Why Hosted Desktops are THE Solution for Multi-Office Medical Practices

Posted by John Feucht on Oct 15, 2014 7:30:00 AM

Ask anyone who runs a multi-location medical practice: it’s no walk in the park.

Everything you need to do at one office, you now have to do at three or four. You need to coordinate schedules for who is going to be staffed at which location, plan for what hours each office will be open, and keep every location in sync and running smoothly so you can best serve your patients no matter where they are.

On top of it all, rather than make it easier, sometimes technology makes it even harder. Three office locations means three times as many computers, each with their own desktops, software, and peripherals. If a user saves something directly onto their computer, when they use a computer at a different office, they realize they don’t have the file they need. If everyone relies on the server at the main office, when the main office’s power or internet connection goes down, every other office grinds to a halt as well.

While there may be no magic bullet to make everything about running a multi-office practice easy, there is one solution that can solve all these IT frustrations and make technology a huge help rather a hindrance.
Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

Wouldn’t it be nice to just have one computer you could access from anywhere?

No more relying on the main office server. No more files on the other computer, at the other office. No more worrying about which computer you have to use to upload or download your dictation files, or which computers might not have the X-Ray reading software installed. Just one computer, with everything you need, no matter where you are.

That’s what you get with a hosted desktop.

A hosted desktop is a virtual computer that contains all of your files and software. The desktop is linked to a hosted server, and you can access it from any physical computer. You can log in to this “same” computer and have the same setup and access regardless of what computer, laptop, or tablet you are using.

The Benefits of Hosted Desktops

But hosted desktops aren’t just about convenience. They provide a number of benefits over physical machines:
  •  Data Security: With hosted desktops, secured log-ins are encrypted, which allows your administrator to restrict access to specific files and applications. Data is also backed up in case a server goes down, insuring that you’ll be able to access your work files even if the primary system is down. 
  • Backup: During a user’s login/logout phase, all files are saved on the hosted server. Since your daily work is automatically backed up, potentially disastrous scenarios like computer viruses or laptop theft does not mean that you will lose access to all your files. Everything is securely saved every day.
  • Accessibility: You have the ability to access work documents and programs from whichever office you are working at for the day. Your data is stored securely in a data center, which can be accessed through a virtual desktop, which allows you to access it through any internet-enabled device.
  • Cost: Hosted desktops reduce IT infrastructure costs because you can get away with using cheaper hardware (sometimes called a “terminal”) instead of investing in an expensive laptop. Your actual laptops’ performance specs don’t matter, since the computation power will be coming from the hosted server. Alternatively, you can create a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy where employees can use their own personal laptops to access their hosted desktop. Also, since hosted desktops run off of a “infrastructure as a service” model, you are not responsible for any of the maintenance, monitoring, or upgrading the software (which would require an IT person on staff).

How much does all this cost? A hosted desktop solution usually runs around $150/user/month including unlimited support, or around $120/user/month if you were willing to sign up for an hourly support charge model.

New Call-to-action By cutting costs, increasing accessibility and scalability, improving data security, and just plain making life easier, hosted desktops can be a godsend for small practices that operate across multiple locations and require multiple applications.

Hosted desktops are just one of many benefits of using the cloud to cut costs and increase your productivity. To learn more about the cloud and other popular hosted services, download our free whitepaper, “Cloud Computing for Business Owners.”

Topics: IT advice for small business owners