Systems Powering Healthcare deploys Citrix Cloud Services to enhance patient care

Citrix Cloud on Microsoft Azure to power shared service for London NHS trusts

Systems Powering Healthcare (SPHERE), a provider of IT systems and infrastructure to hospitals, is deploying Citrix Workspace Service running on Microsoft Azure to better serve 7,000 clinicians and hospital administrators across two NHS foundation trusts.

Once complete, the project will ultimately improve patient care by enabling doctors and support staff to quickly and securely access data and applications from anywhere.

Working in partnership with Ultima; SPHERE is rolling out highly-secure, scalable, agile, and flexible cloud services to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust based on Citrix and Microsoft technology.

The rollout comes as NHS healthcare organisations across the UK are faced with ageing IT infrastructure and little capital funds available to replace it.

SPHERE’s aim is to offer trusts the opportunity to own less IT - and therefore remove the need to maintain it - and maximise the lifespan of existing equipment by delivering cloud services to it.

The main driver is efficiency and effectiveness, significantly enhancing user experience on the desktop, whether that’s in an admin office, a consulting room, or an emergency ward. The ultimate aim is to deliver a holistically-better experience for staff.

Key benefits of the project include:

  • Significantly-improved patient care; more-productive healthcare staff: trusts will be able to focus on treating the patient in the most-efficient and effective way possible. Citrix Workspace Service running on Microsoft Azure will deliver a secure-but-versatile end user experience, positively impacting both patients and doctors and healthcare staff
  • Access to data and applications via any device: staff will be able to access real-time information and data via any device, including mobile devices – creating a more-productive, responsive workforce not tethered to terminals for information
  • Highly-scalable, flexible infrastructure: requests from healthcare providers for IT projects often have very tight timelines. Local, on-premise infrastructure can take a significant amount of time to spin up equipment: to procure, install and configure it. The Citrix-Azure cloud combination offers security, manageability and also that level of flexibility
  • Centralised, secure data and applications: once fully deployed, SPHERE will manage just a handful of golden images, instead of managing over 12,000 traditional PCs. Citrix services on Azure will provide real-time rapid response to any change in the environment, whether that’s a business need or a security threat

SPHERE is currently piloting Citrix Workspace Service running on Microsoft Azure but, within three to six months, is working towards well over 1,000 deployments live in clinical areas: wards, clinics and consultants’ offices.

Aaron Aldrich, vice president and head of operations at SPHERE, said: “We really want to start taking away the headaches that old thick-client deployment mentality introduces. The hospital’s job is to treat patients and my job is to support them to the best of our ability.

“With the Citrix-Azure solution, we have a scalable, secure and cost-effective solution to deliver an amazing experience for administrators, clinicians and patients alike. ”

Darren Fields, regional director for UK & Ireland at Citrix, added: “NHS trusts across the country are under huge pressure to innovate while achieving more with less.

“By centralising and securing data and applications, delivered as a service via Citrix Cloud on Microsoft Azure; SPHERE will in turn empower clinical staff to deliver a faster, more-effective service while significantly reducing costs.”

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