News Releases6 min read

VMware Desktop Virtualization Helps Healthcare Providers Improve Patient Care

VMware Desktop Virtualization Helps Healthcare Providers Improve Patient Care

Kindred Healthcare, Huntsville Hospital, and Metropolitan Health Use VMware Virtual Desktops to Make Patient Data Available at Point of Care with Higher Security and Lower Overall Costs

PALO ALTO, Calif., February 6, 2008 — U.S. healthcare providers of all sizes are turning to VMware (NYSE: VMW) virtual desktop solutions to relieve many of the “pain points” of desktop computing, including high management costs and low data security. National providers such as Kindred Healthcare and major regional providers including Huntsville Hospital and Metropolitan Health are now using VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to give care providers the mobility and reliability they need to access patient information at the point of care, and at the same time, enable data center staff to manage IT more efficiently with the strict security controls required by government regulations and patient privacy needs.

VMware VDI integrates VMware Infrastructure 3 and the new VMware Virtual Desktop Manager 2 in an easy-to-manage desktop virtualization solution. With VMware virtual desktops, healthcare providers can host traditional desktops as virtual machines running on centralized servers in a datacenter, making management easier for IT staff and controls on sensitive data stronger. Caregivers can access their virtual desktops remotely from any traditional PC, laptop, or thin client, giving them greater flexibility. IT administrators can authorize access only to applications and data necessary for each user, and data never resides on the physical device, preventing loss or theft of data. This level of control is especially important in the healthcare industry where the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandates the security and privacy of health data.

Kindred Healthcare increases caregiver mobility with VMware

Kindred Healthcare is the largest post-acute healthcare provider in the U.S. with approximately 230 nursing centers, more than 80 long-term acute care hospitals and more than 35,000 licensed beds. Kindred needed a better way for its nursing and physician staff to easily access patient data while complying with HIPAA requirements. Kindred deployed VMware virtual desktops on wireless thin clients, mounted on rolling carts. This has enabled caregivers to enter and access medical information securely at the bedside, while letting IT centrally manage patches and upgrades, control access to sensitive data, reduce hardware costs, and provide better patient support.

"Our medical staff needs the flexibility to move around the point of care, without being hampered by cumbersome PCs," said Rob Rhodes, technical consultant at Kindred Healthcare. "Our 'Workstation on Wheels' solution, using VMware virtual desktops on thin clients, can run on a single charge all day long, giving doctors, nurses and clinicians unfettered bedside mobility without interrupting access to patient data and care information."

Huntsville Hospital meets compliance demands with VMware

Huntsville Hospital, a not-for-profit hospital in Huntsville, Alabama with more than 900 licensed beds, has a similar challenge. As a quickly growing organization in a highly regulated industry, Huntsville was looking for a way to enhance the manageability and compliance of its desktop computing infrastructure, while engaging more seamlessly with the community of referring doctors in the surrounding region.

The hospital needed to roll out a new, powerful medical information application throughout its network, while protecting HIPAA-related data.

Deploying hosted desktops on VMware, the hospital was able to increase their desktop deployment agility, lock down sensitive patient data and reduce the cost and complexity of desktop management. The combination of thin clients and blade servers used to access the centralized virtual desktops reduced power consumption across the hospital by 78%, improved longevity with lower hardware maintenance needs and made wireless thin clients on wheeled carts available to hospital staff for a full shift on a single charge. At the same time, the hospital is now able to provide doctors in the surrounding community the ability to remotely access centralized patient information via VMware virtual desktops through the Internet using a web browser, while maintaining the security of that data.

“With VMware virtual desktops, all of our sensitive patient data is stored in the datacenter, not on user machines, enabling improved compliance with HIPAA regulations,” said Tony Wilburn, network specialist at Huntsville Hospital. “Additionally, we’ve been able to standardize desktop set-up, and centralize desktop management, which lowers support costs with fewer desktop technicians deployed to sterile hospital environments. VMware virtual desktops reduce maintenance and hardware costs because memory and CPU can be increased at the server, and desktop provisioning takes less than 15 minutes. With virtual desktops, we no longer need to dispatch desktop technicians out across the county to deal with problems doctors encounter on the client devices.”

Metropolitan Health chooses VMware for state-of-the-art desktops

Metro Health is an independent, integrated health care system serving 130,000 patients across Michigan's Kent, Ottawa, and surrounding counties. As Metro Health planned a move to the newly constructed "hospital of the future" and explored options for a state-of-the-art desktop replacement solution to take them into the next decade, they turned to VMware virtual desktops for the hospital network and more than a dozen affiliated area clinics. Virtual desktops are used for mobile workstations and as a robust business continuity solution as well. With two datacenters, one at the hospital, and one at a satellite office, Metro Health is secure in the knowledge that if one fails, the other is available as back-up, keeping mission-critical medical applications available to doctors and nurses at all times. With the actual remote PC session running on VMware ESX servers in their data centers, sensitive patient data is kept secure in the data center, giving Metro Health ease of mind with regard to HIPAA compliance.

"We have all of our users on VMware virtual desktops, from doctors and nurses accessing medical records from any thin client workstation, to technicians who view X-rays, to professional staff accessing any of our 450+ applications." said Chris House, senior network analyst at Metropolitan Health. "VMware virtual desktops have streamlined the deployment and management of desktops to our staff, and we're confident it's a robust desktop strategy that will pass the test of time, and keep our patient information safe."

Analyst firm IDC predicts the total market for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure products and services will exceed $1 billion by 2011.  “Virtual desktop computing helps enterprises across a number of industries improve management efficiency, data security and productivity with little change in the computing experience for many types of users,” said Michael Rose of IDC. “For healthcare organizations, where lives depend on having information at your fingertips, virtual desktops are an exciting component of a state-of-the-art hospital of the future.” 

“VMware virtual desktops give healthcare providers the flexibility and control of a virtualized data center while providing end users with a desktop experience that looks and feels like their normal desktop,” said Jeff Jennings, vice president of desktop products and solutions at VMware.  “VMware desktop virtualization solutions help hospitals of all sizes to manage and support the flexible needs of their workforce while strengthening security and control over resources and sensitive patient information. These healthcare organizations join tens of thousands of enterprises worldwide who have deployed VMware virtualization solutions across their organizations.”

About VMware

VMware (NYSE: VMW) is the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the data center.  Customers of all sizes rely on VMware to reduce capital and operating expenses, ensure business continuity, strengthen security and go green. With 2007 revenues of $1.3 billion, more than 100,000 customers and more than 10,000 partners, VMware is one of the fastest growing public software companies.  VMware is headquartered in Palo Alto, California and on the web at

# # #

VMware is a registered trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.

Statements made in this press release which are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements and are subject to the safe harbor provisions created by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements relate, but are not limited, to projections of market size for virtual desktop infrastructure software and our customers' ability to achieve HIPAA compliance. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of certain risk factors, including but not limited to: (i) adverse changes in general economic or market conditions; (ii) delays or reductions in consumer or information technology spending; (iii) competitive factors, including but not limited to pricing pressures, industry consolidation, entry of new competitors into the virtualization market, and new product and marketing initiatives by our competitors; (iv) the ability to develop, and to transition to, new products, the uncertainty of customer acceptance of emerging technology, and rapid technological and market change; (v) changes to product development timelines; (vi) fluctuating currency exchange rates; and (vii) regulatory compliance systems and technical expertise of our customers. These forward looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to uncertainties and changes in condition, significance, value and effect as well as other risks detailed in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2007, which could cause actual results to vary from expectations. VMware disclaims any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements after the date of this release.