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Cerner Monitoring in Healthcare IT management

Monitoring, Diagnosis and Reporting of Cerner Millenium Applications

Cerner Healthcare IT Monitoring

From electronic health records (EHR) to population health management to medical equipment hardware, Cerner provides a range of health information technology solutions. Cerner Millennium is a cloud-based, Java-based automated library solution that acts as a single source of truth for clinical operational and financial transactions. It provides an enterprise-wide view of patient care and the points at which care was delivered in both acute inpatient and outpatient settings. This seamless integration across the continuum of care enables providers to make informed, data-driven decisions without leaving the clinical workflows.

Healthcare organizations can deploy Cerner Millennium on-premises or they can use the Cerner Remote Hosting Option (RHO) service, a SaaS option from Cerner. In either case, performance of Cerner Millennium is important.

  • Monitoring of Cerner Millennium is Challenging

    There are several challenges that healthcare organizations face when monitoring Cerner Millennium:

    Cerner IT monitoring illustration
    • Errors during transaction processing can result in rejected insurance claims, delay healthcare delivery, and impact revenue cycle processes. It is paramount to detect such errors proactively and to fix them quickly.
    • Cerner Millennium is a large, complex suite of applications with many inter-relationships and impacts that are not easily visible: DNS/AD servers are used for user authentication, Apache web servers are the front-end, F5 is used for load-balancing, and Java technologies are extensively used with IBM WebSphere and Apache Tomcat is used as middleware. Backend technologies can be Oracle, Microsoft SQL server, or MySQL. When slowness occurs, it can take a lot of manual analysis to determine where the root cause of the problem lies.
    • In addition, Millennium environments can be dynamic. New projects can be added, new service packages may be installed, or another site brought into production. Every change in the environment can affect service performance.
    • Many clients make Cerner Millennium client applications accessible to users using Citrix/VDI sessions. Slowness in the Citrix/VDI infrastructure can also result in user complaints.
  • Total Performance Monitoring for Cerner Millennium Applications with eG Enterprise

    eG Enterprise enables healthcare organizations to move away from a reactive and siloed approach to monitoring:

    Healthcare IT Performance Monitoring at Cerner
    • Using a combination of synthetic and real-user monitoring, healthcare IT teams can keep tabs on user experience, irrespective of whether users access Millennium through a web interface or via Citrix/VDI.
    • Our universal monitoring technology monitors every layer and every tier of the Cerner Millennium architecture.
    • A patented root-cause diagnosis engine correlates performance across the different tiers in real time and automatically pin-points the root cause of any issues.
    • IT admins and architects also have insights into a wealth of analytics that can help them right-size and optimize their deployments and plan for future growth.
  • Enabling Healthcare IT Move from Resource Monitoring to User Experience Monitoring

    Monitoring of IT resources - CPU, memory, disk, etc. - are no longer sufficient for critical healthcare applications, such as Cerner Millennium. eG Enterprise helps healthcare IT organizations in many ways:

    RUM monitoring dashboard
    • Healthcare IT administrators can measure digital user experience actively using Synthetic User Monitoring and passively using Real User Monitoring to enhance customer satisfaction and productivity
    • Real User Monitoring (RUM) identifies the time when user experience is poor, the affected geographical location, isolates page load issues & Java script errors, drills down into slow transaction & finds out the origin - frontend, backend, network, storage etc
    • Using synthetic monitoring, eG Enterprise simulates user transactions to provide proactive user experience metrics
    • DevOps personnel can test application performance before rolling out new updates/upgrades into market to uphold quality
    • Automate performance deviation monitoring by comparing real user experience with synthetic monitoring tests and creating baselines
    • Diagnose, analyze & troubleshoot user experience issues even before they impact your users to reduce helpdesk tickets and remove performance bottlenecks
  • Provide Deep Transaction Processing Insight to Streamline Healthcare Access

    Java technology is the core of Cerner Millennium. While many Cerner monitoring tools provide external insights into performance of the healthcare applications, eG Enterprise goes far deeper, providing detailed insights into all aspects of Java processing.

    • Monitor each Java virtual machine (JVM) in-depth. Learn if heap size is configured sufficiently, whether there are any memory leaks in the application, whether there are any deadlocks during application processing, etc.
    • Track the performance of the Java middleware, whether it is IBM WebSphere or Apache Tomcat. Get insights into thread pool utilization, database connection pool availability, and servlet processing times.
    • Using byte-code instrumentation, get code level insights. Be alerted to any exceptions in transaction processing, see which accesses are slow and why, learn if database queries are causing user accesses to be slow.
  • Get Unparalleled Insights into Citrix/VDI Performance

    Citrix/VDI technology is often used to publish Cerner client apps for user access. While monitoring tools for Java technologies do not have visibility into Citrix/VDI, monitoring tools for Citrix/VDI do not support Java applications well.

    eG Enterprise is unique in its ability to monitor both Java technologies and Citrix/VDI technologies equally well:

    • Our Citrix logon simulator provides a simple way to track logon availability and performance.
    • Monitor all aspects of Citrix/VDI user experience including logon times, application launch times, screen refresh latency, etc., for every user session.
    • Provide insights to help administrators diagnose where Citrix slowness arises from - whether it is due to the user's home network, due to the Citrix stack, or due to the virtualization platform supporting it.
    • Get recommendations to get more out of your current Citrix/VDI investments.
  • Monitor Every Tier Supporting Cerner Millennium

    Performance issues in any IT tier can impact user experience. Bottlenecks in the server operating system, virtualization tier, storage, message queues, or the backend database can adversely affect performance. Use eG Enterprise's universal monitoring technology to track KPIs for each tier. Machine learning capabilities in eG Enterprise enable it to quickly identify anomalies in any KPI value. Color-coded topology views make it easy for even helpdesk personnel to detect where the real problems lie and to get the right domain experts involved. This results in faster diagnosis of problems, improved user satisfaction, and even increased operational efficiency.

  • Why eG Enterprise for Cerner Monitoring?

    eG Enterprise's multi-dimensional performance monitoring helps healthcare IT professionals track the performance of all the tiers of a Cerner deployment including networks, storage, virtualization, Citrix, Java, middleware, Windows, and other platforms. With its deep monitoring capabilities, you can get the metrics that matter at your fingertips and identify and resolve problems in minutes rather than hours.

    eG Enterprise at Cerner

    With eG Enterprise, healthcare organizations can:

    • Ensure higher uptime and performance of Cerner Millennium applications, thereby enabling timely patient access to healthcare services
    • Rapidly troubleshoot and diagnose problems, thereby improving the efficiency and productivity of the healthcare IT team
    • Detect errors during transaction processing, allowing healthcare IT teams to learn of problems proactively and take immediate action to minimize user complaints
    • Assist the healthcare IT teams to do more with less through recommendations for right-sizing and optimization

Why eG? One Monitor to Manage All of IT.

eG Enterprise is something we can't live without. We have been able to use eG Enterprise to quantify performance improvements in areas that we were struggling with before, and with a few changes we were able to quickly see that we had a 50% improvement in Citrix user login times.

Wendy Howard
Infrastructure Engineer, St. Charles Health System


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