Case Study: Just what the doctor ordered

16 May 2005

The Blackrock Clinic is one of Ireland’s most prestigious medical establishments. For over 20 years it has set the standard for excellence in medical care. The clinic began operations in 1984 as an outpatient clinic and 101 consultants delivered services through the 37 consulting suites. Those consultants were able to admit patients from 1986 when the hospital opened.

Today, Blackrock Clinic has 120 beds and sees almost 90,000 outpatients annually. As the Clinic has grown, it has embraced new technology and not just medical technology. The clinic’s website provides not only information about the facilities but has an online bill payment system.

Internally, the clinic is committed to using ICT to improve the quality of service for its patients. A key part of this has been the development of an IT infrastructure that allows users to connect remotely to the hospitals they support around the country.

In 2000, the Clinic deployed a new patient administration system using Citrix 2000 as a point solution. This was its first use of Citrix. Since then it has made extensive use of the technology for other projects and with the assistance of Intertech, Citrix’s Platinum Partner in Ireland and one of the country’s leading technology solution providers, embarked on a major upgrade and consolidation project. “We wanted to improve the business efficiency of our computer systems and to do that we decided to expand Citrix to provide a better service to our users,” explains John Hayes, IT Manager at Blackrock Clinic. “We decided to roll out all our applications on Citrix instead of just two because we wanted to gain the benefits that come with a thin client environment”.

According to Hayes the Citrix Upgrade Project allows the users within the hospital to have network stability, reliability and have a more responsive IT resource to provide a more value-added service, as opposed to continuous fire fighting. Because Blackrock Clinic can now host all of its applications on its servers rather than individual PCs, it can now roll out more applications, combined with the ability to update and upgrade in a faster timescale and more cost-effectively.

“The big factor is that Citrix allows the clinic to lay the foundations to develop as the business needs and direction of the hospital changes over time,” says Hayes. “The main areas of business benefit are the improvements within the outpatient departments, who deal with a huge intake of patients who are continually coming and going. It is estimated that we have from 200 to 300 outpatients per day visiting the Blackrock Clinic.

“With the new implementation, we are seeing a dramatic improvement in the service we are providing such as in the areas of less patient waiting time, quicker registration of patients, ability to easily produce statements and invoices as well as producing medical reports. The service level has even increased in our users’ departments. Whereas before, the users used to say that they were spending forever waiting on the system, it is now out-performing them. The feedback is phenomenal from these users for which the project has been a huge success.”

By David Stewart

Pictured, from left, are: Declan Hughes, managing director at Intertech; John Hayes, IT manager Blackrock Clinic; and Andy Miller, sales manager Intertech