Chrome Enterprise Elevates Engagement, Efficiency in a Senior-Care Environment

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“Our dedicated frontline staff has benefited tremendously from the migration to the Chromebook infrastructure.”

When you care for more than 2,000 residents across 20 retirement lodges and long-term care homes throughout Ontario, a reliable and efficient digital platform is paramount to keeping your workforce productive, connected and engaged.

For more than 45 years, family-owned Jarlette Health Services has focused on elevating resident comfort and care, while cultivating an atmosphere where individuals can feel at home during their retirement years. In tandem with its unwavering commitment to its residents, the company’s achievements in quality care have not gone unrecognized. Jarlette has excelled in various comprehensive continuous quality improvement programs and accreditations.

Maintaining its commitment to excellence, the Jarlette level of quality also extends to the company’s internal relations. With a team of nearly 2,000 employees across all homes and lodges, the company has, and continues to empower and develop its employees, while supporting the building and maintaining of mutually rewarding professional relationships and career trajectories.

To enhance existing infrastructure and further amplify the exceptional standard of care that has become a touchstone of business, Jarlette Health Services has strategically introduced Chrome Enterprise into its operations.

Identifying Technical Constraints

In an effort to better equip frontline staff at its 14 long-term care homes with the right tools to enhance their professional performance, Jarlette Health Services proactively searched for better ways to collaborate and communicate across all homes and lodges, while simultaneously engaging with residents and staff to simplify technical protocol within the organization as a whole.

Hampered by the existing framework — and traditional PC systems — the IT department, along with onsite long-term care and retirement staff were eager for a more reliable, streamlined and user-friendly approach.

“We had a lot of process issues with the previous system”, says Donna Lister, Jarlette’s sole IT support specialist. “We had to focus many of our efforts on upgrades and updates on a machine-by-machine basis. It was increasingly difficult to stay current. The ongoing PC issues management, coupled with the lack of required technical support were simply inefficient,” Lister adds. In addition to the process issues encountered by the Jarlette team, Lister also determined that the previous system was becoming increasingly expensive. Technical challenges would frequently inflate Jarlette’s IT budget. Lister discovered that if a PC or tablet failed for whatever reason, the cost to replace, update, upgrade and get a new unit up and running could cost as much as $1,500.

Introducing Chrome Enterprise

After having successfully deployed Google G Suite productivity tools with help from Onix, Jarlette began to research the many solutions for streamlining available to the business through Google’s other cloud solutions.

Chrome OS, the lightweight operating system designed specifically for the cloud, delivers more performance with less hardware. Offering users a seamless experience across multiple devices with the use of cloud-based profiles and per-user encryption, Chrome represented a multi-faceted solution for Jarlette.

In addition, Chrome’s four pillars — speed, security, shareability and simplicity resonated with the management team at Jarlette. This led to a major migration initiative that also included help from Onix to take the next steps along Jarlette’s cloud journey.

With the launch of the Chrome Enterprise migration, Jarlette purchased 210 individual Google Chromebooks to replace wall-mounted hallway tablets previously installed in the homes. Each Chromebook is mounted on a mobile ergonomic cart to supply each frontline worker with an individual, portable station. This provided employees instant, on-demand information regardless of their location in the building.

In tandem with the introduction of Google Chromebooks for resident care, Jarlette also replaced 70 PCs used in day-to-day administration with Chrome products.

The Results are Positive 

The gradual transition to Chrome Enterprise has undoubtedly resulted in a positive impact for the entire Jarlette Health Services team; the payoff has had benefits beyond the financial ROI.

“Our dedicated frontline staff has benefited tremendously from the migration to the Chromebook infrastructure,” Lister said. “They have expressed that they are thrilled with the improved ergonomics, increased mobility of their cart-mounted devices, and that the user-friendly interface has streamlined the many data entry elements of their respective roles.”

From an IT perspective, Chrome has brought a similar ease to Jarlette’s internal operations. The migration made sense from a productivity, budget and security standpoint.

“With its automatic, online updates and fewer technical deficiencies, we don’t run into the same hurdles as we did with our previous system. It is much easier for me to set up and manage devices from an administrative standpoint,” Lister adds. “I have the ability to troubleshoot issues on any Chromebook in the Jarlette inventory through the cloud — without leaving my desk.”

Jarlette Health Services reported that the first-wave migration to Chrome devices has already saved the company roughly 15 percent in annual IT operating costs. This is thanks to a reduced need for IT resources and lower equipment replacement costs, among other factors.

Jarlette management hopes to see that number increase as it continues to deploy the Chrome operating system. While Jarlette now has 280 active Chrome devices, employees continue to use roughly 350 traditional PCs across the entire organization. But not for long.

The company continues moving toward a full replacement of its existing environment, implementing an all-Chrome solution.

“Our IT strategy has mandated that all new devices purchased will be Chrome-based,” Lister said. “We sent out a company-wide communication earlier this year that we were going to convert to Chrome OS and devices. We’re taking this seriously. Google is now our default.”

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