Computer Simplification in Hospital Makes IT Management Smarter

    The New Taipei City Hospital, formerly known as Taipei County Hospital, covers the medical and health care service in Sanchong and Banqiao districts in Taipei, is committed to becoming the most reliable health promoting hospital for the locals.

    Maintenance is difficult for old equipment and gives IT staff headaches

    The medical service of New Taipei City Hospital spans across two campuses and the hospital’s IT team is dedicated to manage both, to keep the client-side computers in good working order while the maintaining and updating the HIS medical information system used on the backend. Mr. Chuan-Chung Chen, chief of IT, New Taipei City Hospital, pointed out that the IT department currently has 6 employees to maintain hundreds of computers while helping staff to become familiarized with the system. They were overloaded with time-sensitive maintenance tasks. That is why the IT department has been looking for a solution to establish an automatic management process for terminal equipment.

    In a hospital where saving lives is the utmost priority, when a doctor’s computer is down, MIS has to troubleshoot to bring the computer back up in the shortest time possible. Quite often, the general medical staff is not familiar with computer inner workings and thus it can be difficult for MIS to help solve the issues at hand. “Physical presence takes time,” Mr. Chen pointed out, “We tried Microsoft’s RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol), but it did not allow diagnosis of both the client side and backend simultaneously, which makes it challenging for the IT staff to communicate with the users. Something had to be done to simplify the maintenance process.”

    Smart automatic management system for improved medical care quality and energy efficiency

    To initiate automatic management of terminal equipment, an IT infrastructure that allows centralized management needs to be implemented. After a series of evaluations and tests, New Taipei City Hospital decided to introduce ASUS’s Thin Client architecture to replace all the computers in the clinics and customer service counters. The idea is to improve the operation quality of information system as well as the work efficiency and innovative ability of the IT team.

    Mr. Chen said that the ASUS Thin Client system reduces the time to troubleshoot for the client side computers. When there is a software update, ASUS Control Center (ACC) software puts it in the schedule and the terminal computers are updated automatically, which is very helpful for the establishment of the in-house automatic management process. On top of that, ACC features active reporting that alerts IT staff if anomalies occur at any one of the terminals, such as a spike in memory use, in the shortest possible time and to keep the client terminals up and running before a problem breaks out. The system messages accumulated in ACC in the long run are used as a reference for IT expansion of the information team.

    From a cost management point of view, a typical PC runs on 250W of power whereas ASUS Thin Client requires a maximum of only 40W. Considering the 80 terminals to be replaced at New Taipei City Hospital for the first stage, this is a very substantial amount of power saving. In addition, if anyone leaves their computer on after they checks out for the day, MIS is able to turn that computer off remotely through ACC, thus preventing unnecessary power consumption.

    The compact but sophisticated ASUS Thin Client contributes a great deal to the medical service quality for the doctors and nurses at New Taipei City Hospital. In the clinic rooms on the client side, desktop space is quite limited, because you have tons of things such as medical supplies, I/O equipment, and you need room to taking notes of the patients’ medical history record. When you have a PC on the desk, it makes life difficult for doctors.

    A Thin Client can be mounted on the back of the monitor to free up desktop space. “When there is a PC on the desk, people often bump into it due to the lack of room, trip over cables, or touch something they shouldn’t by accident. That compromised the quality of clinical tasks, and added extra pressure on the IT staff. Now with ACC Thin Client, most of these problems are a thing of the past. We now have much more work space, and as a result our working environment is now more comfortable, and our staff is more efficient than ever.”

    Active and enthusiastic customization service helped solve the compatibility problem in key systems

    During the assessment of solutions phase, the hospital placed significant emphasis on the follow-up support service from the manufacturer and system compatibility. With the assistance from the ASUS technical team, advice in relation to testing and integration was provided during the introduction process and ASUS helped enhance certain product features, allowing Thin Client and ASWM software to work on Windows XP. “For every customization the hospital required, ASUS delivered by converting every need into a feature. For example, ASUS helped add many file formats in the ACC-supported remote delivery software and modified the remote delivery function to be closer to what the hospital is used to.”

    Mr. Chen initially considered a virtual version of Thin Client system. After weighing the options, it became clear the ASUS Thin Clients were the best option since they can operate independent of terminal equipment, even in the case of network interruption. In addition, the overall benefits were much greater than what other solutions provide, and that was why New Taipei City Hospital chose ASUS’s solution over others’. With the successful experience in the first stage, Mr. Chen is now planning the next wave of upgrades, hoping to convert more PCs into ASUS Thin Clients. Next, he is planning to train the staff so they can replace parts on their own whenever needed, due to the modular design for easy access. Mr. Chen now sees the possibility that the staff will be able to bring the systems back online in a timely manner when necessary. The efficiency of the staff is translating to better quality of service for patients at the hospital. Time saved, running costs saved, and patients saved.

    ASUS Control Center (ACC) software

    ASUS Control Center is a whole new centralized IT management software. The software is capable of monitoring and controlling ASUS servers, workstations, and commercial products including notebooks, desktops, All-in-One (AiO) PCs, thin client, and digital signage.

    ASUS is focusing on providing convenient, suitable, secured and cost saving solutions for enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses, and data centers across every industry. With the help of ASUS Control Center, your organization is primed to deal with the demands of the most challenging modern IT environments.