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“We received an urgent request from a Chief Nursing Officer at one of our hosptials. She reported that nursing staff were were not receiving important patient information from a staffing application. The application vendor couldn’t pinpoint root cause. We called Goliath and within 30 minutes the UHS internal IT team and Goliath were able to resolve the issue.”

-Justin Monnig, General Manager of Crossings Healthcare Solutions

The Organization: Universal Health Services, Inc.

The Organization’s Infrastructure:  VMware, Citrix XenDesktop 7.x, Cerner

The Organization’s Performance Monitoring Products: Goliath Performance Monitor, Goliath Logon Simulator, Goliath Performance Monitor for Hospitals Using Cerner


The Business Challenge: User Accounts Mysteriously Disappearing

Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS), currently has Goliath Citrix Monitoring technology deployed throughout their entire Citrix application delivery infrastructure, which they use to deliver Cerner Millenium™ to their hospitals. The scope of their deployment includes agents deployed within the Cerner-hosted datacenter, and Logon Simulators at over 33 acute care hospital facilities across the United States. The technology is used by UHS for Citrix monitoring to anticipate, troubleshoot, resolve and most importantly prevent issues from impacting users’ ability to deliver healthcare services due to a difficulty accessing Cerner Millenium™.

UHS leverages the technology for Citrix monitoring which includes which includes End User Experience, Citrix infrastructureas well as critical underlying components that exist in each of the acute care hospitals that utilize Cerner Millenium™. In this user story, user accounts in the nursing staffing application were mysteriously disappearing from groups, impacting the ability for the appropriate staff to receive important messages. It was both troubling and puzzling for the IT team. Below are the action steps the IT team took to troubleshoot the user account problem and prevent the failure to deliver healthcare services from reoccurring in the future.

Finding the Root Cause in Minutes – Not Days

This issue was effecting the delivery of patient care, and finding a resolution was time-critical. Unfortunately, the vendor support channel for diagnosing and resolving this issue was not proving to be effective. The ticket was escalated to the application vendor and the UHS team awaited a response. Simultaneously, however, they also escalated the issue to their internal Citrix monitoring, escalation & engineering team to see if they could resolve it more quickly.  

The internal Citrix monitoring and IT team at UHS immediately leveraged the Goliath troubleshooting features. According to Joe Alexander, (Software Architect at UHS),

I contacted Goliath since I knew Goliath Performance Monitor captures Citrix session information that would show us who is launching the specific application causing issues. I was able to prove this out by writing a quick SQL query to gather application process information, but needed Goliath’s help to get a new monitoring rule built. We discussed the potential solutions and within 30 minutes Goliath had an email alert firing and configured an additional report to provide the needed information. These findings were sent to the hospital and they were able to use the information to prove that this was an end user issue and not a result of the application. So we were able to troubleshoot, identify root cause and resolve the issue in less than 45 minutes. Before we heard from the application provider”.

Using Goliath Technologies software suite to pinpoint root cause, the IT team analyzed:

  • Citrix session data for the users accessing the Staffing application
  • Staffing application processes and their correlation back to the subsequent Citrix user sessions

Goliath provided UHS and its IT team with two unique capabilities; one, deep visibility into the key metrics they required; two, the ability to correlate data as the IT team deemed necessary. Furthermore, the out-of-the box Citrix session monitoring and process watch capabilities in the technology enabled them to create a new monitoring rule, email alert, and report within 30 minutes.

The Summary

By leveraging Goliath Performance Monitor for Citrix XenDesktop Monitoring, the team at UHS  solved a mission-critical issue that could have impacted patient care. Beyond simply providing the solution, Goliath allowed UHS to begin gathering data points and generating reports in 30 minutes. The ability to provide a solution gave the team at UHS the insight to find, prove and mitigate the root cause before the existing application vendor could complete the research needed to deliver a possible solution.

Now, UHS has proactive Citrix monitoring and alerting set for this specific condition so that if it ever happens again at other hospitals they will be alerted in real time.

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About 

The team members collaborated to bring together this blog post by calling on their past Customer Experiences and Expert Knowledge of Citrix Troubleshooting. Beyond writing technical documents this team supports Goliath Customers and provides product feature/function guidance to development.

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