Hospital Moves To Outlook Web Access

Dec. 9, 2009

December 7, 2009, Toronto, Canada — Messageware (, the world’s leading provider of enterprise productivity, security and customization solutions for Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access (OWA) today announced that Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (, one of New England’s most progressive medical centers and the largest acute care center in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire, has deployed the Messageware OWA Suite 2009 for Exchange 2007 so as to solve employee productivity concerns as they transition from GroupWise to Exchange.

In recent months, Wentworth-Douglass has pursued a unified communications strategy that reaches every corner of its operations.  The goal of this strategy is to standardize on the Microsoft platform as a means to get them prepared for future technologies, including nurses having phones with VoIP telephony and RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification). However, before they could standardize they needed to transition their email/collaboration infrastructure from Novell GroupWise to Microsoft Exchange.

“Running both Novell and Microsoft servers added needless complexity.  We had a dual infrastructure that was an administrative nightmare to maintain. It made sense to focus solely on Microsoft—especially Outlook and Outlook Web Access—for our email and group calendar needs,” said Scott Heffner, Network Operations Manager for Wentworth-Douglass. 

While Outlook was chosen as the default personal information manager platform for the hospital’s 2,200 employees, 350 employees needed a secure and productive to access their email on the hospital’s shared computers. In addition, 250 hospital personnel, remote workers and doctors needed to have a Web access alternative that would enable them to check email and appointments remotely.  Outlook Web Access (OWA) was the obvious choice for this need—but there was one potential snag.

“In our planning meetings with hospital staff, we were told in no uncertain terms, ‘Make sure we have the ability to share calendars,’ recalled Stefanie Paul, Project Technical Coordinator.  “Unfortunately, native OWA doesn’t have the capability to set sharing permission or easily view multiple calendars.” 

To make the hospital’s transition to OWA smooth, Heffner and Paul realized they would need to provide not only a calendar share capability, but also other productivity functions like spell check and address auto-complete.  A quick Internet search showed them that only one product could do the job.

Messageware OWA Suite 2009 combines high-value features like Outlook-style addressing, SharePoint contact lists and roaming personal dictionaries, with other essential tools such as the ability to view multiple calendars side-by-side in order to book meetings and appointments. Through seven applications—ActiveSend, AttachView, CalendarShare, NavGuard, OWA Print, Plus Pack and TimeGuard–OWA users are able to print their calendar on demand, quickly attach files to emails, and even send email using OWA from within other Microsoft Office applications.

“Beside all its productivity features, Messageware OWA Suite 2009 offers security upgrades that are very useful for hospitals,” added Paul.  “TimeGuard makes sure that the OWA session ends and the browser window closes if the person walks away from the PC.  NavGuard prevents the next person from seeing things they shouldn’t, simply by hitting the ‘back’ button on a screen where the first person didn’t log out.  These security features help us comply with HIPAA regulations.”

Brian Kirby, the hospital’s Microsoft Exchange Administrator, reported that Messageware’s support team was extremely knowledgeable about Exchange and helpful with their specific environment.  “We run Exchange 2007 on Windows Server 2008, which is virtualized on VMWare.  Our discussions with Messageware support were always dealt with in a timely fashion and the advice was very useful.” 

“There’s no question Messageware OWA Suite 2009 has made the rollout of OWA more successful,” stated Paul.  “Our power users have told us that having calendar sharing and personalized spell check made the transition much easier.”

Thanks to Messageware OWA Suite 2009, hundreds of doctors and nurses at Wentworth-Douglass have a built-in medical dictionary, as well as roaming personal dictionaries, anyplace they access their email.  What’s more, both the clinical staff and their administrative assistants can view multiple calendars side by side to quickly schedule internal and external meetings.

An unexpected plus were the powerful security aspects of the suite.  “These days, hospitals must constantly be aware of their regulatory obligations,” said Heffner.  “We certainly welcomed the added protection afforded by TimeGuard and NavGuard. In addition, OWA with the Suite provides us with flexibility in the case of disaster.”

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