Delivering Modern Healthcare to the Vibrant New Orleans Community

When a natural disaster destroys Louisiana’s largest teaching hospital and trauma center, the result is devastating. But it also leaves that community with the opportunity to reimagine and rebuild a leading-edge healthcare facility. That is exactly what the state of Louisiana did in 2015 when it built University Medical Center (UMC) New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

A public-private partnership with the state of Louisiana, UMC New Orleans is operated by LCMC Health, a not-for-profit healthcare system managing five hospitals and employing more than 8,200 physicians, clinicians, and support personnel in the greater New Orleans metropolitan area. After Hurricane Katrina (August 2005) destroyed Charity Hospital, a major academic and trauma facility, the state of Louisiana decided to build its modern replacement.

Working under a highly accelerated schedule, the IT department was faced with a daunting challenge. “We had to essentially open up a billion-dollar hospital with about six months of time,” explains Austin Park, principal consultant with LCMC Health. The user experience for physicians and clinicians was of paramount importance. In addition, there were two other fundamental goals: lowering operating expenses, and developing a solution that would provide flexibility and the ability to roll out applications very quickly while maintaining always-on status.

Watch the video to learn more about this challenging project from some of the key people involved. Then read on to learn about the ways in which VMware technology enabled them to meet their goals. 

Saving Precious Time Every Day

The implementation of a Digital Clinical Workspace™, enabled by VMware AlwaysOn Point of Care™, allowed LCMC Health to meet these goals. For the medical staff, the combination of a VMware Horizon® virtual desktop with single sign-on (SSO) has reduced log-in times significantly, allowing healthcare providers to spend more time with patients rather than waiting for a computer. Additionally, this has made it easier for medical staff to obtain patient information and to access the information from various devices. Recalling days when X-rays were developed on film and lab test results were delivered on slips of paper tucked into patients’ charts, Dr. Alan B. Marr, professor of Clinical Surgery and vice chair of informatics at LSU Health New Orleans, says that now “everything is easily accessed by multiple people from multiple sites. [This technology] has fundamentally changed the way we do things.”

Lower Costs, Rapid Roll-Out

To reduce costs, LCMC deployed a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). This new infrastructure created significant cost savings by enabling the organization to use less expensive thin clients instead of PCs for up to 90 percent of its fleet. Additionally, the VDI enables IT to provide support and software updates to end users remotely, and to resolve help desk tickets faster.

The use of  VMware App Volumes™ with the VDI solution also provides rapid roll-out of applications and the ability to upgrade applications without any downtime for end users—integral features in a hospital environment where every second counts. As Park explains, “VDI lets the IT group easily deliver any application to anyone. Even if only one person wants it, we can install that application and use App Volumes to present it to just that user, and make them happy.”

LCMC works with VMware to support approximately 5,000 devices at UMC New Orleans, including thin clients, desktop computers, and wireless devices. With built-in scalability, this infrastructure will ultimately be extended to serve LCMC Health’s four other facilities.

Within a very tight timeframe, and with very high standards to meet, LCMC created a leading-edge digital clinical workspace that supports the highest level of care, while managing costs and providing a scalable path to the future.

To learn more about how LCMC Health delivers modern healthcare with help from VMware technology, read “LCMC Health Plans for a New Era of Patient Care With VMware,” and “A Vision for State-of-the-Art Healthcare.”