2 page Case Study
Posted: 10/4/2013
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Terri Rodda, PT Physical Therapist Runs "Virtual" Business Using Windows 8 Pro Tablets and Office 365

Terri Rodda, PT is a physical therapy business that operates out of several locations. Owner Terri Rodda uses Microsoft Office 365 and Lenovo portable PCs running Windows 8 Pro to work anytime, anywhere, with her entire “office” in the palm of her hand. The business saves eight hours a week through mobile efficiencies, has eliminated more than US$12,000 a year in technology expenses, and enhances patient data safety by using Windows 8 Pro data encryption.

Business Needs
Terri Rodda is a physical therapist who for years ran a large physical therapy practice in the Washington, D.C., area. In early 2013, Rodda decided to close that business, downsize, and continue working in the area as a solo practitioner. She wanted to shed the high costs of a permanent office and full-time employees and instead create a “virtual” business where she could treat patients in their homes and other locations and use part-time contract employees to provide clerical and bookkeeping support.

While Rodda was eager to eliminate the high cost of maintaining a capital-intensive office—her previous business had a server computer and 10 client computers—she still needed technology. In fact, in her new business—Terri Rodda, PT—she felt that she needed technology more than ever, to keep her virtual team in touch and working as efficiently and productively as possible.

Rodda’s wish list: lightweight, portable, powerful computers that would let her take the entire business with her wherever she went. The devices also had to provide strong data security to protect patient data if they were lost or stolen.

Solution
Rodda consulted with Steve Hall, Chief Executive Officer of District Computers, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network and Rodda’s longtime technology adviser. He recommended tablets and laptops running the Windows 8 Pro operating system, augmented by Microsoft Office 365. Office 365 unites familiar Microsoft Office tools with enterprise-grade email, conferencing, and document-sharing capabilities.

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* In the course of a day, I can be in multiple locations, but with my Windows 8 Pro tablet and Office 365, I have my entire business with me wherever I go. *

Terri Rodda
Owner, Terri Rodda, PT

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Lightweight, powerful tablets and laptops running Windows 8 Pro would give Rodda and her employees the ability to run powerful applications locally while storing and sharing data in the cloud. Rodda acquired two Lenovo ThinkPad tablets and two Lenovo ThinkPad laptops. She uses Office 365 for email, file sharing, instant messaging, and on-demand web conferencing to connect with her customers. She uses Microsoft Office Web Apps for on-the-fly document access and has downloaded the Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 subscription for advanced productivity work, marketing content creation, and note-taking with Microsoft OneNote 2013.

She relies on third-party web-based applications for accounting, billing, and electronic medical records management. She worked with Hall to design her own patient management system by using a combination of OneNote 2013, Microsoft InfoPath 2013, Microsoft Word 2013, SkyDrive Pro, and Microsoft SharePoint Online, the storage and collaboration component of Office 365. “With Windows 8 Pro, SkyDrive Pro, and SharePoint Online, I am always connected to my data, no matter which device I’m using,” Rodda says.

In fact, a big advantage of these devices is that she and her three employees can grab any of the devices on any particular day, depending on their needs. If Rodda is meeting a patient in a fitness center, she takes a tablet for portability. If she’s working from a desk, she takes a laptop to gain a larger screen. Each worker’s user profile is saved in Windows 8 Pro and loaded as soon as they log on.

Rodda uses OneNote to record conversations with patients so that she’s not distracted by note-taking. If she needs to write a quick note, she does so on the tablet using a stylus. She also keeps task lists in OneNote where employees coordinate and check off to-do items. From any Office 2013 application, she can save patient notes, demographic information, and other documents to SharePoint Online in the cloud so that she and coworkers can access them anytime.

Rodda loves the crisp, clean look of the Windows 8 Pro modern interface that presents her most-used applications on the Start screen. Live tiles are constantly updated so that she can see at a glance new email messages, instant messages, and other updates. She also loves the search function—being able to type just a few letters and have Windows 8 Pro race to the needed application.

Patient data—and all data on the devices—is encrypted by BitLocker Drive Encryption technology, helping to protect it if the device is lost or stolen. In fact, Rodda had to return one of the tablets and didn’t take the time to erase the hard drive, but felt assured that the data was inaccessible.

Benefits
By running her business on Windows 8 Pro portable computers, Terri Rodda has been able to increase the efficiency of her staff, protect patient data, avoid thousands of dollars in technology expenses annually, and enhance her professionalism.

“Without these devices, I simply could not implement a virtual business model,” Rodda says. “With the tablets and Office 365, I can do everything I need to do using a bare-bones contract staff. I estimate that we’re saving eight hours a week over my previous way of working, which enables me to see more patients or spend more time with my patients. In the course of a day, I can be in multiple locations, but with my Windows 8 Pro tablet and Office 365, I have my entire business with me wherever I go.”

BitLocker is another virtual-business enabler. “BitLocker encryption makes me feel much more comfortable about running my business on portable devices,” Rodda says. “Patient privacy is huge in my world, and Windows 8 Pro gives me tremendous peace of mind.”

Rodda is also saving money with her powerful PCs and Office 365—more than US$12,000 a year. “I paid $1,000 a month for someone to manage my previous server, and I had to replace it and the software running on it every five years, at a cost of about $10,000,” Rodda says. “That’s gone, not to mention the worries that go with having all your business data sitting on a server that could fail.”

Rodda has found that the sleek devices also enhance her professionalism. “When you’re building a new business, you have to look professional in everything you do,” Rodda says. “The Windows 8 Pro PCs demonstrate to patients that I’m working professionally and efficiently, and they appreciate that. Because when I’m more efficient, I save them time, too.”

For more information about other Microsoft customer successes, please visit:
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Solution Overview



Organization Size: 4 employees

Organization Profile

Terri Rodda, PT provides physical therapy services in the Washington, D.C., area. Owner Terri Rodda provides therapy in a private home studio, a fitness center, and patients’ homes, and three contract employees provide clerical support.


Hardware

  • ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptops
  • ThinkPad Tablet 2 tablet
  • ThinkPad Twist convertible tablet

Software and Services
  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • SkyDrive Pro

Vertical Industries
Health Provider

Country/Region
United States

Languages
English

Partner(s)
District Computers Lenovo

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