Healthcare organizations are beginning to use cloud based virtual desktops instead of loaded PCs for users in a number of different scenarios. For example:
Open Enrollment: Once a year, healthcare payors hire hundreds of temporary employees for a couple of months to process open enrollment changes by patients. The payers could provision a PC for each temporary worker, but increasingly they are opting to provision an inexpensive thin client and a virtual desktop with the required applications for each worker.
Mobile Health: Increasingly doctors, nurses, and other providers want to be able to access patient information from their own phone or tablet. Rather than installing the required applications on these devices, many are opting to just run them on a personal, dedicated virtual desktop that can be accessed from anywhere on any of their devices.
M&A Integration: There is a lot of consolidation taking place in the healthcare industry. When a merger occurs, a large number of users often have to switch and immediately start using different applications. Many acquirers are opting to roll this out for users on virtual desktop, either as a permanent solution or a temporary solution until new corporate PCs with the proper applications loaded can be provisioned. When implementing a virtual desktop solution, it is important that the virtual desktops are secure and that ePHI is stored and processed in accordance with applicable regulations and compliance standards.
Project Hosts' HIPAA/HITRUST Security Envelop
Project Hosts has created an environment on Microsoft Azure that has been audited and certified to be compliant with both HIPAA and HITRUST security standards. Within this “Security Envelope”, Project Hosts can provision 2 different kinds of virtual desktop for users:
• A Remote Desktop session where a user can access a set of corporate applications
• A personal Windows 10 desktop for a user on a dedicated Azure virtual machine
The former is often used when there are a well-defined set of enterprise applications required for a user (e.g. Open Enrollment). The latter is often used as a complete PC replacement (e.g. Mobile Health).