Improving the Citrix User Experience

Steve Garske, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA)
Steve Garske, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA)

Steve Garske, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA)

When I began at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer in October 2016, our Citrix system was on autopilot. The technology had been put in place several years before, but despite multiple challenges, the support team lacked a sense of urgency. There was also no clear service management strategy. Users were dissatisfied with their experience and the lack of attention to their concerns. The crucial tasks of how to address the Citrix workflows, operational challenges, and impact on user experience was lacking prioritization and planning.

Within my first 100 days at CHLA, the team and I completed a thorough department assessment, outlining the people, process, and technology areas requiring accelerated improvement plans.The goal was to use this three-part assessment to bring visibility to the service aspect of IT and to address them holistically.

When we began considering our Citrix deployment, multiple challenges were encountered.There are hundreds of options for how to deploy applications with Citrix, and due to choicesthat were made without a clear business strategy in place, there was lack of consistency and quality.

 Citrix is very good at providing a consistent user experience across multiple, personalized devices. In healthcare, that is an important advantage as clinicians highly appreciate this flexibility and customization 

Furthermore, transitioning to the cloud was considered as it is a common trend among other organizations. Our Citrix VDI is a critical part of our clinical workflow, so to prioritize the best response times and service levels possible, we decided that an on-premise implementation would be the best choice for CHLA.

To address the crucial issue of user experience, we began with change in our culture.We focused on building a strong foundation by hiring the right people; starting with building a strong leadership team who understands the essential nature of good customer experience.

Our diligent search led us to find a manager who excels as a Citrix expert and brings years of successful management in customer experience. With Kevin Le’s strategic and successful revitalizing of the team, we are now well on the way to effecting this cultural change.He leads by example to demonstrate to his team that user experience is in the forefront of IT priorities. Frequently seen on the patient floors observing and interviewing clinicians in practice, he demonstrates our focus on the user experience and goals to continually improve.

From a technical standpoint, Kevin evaluated our configuration, policies and expectations from end-users. He performed detailed analyses, progressing far beyond the report highlights. Within a few months of his leadership, there were measurable improvements in performance: the average login time has improved by 20 percent and will continue to improve as we upgrade our Citrix software and server infrastructure this year.

While continuing to focus on the user experience, the team is simultaneously addressing the needs of the clinician by finding the best technology services available at the lowest possible cost. Our strategy combines financial stability, strategic partnerships, clinical expertise, integrated computing solutions, strong technical process automation, and world-class innovative technologies. Citrix is very good at providing a consistent user experience across multiple, personalized devices. In healthcare, that is an important advantage as clinicians highly appreciate this flexibility and customization.

As we look ahead, we are confident that with good leadership, hiring practices and technology partners like Citrix in place, we will enable our clinicians at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to continue providing world-class care.

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