, Senior Programmer and Analyst at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. "We have had a long and successful relationship with Novell and knew that we would get the best enterprise Linux support."
Working with Novacoast, a Platinum PartnerSM, the center has installed virtualized SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktops in 65 patient rooms. NoMachine, creator and distributor of NX desktop and application delivery software, provides complete and efficient remote access. Data encryption allows the secure transfer or confidential information. An IBM System x3650 server provides the back-end computing system.
"We chose NoMachine NX system because it works so well, even with low bandwidth," said Pruyne. "The relationship between Novell and IBM has also been a huge benefit. Both companies have been great partners for us."
Patients can now surf the Internet, communicate with friends and family via e-mail or social networking sites, and can update CarePages, popular patient Web sites for patients with chronic illnesses.
"To get a full-blown operating system on a thin-client desktop is pretty incredible," said Pruyne. "SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is easy to use and provides a great service to our valued patients. On average, we get only one support call a week on our 65 Linux desktops, compared to at least ten times that many for our stand-alone PCs."
The center's IT staff can remotely manage all its virtualized Linux desktops without having to disturb patients. With AppArmor®, a Linux application security framework include with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, the IT staff can prevent the installation of new software, as well as secure its desktops against hackers or viruses.
"We have a single desktop image which makes it simple to perform upgrades or add new services," said Pruyne. "The management is so easy that we literally have not touched our virtual Linux desktops since we turned them on."
Based on positive feedback from its patients, the center plans to expand the use of virtual Linux desktops to employees and other Adventist Health hospital locations.
"Novacoast was a great implementation partner and really contributed to the success of this project," said Pruyne. "They helped us find the right configuration to ensure that our desktops were secure and easy to administer."
The center also uses SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and is taking advantage of open source tools, such as Apache, MySQL, PHP and Perl, for application development.
"SUSE Linux Enterprise Server provides phenomenal cost savings in administration, support and power costs," said Pruyne. "Having an open environment allows us to create our own customized applications that will save us millions of dollars in software costs."
The center also uses ZENworks® to manage desktops across multiple locations, as well as GroupWise® for collaboration.
By using SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop to provide thin-client computing in its patient rooms, Glendale Adventist Medical Center estimates that a virtual environment has saved 98 percent of the IT costs that would have been spent maintaining stand-alone PCs. In addition, the solution saves an additional 60 percent in electricity costs.
The hospital's virtual Linux desktops have greatly improved patient experience, without requiring additional IT staff to maintain them. In fact, the helpdesk receives one-tenth the number of calls for its virtual Linux desktops, compared to stand-alone PCs.
"We really want to go the extra mile for our patients and help them feel at home during their stay," said Pruyne. "The solution from Novell, NoMachine and IBM allows us to provide a complete and cost-effective solution that really makes a difference."