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 G Suite—calendaring, scheduling, email, instant messaging, and websites—and, the browser that powers them, Chrome—to easily and powerfully collaborate with one another.
“After reading ‘From Edison to Google’ and analyzing two options, Microsoft or Google, we decided on Google because it best met our needs and vision of the future,” said Lud Johnson, CIO for Middlesex Hospital. “Google Apps completely eliminated Microsoft Outlook and minimized 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.”
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 organization 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 realization 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 realized that it could better utilize 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 organization.
With Chrome 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 G Suite. 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 features 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.