University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust has implemented a virtual desktop infrastructure in A&E to give staff easier access to Lorenzo.

The VMWare Horizon View solution lets users log-in to the system from any hospital computer using their NHS smartcards while maintaining their applications and Spine sessions.

IT manager Andy Wicks told eHealth Insider that the cloud solution was live across all emergency departments and had been a “game changer for clinicians."

Subject to business case approval, the trust is looking to roll it out throughout Morecambe Bay.

Morecambe Bay became the first to introduce CSC’s Lorenzo electronic patient record system as part of the National Programme for IT in the NHS in 2010, but has run into several problems with the implementation.

“Our problem in the emergency department is around accessibility and making Lorenzo more accessible. We got the login down to about 15 seconds, but when clinicians need to log on several times, that takes up a lot of time.”

Wicks explained that by using the virtual desktop, together with a single sign-on solution from Imprivata and Callisto Spine session persistence software, mobility for staff had increased.

“The desktop is hosted on a virtual machine. You walk up to the PC, use the smart card and log on to Lorenzo and PACS, you can do what you need to do, when you pull your card out and it will lock the machine.

“Then when you go on to another machine, and log on there, and your session will be right where you left off,” he said.

The trust has been working on the solution with a number of companies on the solution.

It worked with BDS Solutions on the VMware virtualisation project and with Business Management Services on the single sign-on and session persistence aspects.

Nigel Elson of Isosec explained: "We worked with NHS Connecting for Health and Morecambe Bay to develop a solution that maintained the Spine application sessions when the card was moved out of range, but maintained strong security through the use of screen blanking and customisable timers.

"This was a case of a good group of products and suppliers working with the trust to deliver a great solution."

The trust is piloting the system in outpatient departments as well. “In an outpatient setting, a consultant uses two rooms,” said Wicks.

“Before the consultation, the doctor would look at the patient’s records in one room, and then walk next door to the examination room and see the patient. He’s then leaving the information in the other room.”

Doctors would previously have to write the information down on paper and bring it into the consultation, but now could simply log on to the computer while examining the patient and still have all the information on the screen.

He added that the new infrastructure also solved an information governance issue as there was no risk of staff staying logged on to the system when they walked away from the computer.

More than 4,500 staff are trained on the system, with up to 1,500 users per day accessing it using smart cards.