8/1/2003 - Laurel Medical Management, a multi-provider physician’s practice with 20 employees, felt they weren’t delivering the level of patient care that they desired. Of great concern was their lack of access to patient data from a remote location. Multi-Tech Systems and Southern Business Solutions (SBS), a Multi-Tech Optimum Reseller, together solved the problem by installing an inexpensive Multi-Tech SOHO RouteFinder VPN solution to provide secure remote access to patient data for both the physicians and staff.
“At under $200, the Multi-Tech SOHO RouteFinder RF550VPN was an easy sell,” explains Brett Sims, owner of SBS. “In fact, Laurel Medical Management was skeptical about how easily this solution could be accomplished.”
The immediate problem for the physician’s office was when an on-call physician needed to make a medical decision for a patient another physician had already seen. Laurel Medical Management did not have a system in place to access the patient’s medical records off-site other than calling the other providers for the patient information. In addition, the physicians were spending too much extra time at the office to finish charting duties. They were looking for a solution that would allow them to tie into their electronic medical record (EMR) application from home.
To solve the problem, a Multi-Tech SOHO RouteFinder VPN was installed at the physician’s office and SSH Sentinel IPSec client software at five remote sites. The RouteFinder is connected to the Internet via a DSL line and the remote clients are also utilizing DSL or dial-up lines to access the Internet, providing fast seamless connections.
With the new VPN solution, the physicians are able to dial-in to the main office to securely access patient medical records and immediately access a patient’s history and previous prescriptions. “Now, if there are any questions when one physician is covering another physician’s patients or if a hospital’s emergency room calls, we are able to promptly advise on medications, treatments, allergies, etc.,” said Beverly Schwartzman, Practice Administrator, at Laurel Medical Management. “In addition, we can document the conversation into the EMR immediately. It is as if we were right in the office.” Furthermore, the physicians have the ability to finish their charting duties at home instead of being tied into the office.
The VPN also allows other employees to dial-in and connect directly to their desktops from home. Now, in the case of inclement weather, scheduling staff will be able to pull up the scheduling application, call patients, and reschedule appointments for a later time. Once the office reopens, the staff is not overwhelmed with trying to play catch up with patients.
The entire rollout of the VPN solution was quick and easy. It took less than three hours to get the RouteFinder RF550VPN up and running at the server site, and approximately one hour per each remote client.
“At a cost of less than $200 for the SOHO RouteFinder, the return on investment was immediate,” said Sims. “They are extremely happy with their new solution. In fact, now that we’ve erased any skepticism on how seamlessly a VPN can work, we plan on going back and upgrading the RouteFinder RF550VPN to an RF600VPN or an RF660VPN solution. The main reason is so that we can give them a Stateful Packet Inspection firewall, as well as content filtering and anti-virus protection.”
“Multi-Tech’s affordable solutions have allowed us to market VPN connectivity to other customers,” said Sims. “We are solving real business challenges with easy-to-install, highly economical solutions while providing our customers with the convenience of secure, remote connectivity as well as cost savings that go directly to their bottom line.”
In addition, the VPN solution allows SBS to more readily support the system by utilizing the connection to securely dial-in to their customer’s servers to troubleshoot network problems, provide maintenance, and check back-up operations. Also, upgrades can now be done after hours to minimize downtime for the practice. “With Multi-Tech’s RouteFinder VPN solution, we can provide better support for our customer, at a much faster speed and without the toll expense of a dial-up connection,” explains Sims.
About Southern Business Systems Southern Business Solutions, Inc., located in Cumming, Georgia, is a single source solution for any small business’ IT needs by providing products such as practice management, appointment scheduling, network faxing, messaging and point-of-sale. In addition, they provide e-commerce, web hosting, e-mail, and domain registration services, as well as, network design and installs. Their policy is to provide the best service for their customers and to ensure that every customer stays satisfied. For more information, contact SBS at 770-888-2252 or www.sbsmed.com.
An ISO 9001:2000 certified global manufacturer of award-winning Internet, remote access, and telephony products, Multi-Tech Systems provides end-to-end solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. Multi-Tech’s products are available through a worldwide network of business partners (distributors, resellers, system integrators, ISPs, and ISVs), or in embedded solutions from OEMs.
Privately held, Multi-Tech Systems has over 61 U.S. patents and numerous international patents. The company’s intellectual property portfolio includes patents covering transmission of multiplexed voice, data and video packets used in technologies such as Internet telephony, PC telephony, voice over IP or frame relay, and DSVD modems. For additional information, contact Multi-Tech at 800/328-9717 or 763/785-3500, via fax at 763/785-9874 or browse the company’s World Wide Web home page at http://www.multitech.com.
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