This post about how Citrix and Goliath Technologies are working together to help Healthcare IT teams proactively solve end user experience issues is republished with permission from Citrix. The original post is written by Nitin Sharma and appears on the Citrix blog.
“I just want it to work, I don’t have time to call support and resolve an issue when I have a life on the line,” was a direct quote from a clinician I had a chance to sit down with a few months ago when asking him about how technology plays a role in his day to day life.
For me and colleagues that happen to see and interact with some of the latest technologies on a daily basis, occasionally we forget that for some people, technology is simply an afterthought. For them, it’s just a means to an end. For clinical staff, that “job” is to ensure they’re able to provide the best care for whoever it is sitting across from them.
Healthcare, when compared to many other industries, doesn’t follow the prototypical 8am-5pm workday. Clinicians require seamless access to clinical apps and data 24/7, because critical care simply cannot and will not wait.
In an industry where seconds can–literally–mean life or death, there needs to be solutions in place that give doctors and other healthcare workers the immediate access they need to provide quality care. Clinicians, as mentioned earlier, don’t have the luxury of time to worry about why an application is slow or isn’t launching, they just need it to work. Period.
Citrix has had a long track record of success in addressing the above challenges and allowing caregivers to seamlessly access apps and data to provide the best quality care for their patients, and we know it’s important to provide IT staff (who are typically resource constrained in general) the tools they need to ensure 100% uptime of their environments. Tools that provide IT with a proactive–as opposed to a reactive–approach, and provide IT admins the power they need to ensure my clinical friend above doesn’t “have to call support.”
One of our Citrix Ready Partners in healthcare, Goliath Technologies, has come up with a unique solution by creating a series of fully integrated technologies specifically built and developed for the challenges of Healthcare IT and designed to give administrators the ability to anticipate, troubleshoot and resolve performance issues. Their product goes beyond the limitations of passive monitoring, provides a proactive approach, offers actionable data and will even take actions to resolve issues.
For our healthcare customers, Goliath’s software is focused on providing end-to-end visibility in environments that are using Citrix to deliver EMR/EHR applications. This includes logon initiation and process through to session performance and all the IT elements that can impact performance.
End user experience is of critical importance in an “always on,” 24/7 environment, and Goliath’s solution provides unique functionality to help administrators know, in advance, if there will be an issue when they try to access their applications. Their Logon Simulator for Citrix will actually log on to the application, taking the same steps a real end user would–even through NetScaler–to ensure that the logon is successful. If there is a failure or slowness it will send an alert.
So, in one customer example an administrator scheduled the Goliath Logon Simulator to logon from remote locations two hours before staff came to the hospital to ensure applications were available and if not it alerts him with enough time to fix the issue. That is truly proactive. Talk about preventive medicine!
They also have taken the approach of adding deep metrics about Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop and the supporting infrastructure that directly impact end user experience relating to logon duration and session performance. Again, this functionality is ready out of the box because they have done the necessary API integration and development to populate dashboards and screens with real time logon times broken down by stage and ICA Channel drill-down.
To give you a detailed example of how detailed and actionable the information is, a physician was having trouble with image resolution when accessing a clinical application from home. The administrator was able to drill down into the ICA latency channel using the real time dashboard on session performance and noticed that the physician was also streaming audio, which was taking up the available bandwidth. He was asked to turn off the streaming audio and problem was solved.
Completing the end-to-end picture, they are the only performance-monitoring company that has purpose-built application modules for the various EMR/EHR applications. Right now, they have application modules for MEDITECH, Siemens, Allscripts, T-System, and McKesson with Epic and Cerner in development. These purpose-built modules allow them to tie the end user experience, Citrix infrastructure and application performance together in one view. Alerts are generated if there is a breach of any threshold metric that might signal an impending performance issue which can then be traced to the root cause being with logon initiation, logon duration or session performance with one of the EMR/EHR application sessions.