VPNs and Syncs
Posted on 2009-04-10
I am asking this question, because I always get confused as to just what one can do with a VPN and the types of VPNs one can set up. I am trying to help someone with something they are trying to do, and it is a bit like the blind leading the blind. So here goes.
There are three doctors all working in three group homes intermittently with laptops computers. They are all using the same Electronic Medical Record. Each will have an Access database which, of course, stores all of the patient encounters. Of course, each doctor will want to have the same information.
So, there is a central office with a server which houses the actual database with all of the information of all the patients of the three group homes. So, at the end of the day each doctor will want to sync his or her data to the central server. The person I am trying to help just thinks she can have three VPNs from each group home to the central server and just sync from there. I am not sure what type of Internet connection she plans on using. I can find out, of course.
So, I see some issues and questions about this.
1. Wouldn't each location or each laptop need some type of router with a VPN to connect to the VPN at the server?
2. Wouldn't that have to be at the point where the Internet connection is at the location?
3. Again, I get confused with VPNs at times. When I download the SBS connection manager and set it up and connect, I have a VPN, but I can't see the computer I am connected to.
4. I have a VPN connection from my office to the hospital I work at which uses Cisco's EASY VPN, and I can see the hospital computer information, but I believe they use Citrix. Do you need some type of software so you can actually interface with the desktop or database?
5. I would also think there would be a logistical issue. Say Dr. A syncs at 7PM with the server. Now Dr. A has all the information on the server database (as she did before), and the server database is updated with Dr. A's new information. Then Dr. B syncs at 8PM. He now updates the server and has all of that information plus Dr. A's. But, Dr. A is missing that information. And the same with C. He would have ALL the data, but A and B would be missing his.
6. The EMR is designed to connect to the network via a computer with USB. It then syncs. How easy would it be for a computer to sync to a server's database over a VPN?
I don't know why each user couldn't use RWW, RDP, LogMeIn or VNC to connect to the actual EMR on the server and work on the actual EMR on the server.
Any information would be appreciated.
Again, in general, I understand the concept of tunneling and using a VPN to connect securely. I guess I just don't know how they can be set up and what they can allow you to do as far as using a remote network.