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321 posts

Ultimate Geek


Topic # 32116 13-Apr-2009 14:24
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Background:
3 small heathcare facilities with long term patients. Each facility in a different town.

Question:
I want some way to keep everybody (incl. doctors, nurses, managers, caregivers etc) in the loop regarding patient records, changes to patients medications + other things like staff contact list, documents & forms etc.

Is an intranet the best tool for this?  Any other suggestions?

Thanks




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  Reply # 206670 13-Apr-2009 14:55
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Your best bet is proberly to setup a vpn,

and share them across them to authorised users, as being medical info you would want it secure



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Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 206671 13-Apr-2009 14:58
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Secure -most definately

VPN - have to do some research on this...I know it is an acronym for Virtual Private Network but thats as far as my knowledge goes.




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  Reply # 206676 13-Apr-2009 15:45
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VPN in basic terms for how you will use it is a secure and private tunnel between the 3 remote locations.

So, on one PC somewhere have a folder which all the documents you want to share are in. This could be 2 or 3 or 4 or more folders on more than 1 PC if you wish, the key here is only have the document in one place or else you will end up all editing different versions and ending up with multiple different versions scattered across mutliple towns = messy.

Again ideally, the internet gateway (ADSL router if you're keeping it simple) in each location would be capable of being a VPN endpoint (the cheapies won't do this). Configure all 3 appropriately so they talk to each other and then the PC's in the different locations will all think they are on one local network making the shared folder(s) from above accessible, provided the PC that the folder is shared on is turned on and connected to the network of course.

If the router as a VPN endpoint option isn't an option, you can use software to do it, with the PC it is running on becoming the VPN endpoint. Much nicer to have hardware do it.



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Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 206684 13-Apr-2009 16:21
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I had a read of How Stuff Works to get a bit of an understanding (can you tell that I am a noob).  Thanks Scott for your description. 

What about the user interface side of things.  Intranet?  I am assuming an intranet could use a VPN.




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  Reply # 206685 13-Apr-2009 16:25
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JimmyLizar: What about the user interface side of things.? Intranet?? I am assuming an intranet could use a VPN.


Yeah, it all depends how tricky you want to get and given your self-confessed noob status you could be biting off more than you can chew, it is certainly more than I can :-)

Ideally the ability to restrict access to edit and maybe even read some files from some people would be nice, but in it's simplest form a bunch of Word and Excel docs in a folder that is shared as read only would stop all but the person using the PC and/or login they are stored on changing them.

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  Reply # 206724 13-Apr-2009 21:50
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JimmyLizar: Background:
3 small heathcare facilities with long term patients. Each facility in a different town.


I would suggest a web-based application running over SSL (the small padlock in the corner of your browser, often seen when logged into internet banking) for secure purposes.  The beauty with web is no need to worry about what a user is running (Vista or XP, Firefox or IE), and they can access the system from anywhere.

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Reply # 206732 13-Apr-2009 22:14
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Hey,

A VPN is certainly the way to go, however as you would be exchanging patient records/details it might not be as simple as just setting up a VPN and go.  Their are privacy factors and MOH requirements that might need to be met. You might be better to join the Health network.  The MOH provides a list of authorized VPN suppliers who confirm to their standards and requirements.

As to a web based app. while nice I would most likely say that this would not meet the NZ MOH guidelines, unless it was running across something like healhtLink.

MOH = Ministery of Health

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  Reply # 206811 14-Apr-2009 11:53
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nate:
JimmyLizar: Background:
3 small heathcare facilities with long term patients. Each facility in a different town.


I would suggest a web-based application running over SSL (the small padlock in the corner of your browser, often seen when logged into internet banking) for secure purposes.  The beauty with web is no need to worry about what a user is running (Vista or XP, Firefox or IE), and they can access the system from anywhere.


And run this on a VPN. Even over SSL, if your server is connected directly to the Internet potentially people could still use a vulnerability to have access to your server - assuming the server is not correctly maintained, patched, etc (which I assume will be the case).

On a VPN you still have risks, but it's a more controlled environment, and I assume the machines connecting to the network would be "clean" through a series of policies, etc.





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  Reply # 211966 3-May-2009 22:11
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nate:
JimmyLizar: Background:
3 small heathcare facilities with long term patients. Each facility in a different town.


I would suggest a web-based application running over SSL (the small padlock in the corner of your browser, often seen when logged into internet banking) for secure purposes.  The beauty with web is no need to worry about what a user is running (Vista or XP, Firefox or IE), and they can access the system from anywhere.


Seconded. VPNs are a dieing tech. and the cloud is the new place to share info. You really want to look at particular software suites out there that are web based and are purpose built for these applications. Unfortunately I'm not in the healthcare indsutry and don't know whats out there but I'm sure if you do some research on Google you may be able to find something. What would probably be useful for you too is if they can host it.





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