Magazine Article | August 1, 2004

Web-Based Server Gives Physicians Remote Access To Data

Source: Business Solutions Magazine
Business Solutions, August 2004

The Marquette General Health System (MGHS) (Marquette, MI) includes a regional medical center, numerous primary and specialty care physician offices, and partnerships with 14 community hospitals in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. With facilities spread over a 300-plus mile radius, there was a growing need to provide physicians, staff, and vendors with remote access to e-mails, Lotus Notes, and other data.

For example, a physician 100 miles away from a hospital where a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test is administered may need to perform a preliminary read on the image, either from at home or on the road. MGHS's previous remote access solution was complex and limited in the applications and types of computers it could support. It also was unreliable -- employees trying to access data remotely often were unable to log onto the system.

Provide Access To X-Rays
F5 Networks, Inc. (Seattle) installed its FirePass network appliance for MGHS in November 2002. The remote access system allows employees, vendors, and patients to view applications from any Web-enabled device, including PCs and PDAs. It requires no special software or configuration on the remote device and no modifications to the back end resources being accessed. MGHS can now provide remote access to physicians who need to check their e-mails, calendars, medical journals, and other documents. Remote access has been a particularly useful tool for the radiology department, which had been frustrated by the slow download speed of other systems it tested. With FirePass, physicians and radiologists can access MRIs and CT scans in the time it takes to open a Web browser.