Healthcare Improves Performance of Their Telemedicine Service With NETSCOUT
- Telemedicine application use increased exponentially during the pandemic, but patient survey results reported poor quality of experience
- The IT team lacked visibility to troubleshoot the poor-quality issues
- nGeniusONE ® Service Assurance platform
- InfiniStreamNG ® software appliances
- nGenius ® Packet Flow Operating System (PFOS) for Certified 5100Series Packet Brokers
- nGenius ® Visibility as a Service
- Protected quality performance of cloud- based Telemedicine service
- Accelerated healthcare applications troubleshooting with nGenius VaaS managed service support
This not-for-profit healthcare system in the western United States supports both a health plan program as well as a community of more than twenty hospitals and 150 clinics. It takes the herculean efforts of more than 40,000 skilled and dedicated caregivers to deliver services to hundreds of thousands of patients every year.
Networking services and clinical applications are the priority for the healthcare’s IT staff. They rely heavily on several applications and services, including electronic medical records, telemedicine. and voice over IP (VoIP), to provide quality patient care, flexible communication with their patients, and time-sensitive consultation with peers, staff, and family members on diagnosis and treatment options. Slowdowns or outages with these services and the many others used throughout the healthcare system, are to be avoided and if they do occur, need to be triaged and repaired quickly.
This healthcare organization was a long-time user of NETSCOUT nGeniusONE Service Assurance solution to help maintain the quality, availability, and reliability of their clinical applications and services, including Cerner electronic medical records and their Telemedicine platform. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic presented them with several additional network and application assurance challenges.
Patients with non-COVID-19- related healthcare afflictions that needed to be addressed increased use of their cloud-based Telemedicine services. In fact, daily use of this telemedicine app grew more than tenfold initially and only continued to expand in providing virtual appointments and follow-ups for patients. Staff was equally enthusiastic over the benefits of its use and expectations for long-term benefits in healthcare delivery.
From an IT perspective, this created an increase in traffic across the corporate environment and over their Internet Service (ISP) links and needed to be managed to ensure the quality of each telemedicine session. Further, in a patient survey, low scores and comments were reported for the Telemedicine service based on poor quality calls, background noise, jitter, and dropped calls that had made sessions unproductive, inefficient, and frustrating for patients, and doctors alike.
Last, but not least, was how to quickly deploy the new visibility for the Telemedicine application and accelerate the time to value for the nGeniusONE and InfiniStreamNG application monitoring. The healthcare had an outsource model for several parts of their networking requirements. However, it was principally the healthcare’s own well-trained IT staff that leveraged the NETSCOUT solution for troubleshooting network, application, and end-user problems as they arose during the pandemic.
Solution in Action
As a current NETSCOUT customer, this healthcare provider was able to extend the value of their existing investment to support the Telemedicine project when their IT team added InfiniStreamNG (ISNG) 9000 and 2600 series certified software appliances to their nGeniusONE implementation for deployment in their data centers and hospitals respectively. As strong outsource proponents, the IT team also selected NETSCOUT’s managed service program, nGenius Visibility as a Service (nGenius VaaS) to implement, configure, and manage the new equipment.
Initially, the nGenius VaaS experts configured monitoring of the Telemedicine service as hosted in Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. Within a short period of time, the Telemedicine company moved their service to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Having selected NETSCOUT, in part, due to their Visibility without Borders architecture, the IT team was relieved to see the continuity in Telemedicine application monitoring with a simple configuration change by the nGenius VaaS staff.
Based on the patient survey results, the nGenius VaaS team worked with the Healthcare’s IT team to identify capacity issues in the data center and hospitals that led to the issues with dropped calls, jitter, and quality issues. Knowing where capacity changes were needed, based on evidence in their own network, to support the ten-fold increase in Telemedicine use, helped the IT organization to deliver higher-quality experiences for their patients.
This Healthcare IT team has continued to work strategically and collaboratively with its service assurance partner, NETSCOUT, to meet the unique, critical demands that emerged during the pandemic and the ongoing requirements for this essential service.
They have reduced the time to triage and troubleshoot patient-impacting quality problems using their highly-in-demand Telemedicine application with the addition of the ISNG appliances in the data centers and hospitals. The ability to maintain monitoring visibility and analysis when the telemedicine application hosting was changed from AWS to GCP, without any additional purchases, proved the practicality and cost-effectiveness of the NETSCOUT Visibility without Borders technology approach.
They achieved their outsourcing objectives leveraging the nGenius VaaS managed service offering. That enabled the IT staff the time necessary to focus on other strategic initiatives critical to the healthcare.
The healthcare provider has also benefited from the vendor and tool consolidation that comes with sourcing NETSCOUT for the network and application service assurance solution, the packet broker solution, as well as the outsourced manage support services. Today, as doctors, nurses, and staff depend on their network and clinical applications twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year - there simply is NO down time in a hospital. NETSCOUT is helping ensure performance and availability for this Healthcare organization.