Industry: Health Care| Case Study
Who is BMI Healthcare?
BMI Healthcare is the acute private hospital division of General Healthcare Group and is the largest independent provider of private health care in the UK with 69 hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the country. More than 6,000 consultants choose to practice at BMI hospitals, which collectively handle over 1.25 million patient visits each year.
Business challenge at BMI BMI Healthcare required a centralized management solution to manage its 6,500 IP enabled devices across the UK, to ensure visibility and understanding of the entire IT landscape. This meant that at any given time, the IT department required an ability to monitor devices like medical equipment across its estate, to administer the required software and security updates and enable users to continue operating within a secure environment with maximum availability of systems.
"We live in an age where technology and Internet enabled devices are now the norm. The global and local healthcare sectors have become more aware of their dependency on IT infrastructure, with medical equipment typically requiring a live IP connection to function. On top of this, staffs are using a combination of personal and corporate PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets to access our central network and Wi-Fi." -Matt Rooney, IT Desktop Manager at BMI,
System management tasks such as patch management, asset management and systems monitoring tied an engineer up for a considerable amount of time and often resulted in support calls being logged and contractors being hired to achieve the level of reporting detail BMI Healthcare required. BMI Healthcare was using Symantec Altiris for their systems management but the maintenance had become cumbersome. Since, Altiris had a complicated back-end SQL database and required heavy maintenance that resulted in an output that was much less than what was expected. BMI was on the lookout for a solution that is flexible and easy to deploy. In the process, Desktop Central has become BMIs favorite in overcoming Desktop Management challenges.
"We used Symantec's Altiris that had a complicated back-end SQL database and required heavy upfront investment from a solution customization stand-point. It also meant that we had to ensure one of our engineers was fluent in SQL reporting as none of the out-of-the-box reports met our unique regulatory standard requirements.
As a result, we had little visibility into the exact inventory of our Desktop estate, which presented a patch management headache. Especially when you consider the number of hospitals we maintain" says Matt.
Desktop Central automated BMI Healthcare's regular desktop management activities such as installation of periodical software updates, weekly patch management, delivery of service packs to any Windows-based device including medical equipment, standardizing desktop interfaces, administering company wide security policies and restricting the use of unsecured foreign devices, such as USB sticks and portable hard drives. In addition, the IT department uses Desktop Central to audit its entire Windows estate and run the necessary reports to comply with healthcare industry regulatory standards.
Automating these important, yet traditionally manual IT functions has freed up the IT team to focus on other business critical IT disciplines and projects such as network monitoring and security event management.
"Effective desktop management is becoming more and more crucial to the entire healthcare industry. The fast-paced environment requires a carefully planned and articulated approach to technological advancements and the ever-evolving threat landscape. As the ramifications of a network security breach can be catastrophic in a hospital, compliance reporting plays a hugely important role in daily operations. We need visibility of what version of anti-virus is installed on every device, which patches are yet to be deployed the overall volume of devices connecting to the network and who is logging onto a machine and at what time. With Desktop Central we can quickly go from monitoring and reporting to remediation action” adds Matt.
"Much of the medical equipment we use is Windows-based so it is imperative that it is protected against external threats by ensuring a carefully devised patching schedule is implemented, which Desktop Central has allowed us to facilitate. Our hospitals see a large number of patients in a day and if, for example, a modality was unavailable due to OS issues, it would have a direct impact on our ability to operate effectively," concluded Matt Rooney.
In addition to server and desktop management, BMI Healthcare is currently evaluating features such as smartphones and tablets to perform profile management, asset management, application management and security management in a trial roll-out.
Desktop Central is a complete Desktop and Mobile Device Management Software that provides Software Deployment, Enterprise mobile management, Patch Management, Service Pack Installation, Asset Management, Remote Control, Configurations, System Tools, User Logon Reports and Active Directory Reports. It is a network-neutral solution that can be used to manage desktops in Active Directory, Workgroups and Novell eDirectory. It can manage computers in multiple domains and can also manage computers across WAN (branch offices). Desktop Central helps achieve compliance with standards like SOX, HIPAA, PCI, etc, and provides a bundle of useful reports to meet compliance audits.