Hospitals reduce IT support hours with remote desktop management

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is hoping to reduce the time spent fixing user’s computer problems to just a day with the rollout of desktop management software.

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Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is hoping to reduce the time spent fixing user’s computer problems to just a day with the rollout of desktop management software.

The Liverpool-based hospital’s CIO, Dr Zafar Chaudry, has already implemented the remote desktop management software from Kaseya at the Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, whose IT he also manages.

As well as a one-off payment for the software, the hospitals have a rolling 12-month support contract with Kasaya to receive automatic upgrades.

The software allows Chaudry’s team of IT technicians, three for each hospital, to provide remote desktop support.

“To reimage a PC, we used to send a guy to a desktop with all the disks, and it would take two days to do so. With Kaseya, you can manage the user’s infrastructure remotely in most cases,” Chaudry said.

The children’s hospital will implement the Kaseya software in the next six weeks. It will support at least 2,000 desktops and 45 servers, according to the hospital’s last manual audit, conducted about six months ago.

The software runs on Windows and uses a SQL database. Although initially, Chaudry tried running the software on a virtual server, he found that it worked much faster on a physical server.

Chaudry said that before the Kaseya product was rolled out two years ago at the women’s hospital, where 4,700 users require IT support, it would take five or six days to resolve each problem. It currently takes six to seven days to resolve issues at the children’s hospital.

“My target is to fully resolve problems within 24 hours. We are achieving that at the women’s hospital, but not at the children’s hospital,” he said.

In addition, Chaudry uses the software to carry out audits on everything connected to the network. He said that a full manual audit would normally take around six months to carry out, and take up the full time of one technician, whereas the software allows him to conduct an audit in around two days, and produce real-time reports.

“It [the Kaseya software] is web-based and wizard-based, so it’s very easy to use, and I use it myself to run management reports,” he said.

The women's hospital has invested around £5 million in IT over the last four years, while Alder Hey Children's Hospital plans to invest around £2 million in IT this year.

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