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LANDesk provides cost-effective, secure cloud solution to non-profit hospital network

Background: Gwinnett Hospital System (GHS) is a not-for-profit healthcare network serving Gwinnett County and surrounding areas of Atlanta, Georgia with a wide array of high-quality services for more than 60 years. Gwinnett is taking the lead in the Atlanta area as one of the best healthcare providers in the region by not only providing vital and compassionate services, but by investing in early intervention and preventive care. In fact, GHS has even been named one of “America’s safest hospitals” by Forbes.

Challenges: Today, GHS serves the largest base of patients in the area at facilities that include the flagship Gwinnett Medical Center, three hospitals and additional supporting medical facilities. More than 4,300 people are employed by GHS and more than 800 physicians are affiliated with GHS hospitals and clinics.Gwinnett Hospital System struggled to manage its infrastructure of desktops, servers, handhelds and laptops without the benefit of a complete management solution. GHS’s existing solution was incomplete and rapidly depreciating in the value it returned because it wasn’t being maintained or updated.GHS had no remote control, no patching; nothing to allow them to remotely or centrally manage infrastructure. “What we did have was a lot of ‘sneakernet’, which resulted in a lot of time wasted to try and take advantage of technology that was only half working or not working at all,” said Keith Brown, Gwinnett Hospital System network administrator.GHS did an extensive evaluation when looking for a systems management solution. During the search, the hospital system had to keep in mind that, as a not-for-profit organization, there wasn’t a lot of capital available for training or added infrastructure. At the end of its evaluation, Gwinnett Hospital System chose LANDesk® solutions. “The ease of use really stood out for us. Our tech group is taxed with so much, it’s hard for them to stay up on everything they need to know. And when you sit in front of the LANDesk® console, you can easily connect the dots without a lot of work. Visually you can identify what you need to do on your own, most of the time,”Keith said. “How well the LANDesk solution integrated, with less hardware, was a big factor in our decision, too.”Other capabilities that made the hospital system choose LANDesk included LANDesk® Security Suite and LANDesk® Cloud Services Appliance.

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Solution provided by LANDesk: No organization is free from the ongoing need to deploy Microsoft patches quickly and cost effectively.Gwinnett Hospital System had tried a number of products to automate the process but nothing worked very well. However, after installing LANDesk® Security Suite technology with the accompanying LANDesk® Patch Manager solution, the hospital system found exactly what it needed. Not only can Gwinnett staff manage the installation of Microsoft OS patches for Win9x and above, they can also manage Linux, HP UX and Novell patches. In addition, they can patch applications, drivers and BIOs upgrades.“Patching is by far one of my biggest battles every day,” shared Keith. “It’s also one of the biggest, most appreciated features of our LANDesk® solution. Patching with LANDesk is flexible, which allows us to do a lot of things. We determine how we want it to patch.”LANDesk® Cloud Service Appliance enabled Keith and his IT administrators to manage and secure field-based or traveling laptops across the Internet in the cloud, without a dedicated leased line or VPN and without punching a hole in the firewall. “We’re trying to incorporate doctors’ practices into our support network, which has proven quite challenging. The gateway (Cloud Services Appliance) gives us visibility into the doctors’ client systems without impacting those systems,” Keith said.With its patent-pending technology, companies such as Gwinnett Hospital System can use any existing Internet connections to securely mange any user anywhere, regardless of location, as though they were sitting down the hall. This is done via a SSL (secure socket-layer) connection between the managed system and the core server. A certificate issued from the core server secures a pipeline and establishes a trusted relationship. All data is then SSL encoded and management agents on remote systems authenticate to and obtain a client certificate from the core server, authorizing the management agents on the client systems to communicate.

Summary: With LANDesk® Security Suite and LANDesk Cloud Appliance, the Gwinnett IT team has a cost-effective, secure solution capable of managing the company’s fast-paced, expansive network of hospitals and clinics. The team has been able to incorporate doctors’ client systems into the support network, without impacting those systems and without compromising the network’s security. The Gwinnet IT team has been so impressed with this solution that they are now assessing how they can further take advantage of LANDesk’s solutions, such as automated asset discovery and inventory management, in addition to asset monitoring and change control alerting.

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