User Story: NorthBay Healthcare Ensures Cerner & Citrix Applications are Always Available

By |2018-10-19T13:04:06+00:00February 9th, 2018|

chris-timbers-northbay-goliath-technologies.jpgGoliath Technologies’ End User Experience Monitoring gives us complete visibility into the end user experience from the time they logon to Cerner through their use of the application, in real time, so we stay ahead of performance issues that can impact our users.” – Chris Timbers, VP & CIO, NorthBay Healthcare 


NorthBay Healthcare is a leading healthcare provider based in Solano County, California. Delivering the highest level of care possible is the core focus of NorthBay. Cerner and Citrix are relied upon throughout the health system as critical applications in supporting this objective.

Cerner & Citrix Monitoring Impact the End User Experience

When healthcare practitioners experience end user performance issues such as application logon slowness, crashes, delivery errors, or in-session performance degradation, the delivery of actual patient care can be impacted. As with any application delivery infrastructure, performance and quality of the end user experience are critical to success.  In healthcare this is especially true, as these systems and applications help ensure that patients receive the care they require at the time it is needed. In order to deliver a great end user experience to the clinicians at NorthBay, system administrators have to manage some of the unique challenges listed below.


S
peed of access to Cerner and Citrix: 
Physicians log on from different locations throughout the hospital and see patients every 15 minutes, so a two minute delay when trying to access Cerner is too long to wait. Speed of access to these applications is critical to ensure that time is spent providing healthcare service, and not waiting for application sessions to launch.

Identification of Cerner or Citrix performance degradation: The timely delivery of patient care is extremely important, and degraded session performance will severely impact this. As a result, it is critical that performance “slowdowns” are identified early, before the ability to deliver services is impacted [Learn more about Goliath Performance Monitor for Hospitals Using Cerner].

Cerner and Citrix Proactive Application Availability Testing: The Cerner and Citrix logon process is the primary step to accessing mission-critical applications. It is also highly complex and relies on many components to successfully complete. Goliath provides assurance that login and access will always be available, as well as efficient [Learn more about Goliath Logon Simulator for Hospitals Using Cerner].

Collaboration: NorthBay healthcare providers primarily utilize the Cerner application via Citrix. This application is hosted by Cerner. NorthBay had visibility into their own infrastructure while Cerner actively monitored application performance in the data center. However, there was no effective end-to-end performance monitoring from the data center to the desktop. The image below shows the end-to-end visibility disconnect relative to Cerner and Citrix Monitoring.

Deployment without Goliath Technologies:

NorthBay - Cerner without End User Experience Monitoring

The Prescription: Proactive End User Experience Monitoring & Management

After an exhaustive search to identify a solution for NorthBay’s unique visibility challenges, Goliath Performance Monitor for Cerner and Citrix became the clear choice. The NorthBay team elected to deploy Goliath Performance Monitor and Goliath Application Availability Monitor with out-of-the-box functionality to support Citrix and Cerner.

However, implementing Goliath Performance Monitor in just the NorthBay environment was going to be insufficient to provide the end-to-end visibility that they required. Goliath, however, is the only monitoring technology allowed in the Cerner hosted facility.  This provides a fully integrated solution that encompasses the entire application delivery architecture. Goliath Performance Monitor for hospitals using Cerner and Citrix Monitoring provided the following capabilities to the administrators and support staff at NorthBay:

  • End-to-end visibility enables them to have performance and availability metrics from the end users’ perspective at the hospital location. This data can be trended in real-time and historically.
  • Visibility into both on-premise and Cerner-hosted applications and servers.

The Results

Once the product was deployed, NorthBay system administrators had true end-to-end visibility with comprehensive monitoring of both Cerner and Citrix . They received an in-depth view into the entire user workflow, regardless of location. Goliath Cerner and Citrix monitoring capabilities, combined with Cerner’s remote hosting technologies and services, provides NorthBay with advanced warning of potential end user experience issues and evidence of root cause to prevent future issues.

In order to increase visibility across the network, NorthBay also wanted to guarantee that clinical applications would launch when physicians and healthcare workers attempted to gain access. With healthcare workers seeing patients every 15 minutes, the applications needed to launch immediately when needed. Goliath Application Availability Monitor was deployed to proactively log on to applications and alert IT administrators to logon failures or slowness before the end user community is impacted.

The advantage of having the Goliath solution deployed on premises, where clinical applications are hosted, is that NorthBay now has a complete end-to-end visibility that previously could not have been accomplished otherwise. Now, NorthBay can complement the quality monitoring and management that CernerWorks provides in the hosted facility with their own, on-site, end user experience monitoring and management.

Deployment with Goliath Technologies:

NorthBay - Cerner End User Experience Monitoring

About the Author:

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.