Case Study

Healthcare Provider Assures Quality Performance of Epic Patient Records Applications

Healthcare Provider Assures Quality Performance of Epic Patient Records Applications


The Challenge
  • Major data center transformations, with upgrades to 40GB core links and VMware virtualized servers 
  • Performance issues with Epic patient records application and lack of visibility made cut over from back-up to primary data center unsuccessful 
The Solution
  • nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform 
  • InfiniStreamNG™ software and vSTREAM™ virtual appliances 
  • nGenius® Visibility as a Service 
The Results
  • Improved visibility for troubleshooting to improve performance of patient-impacting services 
  • Rapid time-to-value with operational expertise from nVaaS 

Customer Profile

This Midwest-based, nationally ranked, pediatric specialty hospital based that offers dozens of pediatric sub-specialties throughout its facilities and clinics. From their main hospital campus and dozens of outpatient facilities, physicians and staff care for more than 200,000 children a year from nearly all of the fifty U.S. states and many countries around the world. This provider also serves as a teaching facility for pediatric interns associated with one of the country’s most renowned schools of medicine. It is no surprise that this hospital is featured regularly in the U.S. News & World report rankings of best children’s hospitals in the country. 

The Challenge

As is the case for all healthcare organizations, maintaining HIPAA compliance means ensuring redundancy both in primary data centers and any back-up, off-site locations. Back-up systems and processes are established to ensure electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), such as electronic health record (EHR), are consistently available, secure, and up-to-date. To that end, this healthcare provider had implemented a redundant data center that mirrored the capabilities of their primary data center. Periodically, the information technology (IT) staff would cut -over from the primary data center and function through the back-up data center to ensure it was operating as well as the primary. 

During a recent cut-over back to the primary data center, the organization experienced several performance issues with critical application services, including their EHR application, Epic. Hospital staff had lengthy wait times pulling up patient records they needed, log-ins were delayed, and record uploads were slow. All of this impacted the swift, safe, accurate treatment of the patients, and it even required the IT team to return service access to the back-up data center until they could pinpoint the source of the issues in the primary data center. 

Solution in Action

Senior management in IT and in the network infrastructure teams determined that the dramatic network changes in their environment over the past couple of years necessitated additional investment in visibility for key areas of the primary data center. This would enable them to better troubleshoot issues with critical application services, like Epic, Citrix, Office 365, and radiology and imaging applications, just to name a few. With rapid, accurate patient care at risk, restoring availability and quality performance to EHRs was an imperative. After careful consideration, the IT team selected: 

  • NETSCOUT® Certified InfiniStreamNG 9800 Series Software Appliances to monitor high volume, north-south traffic across the core 40 GB links in their primary data center for visibility and troubleshooting 
  • Multiple vSTREAM virtual appliances to monitor east-west traffic within their virtualized VMware environment for visibility into server-to-server performance issues 
  • nGenius Visibility as a Service (nVaaS) support program to perform the daily care and feeding of the nGeniusONE implementation at the hospital for operationalizing the solution with expertise in proactive problem detection and rapid triage and troubleshooting

The additions in visibility with ISNG and vSTREAMs, combined with the expertise of the nVaaS team will make cut-overs between primary and back-up data centers more seamless, as well as help to ensure the availability and performance of all their patient-affecting services. 

The Results

The importance of quick access to patient records has been a driving force in adding visibility for this healthcare provider’s IT organization and their network operations team. With the extensive upgrades to 40 GB and digital transformations with VMware virtualization recently, they designed a strategy to gain additional visibility to maintain availability and quality performance for doctors, nurses, and clinicians in their treatment of young patients. The value of ensuring availability to patient care-related applications is, frankly, priceless. 

They are also gaining valuable advantages in faster troubleshooting, more efficient workflows, service activity trending and evidence-based planning, and proactive detection and resolution to emerging problems with the use of nVaaS services. This is helping to streamline budgeting, improve planning for upgrades and enhancements, and reduce potential for widespread, performance-impacting issues, all of which ultimately means better patient care – their primary mission and focus to begin with.