I first witnessed virtualization in healthcare firsthand watching a clinician log in with her name badge at a thin client when I was a Kaiser member eight years ago. But Kaiser wasn't the only trailblazer. Another provider who implemented virtualization on PCs starting in 2002 is Memorial Healthcare, a 150-bed hospital in Owosso, Michigan.
Memorial Healthcare moved strategically from thin clients to zero clients a year ago.
"As healthcare changes over the next four or five years with the Accountable Care Act and with industry pressures to reduce cost, virtualization is going to become a key component to creating efficiencies that right now we just don't have," says Frank Fear, vice president of information services.
Fear says one of the biggest advantages – and an occasional drawback – to zero clients at Memorial is this: Every morning, or whenever staff arrives for a 12-hour shift, they are creating a brand new virtual desktop. The previous desktop's state of appearance is never saved. The data is always safe in the data center, and not stored locally on the zero client.