Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, a 185-bed nationally recognized, award winning medical center in Thibodaux, Louisiana invested in a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to create a mobile environment for their physicians and care teams as well as relieve IT burden. This mobile environment gives providers the ability to roam, which means that they can log out of one location and pick up their session exactly where they left off at another. However, the ability to roam created a new challenge with Thibodaux’s existing printing infrastructure. The printer mapping in their existing MEDITECH version depends on the location where the provider initially accessed the system, and it does not recognize when they move to a new location.
This issue left physicians frustrated and IT overwhelmed with Help Desk calls. Printers were not always recognized, print jobs wouldn’t consistently go through, and the potential for documents to print to the wrong location compromised both security and clinical workflow. “Virtual desktops/sessions roam everywhere, and you need to know where a session is at any given time so that a print job can arrive at the correct printer,” says Bryan Samaha, Network Operations Manager at Thibodaux. “This was a big challenge for us before UniPrint Infinity and is still a struggle for many other hospitals. I recommend choosing a solution that is built for virtual desktops/sessions and provides location awareness for printing.”
Forward Advantage optimizes virtual environments with leading solutions and services
As a Communication Director customer, Thibodaux already had a strong relationship with Forward Advantage when it decided to overhaul its virtual environment. With Forward Advantage’s guidance, the medical center migrated from Citrix to VMware virtual desktops.
To enhance the new VDI workflow and correct the MEDITECH printing issue, it rolled out Imprivata's Enterprise Access Management and UniPrint Infinity. This provides secure and easy access to virtual desktops/sessions and stable, location-based printing. Forward Advantage is an authorized reseller and implementer of both solutions, and its MEDITECH expertise ensures that the technology is implemented optimally within that environment. “Forward Advantage is a trusted partner based off of our experience with other products,” says Samaha. “They’re also a MEDITECH-preferred vendor, so there’s a trust aspect that goes with that as well.”
Consistent printing for a mobile care team
Prior to UniPrint, it was a challenge for Samaha to get the correct information to pass consistently through Citrix to MEDITECH. When a physician wanted to print, they had to first locate the correct printer and then hope that the print job would go through and to the correct location. “We were getting calls from physicians who were trying to print something from MEDITECH and couldn’t,” says Samaha. “This added Help Desk calls and stress to us, and it bogged the physician’s workflow.” Adding to this frustration is the fact that MEDITECH printing doesn’t recognize virtual roaming. Print jobs were defaulting to the location where the provider initially accessed the system, which further impeded physician workflow and delayed patient care.
UniPrint’s location-based printing has completely resolved this problem, because it maps MEDITECH print jobs to whichever printer is closest to the user’s endpoint. There is no need to find a printer from a list, and print jobs consistently print and arrive at the correct location. “Jobs actually print when you press print,” continues Samaha. “Printing is one of those things that we don’t have to think about anymore, which is great.”
“These doctor’s offices all have random printers, and this was causing a lot of problems in our old environment. UniPrint uses an agnostic driver, so the printer brand doesn’t matter because of the way the solution handles the job. Physicians outside of our firewall are now able to print more easily, and this has further reduced unnecessary Help Desk calls for us.” - Bryan Samaha, Network Operations Manager at Thibodaux
A universal print driver
Thibodaux works with many physician offices that access the hospital’s virtual environment. This added another printing challenge for Samaha and his team, because there was no consistency among printer brand. “We had a lot of driver issues, and this was affecting both our IT and the doctor’s offices,” says Samaha.
A smooth implementation with Forward Advantage
The UniPrint implementation went very smoothly for Samaha and his team. Utilizing the unified SmartPrint console, Forward Advantage worked with the Thibodaux team on printer mapping and management and consolidated their print drivers. “It was rolled out really well,” says Samaha. “The support was always there when we needed it.” End-user training during this time was also minimal due to UniPrint’s ease of use. “It was just a matter of changing the user’s thought process, because the closest printer is the one that the job will automatically print to,” continues Samaha. “The magic is all done behind the scenes now.”
“UniPrint is the perfect complement to our virtual solutions and optimization services,” concludes Mike Knebel, Vice President of Sales for Forward Advantage. “It improves clinical workflow, enhances security, and makes life easier for IT staff. These are the things that are especially important for today’s healthcare organizations."
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