Dell and Intel have published research showing that clinicians in ten hospitals across Europe achieved significant time and security gains from use of Dell’s Mobile Clinical Computing.

The technology allows virtual desktop access and single sign-on for staff, so that patient records can be viewed multiple times from different devices, and clinicians spend less time logging on and off systems.

In the UK, the system was trialled by Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. Other hospitals participating in the trial for 4-6 weeks in 2010 were located in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. In total, 75 of their clinicians trialled the technology for 1,500 days.

Research commissioned by the two companies found that it traditionally took clinicians an average of two minutes to log into the various applications available to them. It also found that the MCC technology was able to reduce this by an average of 83% (with a range of 71% to 94%).

Hans Solgaard, programme manager for Dell Healthcare and Life Science EMEA, told eHealth Insider: “In one trial the hospital was using MCC to access medical records.

“Before they would have to log in and log out constantly, which would take around two minutes every time – just to look at patient information such as a result for 20-30 seconds. The MCC allowed them to log in once and view the record from any location at any time.”

Solgaard said there were other benefits that increased staff productivity, such as being able to press the print button and having the document sent automatically to the nearest printer.

He further highlighted security benefits, such as staff no longer using generic log-ins, and being able to set rules so that certain applications could only be viewed in certain locations.

He added: “For example, if you were looking at a child’s record, you could set that so that it can only be viewed in the children’s ward, not in the canteen.”

The trial involved a number of Dell certified partners including Microsoft, Semantic, Citrix and VMWare.

The research was commissioned from Ignetica, which undertook a workflow analysis for each site and before and after the trial of the technology, and applied analysis to determine the financial value of the changes observed.

Across all the trial settings, it identified an average of £1,350 economic value per user per year, although this varied wildly (from £103-£3,900) according to the amount of use the system got and the mobility of the user.

Solgaard told EHI: “A lot of the features of MCC, such as single sign-on, have been around for a number of years but this is about pulling together those best of breed solutions and building and understanding how they can transform clinical workflows.”

He acknowledged there was a cost to implementing the technology, and said: “The organisation will need desktops or thin clients and a good network.

“If the e-health is basic and very much paper based they won’t really benefit; although those types of organisation rarely exist anymore. If you move to other extreme – fully integrated EPR using e-prescribing – that’s where you’ll see real benefits.”

However, he said that to turn a normal desktop environment into an MCC virtualised environment would cost around £55 per user per year over five years, based on a 1,000 device deployment.

Since the end of the trials last August, Dell has been working with the organisations and its partners to integrate changes identified by the trials. It is now launching the MCC product globally.