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Metro Health and Wyse Technology Bring Reform to Healthcare IT

Wyse Technology, the global leader in thin computing and client virtualization, today announced another successful customer implementation. Metro Health Village, located near Grand Rapids, Michigan, is one of the most comprehensive health care providers in west Michigan. Its staff of approximately 1,000 doctors and nurses provide care to nearly 11,000 inpatients each year, handle nearly 50,000 emergency room visits, and 320,000 visits to the outpatient centers each year. In all cases, patient records are accessed, updated and managed via thin clients from Wyse Technology.

"No one knows exactly what shape healthcare reform will take," according to Bill Lewkowski, Executive VP and CIO at Metro Health, "but what is clear to me is that the path to healthcare IT reform is through virtualization. From Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) to physician collaboration to HIPAA compliance to IT costs, there are too many benefits to virtualization to ignore."

Metro Health Village is a groundbreaking concept and the first of its kind in the nation. The 170-acre state-of-the-art campus is far more than home to the first suburban hospital in the region. It's an entire community of support services, retail, restaurants, and more with the new Metro Health Hospital as its central focal point.

In 2007, Metro Health delivered on a vision of a groundbreaking concept in community and health wellness by opening Metro Health Village. The first of its kind in the nation, the 170-acre health care village is an integrated campus of retail, health care, medical fitness, medical office and general office all within a pedestrian friendly marketplace. Every aspect of Metro Health Village is designed with the community and environment in mind, and the new Metro Health Hospital is its central focal point.

When Metro Health Hospital was constructed, Lewkowski's mandate was to ensure that patient information was immediately accessible to authorized personnel across this new campus, and even more widely through the Internet.

"Healthcare is all about information," Lewkowski added. "That information has to move in real-time among team members coordinating care for a patient. It also has to move rapidly to the patient's location—from surgery suites to patient rooms to the front desk to the pharmacy, faster than a patient can be wheeled from one location to another. Virtual desktops from Wyse provide us with this capability and more."

Metro Health currently has Wyse thin clients deployed throughout Metro Health Village. Approximately 4,000 employee sessions are always running in Metro Health's data centers. Employees—clinicians, pharmacists, receptionists—simply go up to any of the approximately 1,250 Wyse V90 Windows XP Embedded thin client workstations in the hospital, enter their login information, and immediately see the same screen they had up when they logged out of their last session. It takes fewer than 15 seconds for a doctor to access a patient's information rather than the several minutes it would take to log in to a PC, open up the applications, and call up the data.

Wyse Device Manager is used to securely manage the thin clients deployed throughout Metro Health Village organization for asset management, configuration management, diagnostics, and firmware updates for thin clients and supported smart devices. Wyse TCX is also in place at Metro Health to assure that the end user experience with audio, video and multimedia files is as good as or better than a PC experience.

"To think of Wyse only in terms of hardware is to do them a disservice," continued Lewkowski. "I've been consistently and thoroughly impressed with the virtualization software offerings from Wyse. The breadth of their offerings means they can completely replicate the PC experience, only without the baggage that comes with PCs."

Metro Health users work with hundreds of applications, but the most critical applications include EPIC electronic medical record (EMR) and clinical systems, iSite digital radiology, and various McKesson applications that address patient management, billing, and other administrative needs.

Lewkowski has found that the total cost of ownership of this new solution is substantially lower than that of a PC-based solution due to greater ease of management. Six people maintain about 4,000 backend sessions, for a ratio of approximately one staff member per 600 sessions. When Lewkowski compares that to the staff numbers he would expect to need to maintain 4,000 PCs, he believes he would need at least one or two more full-time employees, at a fully loaded cost of $70,000 each. Plus, thin client workstations use less electricity than PCs: a savings of about $60 per year per unit, for a five-year savings of $375,000 for the hospital's 1250 thin-client workstations.

"As Bill and his team at Metro Health have demonstrated, virtualization offers enormous benefits to the healthcare industry," according to Maryam Alexandrian, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Channels at Wyse Technology. "Digitization and efficiency go hand in hand in the world of healthcare, and virtualized data centers and desktops are helping today's leading healthcare organizations move away from personal computers. From the perspective of compliance, security, TCO and patient care, the benefits of virtual desktops over PCs are too great to ignore."

For more information on Metro Health's use of Wyse Technology, download the complete case study at: http://www.wyse.com/solutions/healthcare/

Wyse Technology and Healthcare

Wyse has been providing thin client and client virtualization solutions to the healthcare industry since 1995. With Wyse in place, IT administrators are replacing their high-cost, high-maintenance PCs with thin clients. The benefits to healthcare organizations include having a safer computing environment, lower TCO, greater energy efficiency, and less maintenance; all while helping organizations make the move to Electronic Health Records, maintaining HIPAA compliance, safeguarding sensitive patient and employee information, and supporting a mobile medical staff.

About Wyse Technology

Wyse Technology is the global leader in thin computing-based virtualization software and hardware solutions. Wyse and its strategic partners, including, Citrix®, IBM®, Microsoft®, Novell®, VMware®, and others deliver the innovative hardware, infrastructure software, and services that formulate the benefits of cloud computing, virtualization and Green IT. These thin computing solutions allow consumers, public and private enterprises to access the application information they need, but with better security, manageability, and at a much lower total cost of ownership than a PC. Wyse is headquartered in San Jose, California, with offices worldwide.

For more information, visit the Wyse website at http://www.wyse.com or call 1-800-GET-WYSE

* All brands and names mentioned herein are trademarks of their respective holders.

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