Sunday, 5th July 2020

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust quickly responds to COVID-19 with Citrix

Locked down and forced to close clinics, hospital enabled 2,000 employees to work from home and maintain continuity of services within 48 hours.

COVID-19 hit fast and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust was equally quick to respond. When government mandates forced the Trust to move staff and patient clinics off the main hospital site, it moved quickly to enable 2,000 employees to work from home and continue providing essential services. And with the help of Citrix Systems, they were up and running in less than two days.

“We had to move all our staff out and rapidly transition as many services as we could to remote delivery,” said Mark Hutchinson, executive chief digital information officer (CDIO) for the Trust. “But that’s easier said than done.”

Panic buying

Many hospitals in the same situation rushed to buy hundreds of laptops to support their teams. The Trust went a different route. “We didn’t want to just buy hundreds of expensive laptops that we’d have to set up, distribute out to staff who need them most and then have the challenge of counting them all back in,” Hutchinson said. “But we also knew that individual PCs in people’s homes can be difficult to secure and manage, which is critical when we’re working with confidential patient data.”

A secure, reliable alternative

The Trust chose instead to work with Citrix Gold Solution Advisor LIMA, to implement Citrix® Virtual Apps and Desktops and provide secure, reliable access to the clinical apps and information employees would need to do their jobs from home using personal devices. “We basically said if you have a device, we'll sort the VDI [virtual desktop infrastructure], we’ll make sure you can easily access all the Trust systems, securely,” Hutchinson said.

Game-changing results

All the Trust’s support and patient administration services now operate remotely through a virtual desktop on the devices of their choice – from Macs to PCs. In addition, “we have senior clinicians at home, self-isolating, who can still be online, securely accessing their patients’ records to monitor their progress and it's been a game-changer for them,” Hutchinson said.

And it was all accomplished in a matter of days. “Citrix enabled us to respond extremely quickly to the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19, and to continue business as usual without any negative impact on patient services,” Hutchinson said. “We’re not scared to say Citrix made all the difference. We couldn’t have moved this quickly without it.”

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