Guide to working remotely

I’ve been approved to work from home. What do I do next?

Health Care Information Systems has a variety of remote access solutions available to UI Health Care faculty and staff. The appropriate solution for you depends on what systems you need access to. This document is meant to help you identify the right solution for your needs and provide guidance how to request access to that solution.

Remote access solutions don’t generally support remote telephony. If you need remote telephone services, the individual will be responsible for updating their voice mail with an appropriate contact number such as a home or cell phone or be diligent about checking voice mail for messages.

The solutions offered for remote access are in order of preference and ease of deployment.


Citrix Remote Access

All UI Health Care faculty and staff already have access to a core set of systems via Citrix Remote Access. At a minimum, the following systems are available to you:

Adobe Acrobat 2017 Calculator Mail Control panel Google Chrome Internet Explorer
Network Drives (H:, S:, etc.) Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft Word Microsoft Outlook Safety Incident Reporting Electronic Death Certification ELMS Remote
ELMS Remote Scheduling ICON Micromedex – New My Compliance Tableau – New
TempTrak The Point UIHC SmartWeb UpToDate Voalte Messenger

You may have other systems available to you based on your role. For example, faculty and staff with access to Epic in the hospital automatically have access to Epic via Citrix Remote Access.

Citrix Remote Access is the preferred method for accessing UI Health Care systems. It provides a secure connection to our systems and does not require any special hardware on your end. However, not all systems can be accessed by Citrix Remote Access. The easiest thing to do is to review what applications are available to you and determine if this meets your needs.

How do I use Citrix Remote Access?

If you have a HealthCareID, you already have access. Citrix Remote Access can be accessed by any computer with an Internet connection and a web browser by visiting https://desktop.healthcare.uiowa.edu.

See our handout on Citrix Remote Access for more information.

What are the limitations of Citrix Remote Access?

Citrix Remote Access is easily deployed and HCIS is well positioned to support your use of it. However, if you require access to systems and applications not currently available through Citrix Remote Access, an alternative solution may be more appropriate.


Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) via Citrix

If you have tools on your UI Health Care workstation that are not available through Citrix Remote Access, you may be a candidate for RDP via Citrix. This solution allows you to connect to your workstation on your desk from any computer with an Internet connection. It relies on the same technology as Citrix Remote Access but requires you know your workstation ID (aka M number). However, you must be specially granted access to this solution.

How do I use RDP via Citrix?

Accessing RDP via Citrix is the same as Citrix Remote Access as it relies on the same infrastructure. You will need to make sure your workstation in UIHC is powered on and logged in.

See our handout on Use RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) via Citrix for more information.

What are the limitations of RDP via Citrix?

As noted above, you are actually connecting to your UI Health Care workstation on your desk from another computer. This assumes you have a dedicated workstation and are not using a shared workstation. This could require you to come on site to your desk in the event of the PC powering off or if the system hangs. In the event this occurs, any specialized systems you access through RDP via Citrix would not be available until you come back to your desk. Applications available through Citrix Remote Access will continue to be available.

Given the architecture of this solution, not all applications will perform like they do when running locally due to bandwidth limitations between the hospital and your home computer. Items such as video and image quality may be degraded and not appropriate for clinical decision making.

How do I request access to RDP via Citrix

Requests for RDP via Citrix will be reviewed and validated for appropriateness.

See our handout on Request RDP Access via Citrix for more information.

It will be mandatory that you provide a justifiable reason for requesting RDP via Citrix to services that are unable to be provided via Citrix.


Virtual Private Network (VPN)

If you have a workstation managed by UI Health Care that you can take home and Citrix Remote Access and RDP Via Citrix do not meet your work requirements, you can be provided Virtual Private Network (VPN) software for your workstation. The VPN software makes your computer function as though it is on the UI Health Care network. This allows you to continue to connect to network drives and other applications you may need access to.

How do I use VPN

Please see our handout on Use VPN for Remote Access for more information.

What are the limitations of a VPN?

The VPN client can only be installed on a Windows or Mac computer managed by HCIS. For the protection of the institution, University security policy does not allow the software to be installed on personal equipment. Additionally, access via the VPN is not protected by multi-factor authentication (e.g. Duo) which provides additional security to other remote access methods. Lastly, specialized systems may require the creation of specialized VPN profiles by HCIS. Creation and testing of these profiles may be time consuming and may result in delayed access to these services.

How do I request a VPN?

Requests for VPNs will be reviewed and validated for appropriateness. Please contact the HCIS Help Desk at 319-356-0001 or email a request to helpdesk-hcis@uiowa.edu with “VPN Request” in the subject line.

It will be mandatory that you provide a justifiable reason for requesting VPN access to services that are unable to be provided via Citrix or RDP via Citrix.


Installing Skype for Business

Skype for Business is a communication tool that allows our interactions to be more collaborative, engaging, and accessible from anywhere.

See our handout on Installing Skype for Business to learn how to install and configure Microsoft Skype for Business on your home PC.

4 comments

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published.

When commenting, please be respectful of others.