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With Google Apps and Chrome for Work, a top medical centre solidifies its reputation as a cutting-edge healthcare provider

Living up to its illustrious namesake – an early-18th-century London hospital that served local residents – Connecticut’s Middlesex Hospital (US) prides itself on community healthcare that combines personalised treatment with a commitment to advanced medical technology. In creating its integrated health system, the hospital assembled world-class medical technology and some of the state’s highest patient satisfaction ratings.

In addition to cutting-edge health technology, Middlesex has also embraced an innovative computing infrastructure. More than 3,000 employees throughout the health-care network now count on Google Apps—calendaring, scheduling, email, instant messaging, and websites—and, the browser that powers them, Chrome for Work—to easily and powerfully collaborate with one another.

'After reading "From Edison to Google" and analysing two options, Microsoft or Google, we decided on Google because it best met our needs and vision for the future,' said Lud Johnson, CIO for Middlesex Hospital. 'Google Apps completely eliminated Microsoft Outlook and minimised our Microsoft Office needs by 80%. This was a dramatic cost savings in software licensing, hardware and support. Google Apps with Chrome is one of the very few technology projects we’ve undertaken that actually cost us far less than what we had previously.'

Speed, simplicity, and security

Earlier this year, the IT department examined the company’s choice of web browsers. As an integral component of the hospital’s Internet interface, a browser facilitates critical interaction for medical and administrative personnel — from email to messaging, collaborative websites and shared documents. The predominantly PC-based organisation had been using Internet Explorer as its primary browser, with a smaller percentage of content managers operating on Firefox.

The dilemma about which browser to designate for internal use was compounded by the realisation that updated domains couldn’t be accessed within the same browser due to a cookie-based issue. Rick Schubach, Director of Information Technology for Middlesex Hospital, started testing the Chrome browser and realised that it could better utilise gadgets, extensions and apps than either of the existing browsers. When Google introduced its MSI at the end of 2010, it became easier to deploy and manage Chrome throughout the organisation.

With Chrome for Work tapped as one of the company’s two supported browsers, Middlesex staffers have embraced Google’s now-familiar interface and speed to access the Internet and HTML5-based resources like Google Apps. Employees especially appreciate the information portal on the intranet, with its integrated calendar, documents and sites, although IE is still supported to provide access to some older, legacy applications.

Middlesex employees are actively taking advantage of Chrome-only features, like Desktop Alerts. 'When our staff first moved from Outlook to Gmail and before we upgraded to Chrome, we missed receiving notifications for email and chat messages,' said Schubach. 'The feature is built in to Chrome, making the case for deploying Apps and Chrome at the same time an even easier decision.'

'Google tools are all about simplicity. I was concerned about upgrading the physicians to Chrome since they were familiar with Internet Explorer, but it turned out to be an easy transition,' adds Schubach.

About Middlesex Hospital

  • Top 100 Hospitals in the U.S.
  • Middletown, CT
  • www.midhosp.org

Goals

  • Work and collaborate with efficiency
  • Reduce IT management costs

Approach

  • Deployed Google Apps throughout organisation
  • Decided on a dual-browser solution; IE7 and Chrome
  • Gave employees access to Google Chrome to make the most of Google Apps and the modern web

Results

  • Enhanced employee productivity and collaboration
  • Reduced training and repair needs
  • Enhanced search ability