SSO and VDI: The perfect pair at Beaufort Memorial Hospital

I recently sat down with Willard Fosberry, Director of IT Infrastructure at Beaufort Memorial Hospital, to gain a better understanding of why the South Carolina-based hospital system decided to implement virtual desktop access, how they went about the implementation, and what made it successful.  

Willard and the Beaufort Memorial IT team first introduced Imprivata OneSign for single sign-on (SSO), and then quickly realized that they also needed to implement virtualization to realize the full benefits of SSO, and speed up and simplify provider access to Meditech, their primary EMR. They also wanted to depart from a desktop environment and retire aging PCs.

Beaufort Memorial embarked on a virtualization project, which paired VMware with Imprivata OneSign for SSO and Samsung zero clients. The deployment began with small test rollouts in the IT department and a few small nursing departments. Following the success of those, the IT team decided to deploy VDI to the entire nursing facility - nursing floors throughout a five-story tower - within two months. Physicians were gradually introduced to the technology through the nursing environment, where they could become enrolled and begin using it.

Today, nearly 2100 users in 50 percent of Beaufort’s practices are using VMware virtualization with Imprivata OneSign and Samsung zero clients, and the team will continue to roll it out to additional practices and off-site clinics. And, perhaps not unsurprisingly, Beaufort is also reaping environmental benefits from the project. By removing 2000 PCs, they’ve significantly reduced power consumption, which has resulted in substantial energy cost savings.

Listen to the interview recording below to hear more about Beaufort Memorial’s virtualization project, as well Willard’s thoughts on web applications, BYOD, secure messaging, and virtualization trends. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the interview:

On why SSO and VDI are better together…

“You have the SSO genus working with the Teradici client, working with Samsung, and working with VMware. A light went off. This is what it's all meant to do. All of these technologies coming together to create a really quick clean login environment and application access environment for our users.”

On best practices for implementation…

“Get your nursing, physician, and IT leadership all in a room together and map out a vision and actually show them the technology. They are very tactical people. They like to see, touch and feel. So if you can actually show something to them to actually ease their day to day interaction with the computer and the patient, that goes a long way to creating a successful solution for any healthcare organization.”

On the reaction from clinicians…

“We tried to present this to them to say, ‘Hey this is a way for you to get into the EMR quicker and allow you to spend more time with your patients.’ They were very receptive. They loved the whole concept of badging in. They loved the concept of their desktop following them from the nurse station to the documentation EMR, to the patient room.”