Healthcare IT & Technology


Case Study - Remote-Based Services Solution


Winthrop Management Services provided IT consulting, management services, and support to the client for the development of a remote management solution for their anesthesia products.   The task performed was to investigate feasibility, monitor and oversee work to be performed between the client and a chosen vendor for solution integration, and customer rollout support.  The responsibilities and support Winthrop Management Services provided was a complete end-to-end project management engagement consisting of risk assessment and management, metrics, quality monitoring and reporting, independent audit and compliance services, needs analysis, data collection strategy and analysis, one-on-one vendor/subcontractor interviews, report development and production, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and subject matter expertise. The Winthrop Management Services technical team analyzed the client’s needs and concluded that multiple factors must be considered when developing/identifying technologies for remote administration and maintenance of anesthesia machines located at their customers’ locations.  Beyond the need for a transport medium, the solution must also address security and compliance for both the end-customer and the client.  Factors that needed to be addressed included:

-           A ubiquitous, low-cost, and high bandwidth transport method.

-           Ability to view/access equipment located behind firewalls on the customers’ network.

-           Meet customer’s security and compliance requirements and governances.

-           Minimize disruption to both customer and client operations and network configurations.

The conclusion of the technical feasibility resulted in a plan that would allow the client to leverage the Internet as a transport backbone for the remote connectivity, allow HM to leverage the embedded intelligence of their products, and enable remotely located support personnel the ability to access the systems management interfaces and database to perform calibration services as if they were onsite.   Winthrop Management Services concluded that internal development of the solution was not feasible due to the client’s limited knowledge of IT networking and protocols.  The chosen technical solution utilized an encrypted outbound-based communication technology that allowed for the client to securely access the anesthesia machines on their customer’s private networks without violating their security policy or opening vulnerabilities on their network.  From the clients’ support center, service technicians could achieve on-demand connections to the anesthesia machines and gain native access to the systems maintenance ports to perform administration, calibration, and/or remediation. Upon completion of a service connection, the on-demand tunnel was removed leaving no trail for security risks.  Additionally all remote sessions included an audit trail for customer and compliance reporting.

As a direct result of Winthrop Management Services’s project management and oversight the turnkey solution was delivered to the customer and they were able to launch their remote-based services offering in December 2007, eight months ahead of schedule and 50% below targeted the cost/budget. It is currently used to administer remote-based services on several life-critical units, and  enable the clients service personnel to address systems issues before they reach a critical state, and to fully diagnose system failures prior to on-site personnel deployment resulting in a 40% reduction in services costs and onsite travel required for remediation and preventative maintenance visits.  

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