MUSC Graduate Medical Education
VA EMR Access
A web-based method for accessing the VA network from Windows machines within the MUSC network has now been established and is detailed at the end of this message.
This new web-based method for Windows machines is a bit more complicated than the old web-based method, and you will need to decide for yourself whether you want to use this new method vs. continue using the "work-around" that was provided shortly after the upgrade problems became apparent. (As a reminder, this workaround is to enter the "mstsc /v:126.96.36.199 /public" command in the command box that pops up upon clicking on the Start button in Windows 7 or the Start, Run dialog in Windows XP. Please note that if your Windows machine is off-campus, you must first establish a VPN connection to MUSC's network before running this command. Information about establishing a VPN connection to MUSC's network from an off-campus computer can be found at http://nstwiki.musc.edu/index.php/Remote_Access.)
Please be aware that both the web-based method described at the end of this message (essentially, web-based access to a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) client which then connects to the VA's new RDP server) and the workaround (essentially, a command-line invocation of an RDP client which then connects to the VA's new RDP server) are expected to be decommissioned within the next year when the VA makes its "Citrix Gateway" available to the full community of its network users. The VA's Citrix Gateway will provide access to VA apps in identical fashion to how MUSC's Citrix Gateway -- which you probably know as MUSC's "WebApps" system -- provides access to MUSC apps.
The VA's Citrix Gateway is presently operational, but access to it requires applying to the VA Information Security Officer (ISO) for an account which presently is separate from your VA network account or your VA CPRS account. The VA IT office anticipates that within the next year, access to the VA's Citrix Gateway will become integrated with VA network accounts (much the same as how access to MUSC's WebApps is integrated with MUSC's NetID), thereby eliminating the need for you to have a separate account to access to VA Citrix Gateway.
Macintosh users presently have two options for accessing the VA's system: (1) apply to the VA ISO for a VA Citrix Gateway account and then use your web browser to access the Gateway, or (2) use Microsoft's RDP client for the Macintosh (http://www.microsoft.com/mac/remote-desktop-client) to access the VA's RDP server at 188.8.131.52. (Again, please note that access to the VA's RDP server is restricted by the VA for security purposes to connections coming from the MUSC network, so if your Mac is off-campus, you must first establish a VPN connection to MUSC's network before launching the RDP client. Information about establishing a VPN connection to MUSC's network from an off-campus computer can be found at http://nstwiki.musc.edu/index.php/Remote_Access.) I will again note it is expected that once the VA's Citrix Gateway becomes integrated with VA network accounts at some point within the next year, the VA's RDP server will be decommissioned and Mac RDP users, along with Windows RDP users, will need to switch to using the VA's web-based Citrix Gateway to access VA apps.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your patience with these changes. In the end, access to VA apps will be both easier and more secure.
-- Larry Afrin, M.D.
Director of IT, MUSC GME Office
Instructions for Web-Based Access to the VA Network from Windows Machines within the MUSC Network (April 19, 2012)
- Use of Internet Explorer is recommended. This method may not work with other browsers.
- In Internet Explorer, surf to: https://184.108.40.206/rdweb
Please note this is an https, not http, connection. Also note the change from use of "tsweb" in the old web-based method to "rdweb" in this new web-based method.
- You will be warned of problems with the security certificate at the site. Click on the option to continue anyway. (In Internet Explorer, this option says "Continue to this website (not recommended)." Even though it says proceeding is "not recommended," click on it anyway or else you will not be able to establish a connection to the VA network.)
- You will see the Remote Desktop Services Default Connection login page. In the Domain\user name box, enter: VHA07\xxxxxxxxxx
where xxxxxxxxxx is your VA network account username, generally of the form vhachazzzzzzzz where zzzzzzzz usually resembles your last name followed by first initial. Please note the two characters preceding the backslash are zero-seven, not letter-oh-seven.
In the Password box, enter your VA network account password.
Click the "Sign in" button.
- You are now logged in to the Remote Desktop Services Default Connection. (If you are seeing a message that ActiveX services are not enabled, follow the steps suggested in the message to enable ActiveX services.) Splayed across the width of the page, you will see a menu bar listing options of "RemoteApp Programs," "Remote Desktop," "Help," and "Sign out." Click on Remote Desktop.
- Click in the "Connect to" box. The phrase "Computer Name" will appear in the box. Delete this phrase and enter in its place:
Click the Connect button to proceed.
- A warning will pop up: "Remote Desktop Connection: A website wants to run a RemoteApp program. The publisher of this RemoteApp program cannot be identified."
Click the Connect button to proceed.
- Another warning will pop up: "Remote Desktop Connection: The identity of the remote computer cannot be verified. Do you want to connect anyway?"
Click the Yes button to proceed.
- The RDP connection will be established and the VA network will greet you with a Security Warning statement.
Click OK to proceed.
- A VA network login screen will appear. Use your VA network account username (vhachaxxxxxxxx, as above) and your VA network account password to login. Your VA desktop will appear and you may use the apps shown there just as if you were using a machine located within the VA Medical Center.
- When done, click Start, Logoff. Your session with the VA network will be closed and the underlying Internet Explorer session will reappear on your screen.
- Close Internet Explorer.