Give Medical Clients Secure Wireless Data Access
North Florida Women's Physicians is a group of 10 OB/GYN physicians located in Gainesville, FL. Since it is common for its patients — expectant mothers — to go into labor at any time of the day or night, the ability to be plugged in to patient information, whether in the office or at home, is particularly important and useful.
VAR and systems integrator AcerMed, Inc. was exhibiting at the American College of Obstetrician/Gynecologists when it met decision makers from the North Florida Women's Physicians at the show. The client was looking for a paperless EMR (electronic medical records) solution that could secure patient data to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) standards, and it wanted to provide physicians with wireless access to EMRs from home. At the time, the client was using a 10-year-old UNIX-based terminal system, which did not allow the flexibility of a wireless solution and did not provide adequate security.
"We followed up with the client after the show and presented our solution to the physician board," recalls Ed Craig, engineering manager at AcerMed. "The physician board was impressed with our ability to provide a reasonably priced, end-to-end solution and awarded AcerMed the business."
Wirelessly Enabled EMR Provides An 18-Month Payback
AcerMed installed a wirelessly enabled EMR and practice management solution which cost $338,000 for the client. The solution entailed installing SonicWALL's PRO 2040 firewall/VPN (virtual private network) appliance at North Florida Women's Physicians' headquarters, configuring each VPN tunnel with the appropriate security settings, and installing SonicWALL TZW wireless units at each physician's home. Additionally, AcerMed integrated the following hardware and software: a Microsoft Windows Active Directory integrated domain, a Cisco wireless network, SQL-based EMR software, terminal services, and a SonicWALL PRO 2040 firewall/VPN. After the integration of the main practice, AcerMed's engineering team set up a VPN network for the 10 physicians, which enables them to access patient records securely from their home PCs.
At the client's facility, AcerMed installed Dell Servers, switches, and workstations. Also, the OB/GYNs were fitted with Fujitsu tablet PCs, which enable them to access patient records wirelessly over the group's wireless LAN.
"They will recapture their full investment within 18 months and receive a return on investment greater than $2 million over five years," says Craig. "This installation was perfectly in line with the market segment we target, and we see this installation as a good reference for new clients with similar needs."