Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust deploys new technology to enable integrated care

Citrix Workspace delivers Windows desktops, apps and data securely to any endpoint device

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust is deploying Citrix technology to enable innovation in an integrated care environment, following its transition to become an Integrated Care Organisation (ICO).

To tackle the need to upgrade its desktop estate from Windows 7, Salford will use Citrix Workspace on Microsoft Azure to deliver Windows desktops, apps and data securely to any endpoint device.

Citrix-Microsoft cloud solutions also gives Salford the ability to host systems for other partner organisations and to seamlessly share all information across current organisational boundaries.

As an ICO, Salford Royal now has responsibility for social care as well as healthcare, requiring close relationships with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the local council, local mental health organisations, and other providers.

As a result, the trust needed to move to an end-to-end public health approach.

From an IT service provider perspective, this required removing the barriers between these organisations and providing services across a wider footprint that were accessible to employees for the successful deployment of such shared services.

As a nominated NHS Global Digital Exemplar (GDE), the trust has been tasked with pioneering the use of digital technologies to guide other ‘fast follower’ trusts.

Salford Royal has used Citrix technology for over a decade, initially deploying its electronic patient records (EPR) system as a virtual app. The trust’s collaboration with Citrix has developed into a more strategic partnership in recent years as it faced the demands of becoming an ICO.

Key benefits of the partnership include:

  • Secure desktop, apps and data delivery to any endpoint device: The trust is now very paper-light and moving to a virtual desktop model powered by Citrix Workspace will be made possible through low-cost thin clients and re-purposed legacy PCs. The same desktop and information can be delivered to clinicians on ward-rounds or in surgery, to community clinics, or to care workers making home visits
  • Single sign on for enhanced productivity: A single-sign-on (SSO) solution means that users within the hospital environment will be able to ‘tap and go’ with their ID card. SSO means a clinician can instantly log into any available terminal and have their desktop session follow them wherever required: from emergency room to theatre to bedside, or from office to teaching room
  • Enhanced speed of delivery: Citrix cloud services will allow the trust to quickly stand up or stand down new services as they’re required. The solution also provides cheaper delivery of services, as well as reducing costs by using systems and solutions that are already in place, rather than paying for expensive new ones
  • Effective communication between organisations: The hospital is just one element in the overall social contract, but unless every organisation is able to communicate and share information effectively, there can be knock-on effects for the more expensive acute sites. The work undertaken – using Citrix technology – to join the whole system together has been welcomed by stakeholder organisations. Within the overall GDE programme, many steps have been taken to bring the community services up to speed, including both community clinics and the crisis teams working directly in neighbourhoods
  • Improved data sharing with citizens: Though the trust has been asked about extending the information available to patients for a number of years, it has always had to decline due to the risk factor as well as the effort required to expand operations to such a wide user base. However, cloud technology makes such requests much easier for a small IT team to handle

Rik Wakefield, chief technical officer at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’ve put a lot of effort into bringing our technology together. The integration and streamlining has allowed us to innovate and to really progress our digital agenda.

“The reward for me is an improved health landscape and outcomes for the citizens of Salford. Ultimately, that’s how we measure ourselves as being successful.”

Darren Fields, regional director of the UK and Ireland at Citrix, added: “With Citrix technology, Salford Royal’s employees can access vital data and applications on any device, anywhere. In addition to boosting productivity, this enables the trust to take the end-to-end public health approach required of an Integrated Care Organisation focused on providing co-ordinated care and support to citizens across social care and health services.

“The trust’s ongoing partnership with Citrix not only firmly paves the way for its continued pioneering use of digital technologies, but ensures it can be confident in delivering the best-possible service to the individuals and communities it supports.”

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