Magazine Article | October 23, 2006

Remote Device Management Enables Rapid Deployment

Source: Field Technologies Magazine
Integrated Solutions, November 2006

Omnicell provides patient safety solutions used throughout healthcare facilities — in the pharmacy, nursing units, surgical services — all the way to the patient's bedside. Its MedGuard line of solutions includes systems for physician order management, automated pharmacy retrieval, medication packaging and dispensing, and nursing workflow automation. The company offers bar code systems, cabinet-based supply management, and Web-based procurement in the medical supply chain. The Omnicell systems dispense medications at the point of use, ensure the correct drug is given and charged to the correct patient, and automatically track inventory costs.   

Omnicell faces the ongoing business challenge of delivering equipment and customer service, while introducing new revenue streams and complying with regulatory changes, such as those associated with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Omnicell knew that if it could increase availability while reducing costs, it would improve patient safety and gain an advantage over its competitors.

After evaluating options, Omnicell developed and deployed proactive remote monitoring software for patient safety and data/system security. After an eight-hospital pilot test, nearly 600 hospitals deployed the Omnicell vSuite and vDirector solutions, which proactively and remotely monitor software applications and hardware status and alert service personnel to potential problems before system failures occur.

The Omnicell vSuite service solution is powered by Questra Corp.’s Internet-based and firewall-compatible IDM (intelligent device management) software, which made it possible for Omnicell to rapidly roll out the program while protecting mission-critical servers and vital patient data. The Questra IDM allows Omnicell’s employees to use vDirector to monitor the performance of its customers’ systems and proactively diagnose and repair problems as they are discovered.   

vDirector automatically sends alerts to Omnicell when it detects substandard performance or problems such as data backup processes that do not conform to policy. Technicians can then correct the problems before data is lost. Additionally, vDirector sends automatic software update messages to ensure the current versions of critical software applications (e.g. virus protection) are installed. Auditing and reporting is also completed with vDirector. vDirector’s Internet connectivity allows Omnicell technical support to receive alerts and intervene online to correct problems from remote locations.

 Questra IDM technology enabled rapid deployment and maintenance of the Omnicell vSuite. During the deployment of vDirector, Omnicell began the next major phase of the vSuite service program – installing vCommander and vManager.  vCommander provides support by monitoring server platforms and interfaces. It ensures systems operate within preset tolerance ranges and detects precursors to failure, such as hard disk and interface errors. vManager adds important software and platform life cycle management functions, such as remote deployment and verification of Omnicell software upgrades, antivirus updates, and operating system patches.