Streamline Healthcare

Streamline Healthcare Diagnoses and Treats Application Performance Issues with AppDynamics.

Streamline Healthcare Solutions provides web-based software that addresses the unique needs of behavioral healthcare providers and managed care organizations. The company’s electronic health record (EHR) suite incorporates its customers’ unique business processes into a single solution, while maintaining their ability to grow and evolve.

Ease of use is paramount for Streamline’s customers who must maintain attention on needs of their behavioral health clients, rather than focusing on technology issues. In addition, Streamline’s application must perform well to ensure rapid service delivery, as clinicians and other members of the healthcare organizations face growing caseloads. 

For more information visit: www.streamlinehealthcare.com

Challenges

In early 2013, Streamline started looking in to application monitoring tools to track production environment performance and identify any issues or errors customers encountered. There were many different factors involved in troubleshooting and resolving certain problems. According to Wasif Butt, Chief Development Officer, at Streamline Healthcare Solutions, “There was a lot of guesswork involved in debugging certain issues. Running profiling tools in production environments was not ideal and server logs and error logging was not efficient.” Streamline’s best practice at the time was to review logs, which worked when IT staff received an immediate complaint during the malfunction, allowing them to observe the database and its application and find the issue. However, trying to replicate and resolve an issue after the fact was difficult in many instances.

Solution

The company conducted an application performance monitoring (APM) capabilities review, which included AppDynamics, SolarWinds, and other vendors. According to Butt, AppDynamics stood apart from the other vendors in several ways. “The way AppDynamics integrates into our application is very seamless. It made it easy to customize our application to gain very insightful feedback in the dashboard. AppDynamics was an easy choice. ”

It didn’t take long for AppDynamics to prove its value. “We simply configured AppDynamics to capture screen loads that took over two seconds, allowing us to drill down into some sections of the source code. In one instance, we noticed a few extra database calls. Reducing those to one database call resulted in a 300-millisecond gain,” informs Butt.

AppDynamics is helping us take customer satisfaction to a whole new level by giving customers visibility into the performance of our application.

What about errors that were reported after the fact? Clinicians are rarely able to capture and log errors—or even create trouble tickets—because they are focused on serving their clients. Using AppDynamics, Streamline was able to retrieve the relevant information, such as the precise screen, time of the incident, specific user logged on, and what activity they were performing. “This definitive data gave us everything necessary to replicate and debug that same scenario, identify hidden errors and fix them,” recalls Butt.

Benefits

Streamline Healthcare reduced replication errors and performance issues by five- to ten-percent since deploying AppDynamics, and Butt expects those numbers to increase when the company begins using AppDynamics’ real-user monitoring capabilities to gain insights into client-side data. The company is also evaluating the AppDynamics Database Monitoring solution to fine-tune performance and monitor load on the MS SQL databases.

What AppDynamics features does Butt find most useful? “It’s hard to pick only one. I really like the AppDynamics Data Collector feature. For .NET, we can drill down and specify which method executions we want to track. The alerting and reporting feature is also very powerful. It allows us to define thresholds in the AppDynamics Portal and automatically receive alerts any time a threshold is crossed. We can even automate remediation of issues in many incidents by telling the APM system which scripts to run when that alert occurs.”

AppDynamics give us everything we need to replicate and debug scenarios, identify hidden errors and fix them.

Streamline Healthcare’s mission is to empower people who help those in need. Rather than viewing AppDynamics as a secret weapon or quietly using the APM solution as strategic advantage, Streamline is happy to advocate its use. “I recommend AppDynamics to anyone who has application performance monitoring needs. Actually, we recommend it to all of our customers. We’ve already customized our application to share certain AppDynamics parameters with customers. It’s really quite simple. Our customers just have to set up AppDynamics and load the website to gain access to all the custom information that we’ve configured into our application,” insists Butt.