PowerTerm® WebConnect – An Ideal Solution for Reliable
24x7 Access to Healthcare Systems

Industry

Healthcare

Customer

The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust

Host Connectivity Solution

        PowerTerm® WebConnect

Host Server

        UNIX

Users

        300

The Challenge

        To modernise a system that would provide hospital staff with reliable, secure and easy access for reading and updating patient computer records 24x7.

The Solution

        PowerTerm WebConnect web-enables the Trust's legacy applications so that users can update patient clinical data, which can be shared across multiple staff groups, while leveraging existing IT investments.


Benefits

  • Implementation was relatively simple: it was programmed and up and running very quickly.
  • PowerTerm WebConnect with centralised administration reduces the amount of desktop support visits.
  • The IT support workload has been lightened since system configuration is performed at the server.
  • PowerTerm WebConnect supports automatic reconnection of the client; with no loss of data, and fail-over support providing improved up time and better mission critical application support.

"For the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, PowerTerm is proving to be a valuable investment. The new system is proving so reliable that it is having a positive impact on the IT support work load and because all the configuration is done at the server, PowerTerm WebConnect is reducing the amount of desktop support visits."
Phil Morgan, Network & IT Services Manager, The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust

The Background

The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust was one of only seven in the West Midlands to receive the Government's Charter Mark for excellence in 2001. (The Charter Mark is the Government's awards scheme recognising and encouraging modernisation and innovating public service). It was the second time that the Trust received the award.

With so many people's lives and welfare in the hands of The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, senior management together with the IT Department felt that it was crucial to have the necessary software to ensure efficient internal communication links. With this in mind, the Trust set about the task of sourcing software to modernise access to the internal systems. As the Trust is committed to providing seamless access to all patient records and meeting the requirements of the Patient's Charter, along with offering round the clock healthcare to meet all the public's needs, web based software was considered the ideal solution. This would replace a problematic existing solution used to access systems for a number of years.

The IT infrastructure is viewed as an integral part of the Trust's functioning, with access to patient clinical data being central to the Hospital's day-to-day operation. The new software would offer a whole range of benefits; increased security, reduced IT overhead costs, better management and improve staff usability, enabling ward and clinical staff to access patient data in a simple and efficient manner.

Mr. Phil Morgan, Network & IT Services Manager took the decision to implement a system that would allow hospital staff easy access to read and update patient computer records regardless of time day or night. Phil Morgan explained, "The Trust provides a range of office support services across two sites within excess of 4500 staff operating campus wide. These services cover a wide range from payroll to clinical patient management and include external services accessed via telnet. It is imperative that the IT infrastructure software can support all these functions and operate across all these areas."

Selection Criteria

Having experience using similar systems, the IT team compiled a short list of potential vendors who could deliver a working solution. As part of the process of choosing a solution, Mr. Morgan on behalf of the Trust, approached Ericom to investigate their PowerTerm WebConnect solution. It was paramount to Phil that the replacement solution be reliable, be able to scale to support hundreds of concurrent users, and be able to meet or exceed all the Trust's requirements. The Trust had been using Ericom's PowerTerm, a PC and PDA based solution for some time, and it had proved reliable and cost effective. In addition, Phil explains, "Due to the personal nature of information within the Trust, security and the need for confidentiality was high on the list of requirements and Ericom's solution had good security features".

Having invested in a solution once, the Trust was determined to test Ericom's solution thoroughly. "The test phase was carried out over a 6 month period and PowerTerm WebConnect exceeded all our expectations. The product ran continuously and coped with everything we threw at it," explained Phil.

The Right Solution

Ericom came up with the ideal twenty-four by seven (24x7) software solution. PowerTerm WebConnect is a reliable and secure solution with the added benefit of a management console, which gives additional advantages over traditional terminal emulation solutions. As a server based solution, PowerTerm WebConnect only needs to be configured once and then it can be deployed across an entire network of PC and thin-client devices immediately. PowerTerm WebConnect is a flexible solution that can easily be configured to meet any organisations requirements. Uniquely PowerTerm WebConnect comes with Java, ActiveX and OCX (transforms the interface of your green screen application) client types, providing the ideal mix to meet any enterprise connection requirements. Organisations can choose to implement PowerTerm WebConnect's own security to enhance or maintain the current system, providing high-level user authentication and single sign-on, or use their existing application's security. PowerTerm WebConnect now also supports automatic reconnection of the client with no loss of data, and fail-over support providing improved up time and better mission critical application support.

Final Analysis

As an added bonus, due to the fact that the software was already installed following the evaluation period, the implementation was relatively simple. Using the fully evaluated set-up the rollout across the hospital was instigated quickly and carefully taking advantage of the new features Ericom had incorporated into the product. Much to the delight of all at the Trust the PowerTerm solution was programmed and up and running very quickly, allowing doctors, clerical staff, nurses, lab staff and radiology divisions to access up-to-date patient information systems and input data which in turn can be monitored by others across multiple staff groups, allowing the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust to provide a first class health service.

Phil explains, "Since the installation eight months ago, we have not experienced any technical or software difficulties, and are benefiting from a reliable and robust solution in comparison to the previous system we used. For The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, PowerTerm is proving to be a valuable investment. The new system is proving so reliable that it is having a positive impact on the IT support work load and because all the configuration is done at the server, PowerTerm WebConnect is reducing the amount of desktop support visits."





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