New York-based Lighthouse Guild is the leading U.S. organization dedicated to addressing and preventing vision loss. By coordinating care for eye health, vision rehabilitation, behavioral health, and related services, Lighthouse Guild is working to reduce the burden of living with vision loss. The organization also offers Adult Day Health Care with activities and social interaction in Albany, Buffalo, Manhattan, and Niagara Falls.

The yardstick for healthcare IT is shifting from general service levels to the user experience, according to Robert Dulak, Chief Information Officer for Lighthouse Guild. For IT, this applies to both patients and to clinicians. Improving user experience boosts both patient satisfaction and staff productivity.

Challenges
  • Increase time available for face-to-face patient care
  • Isolate and resolve the cause of a poor user experience with a new eHealth software-as-a-service (SaaS) application
  • Free up time for service desk support by reducing ticket volume and duration
Solution
  • Aternity End User Experience Monitoring, delivered as a managed service by G-Net Solutions
Benefits
  • Increases clinician productivity by proactively identifying and resolving user experience problems
  • Improves patient experience by enabling clinicians to focus more on the patient and less on the technology
  • Increases IT staff efficiency with faster troubleshooting, thanks to real-time monitoring and detailed diagnostic data
  • Mitigates the risk of SaaS adoption by creating a single source of truth about the user experience
“By pinpointing the reasons behind slow (SaaS-delivered EHR application) logins, Aternity helped us save 14 seconds on each of 300 logins a day. That’s 70 minutes extra minutes a day for patient care—303 hours a year—for the listening and caring we’re known for.”
Robert Dulak Chief Information Officer, Lighthouse Guild
Challenges: Increase patient care time, mitigate risk of SaaS adoption

Dulak kept the focus on user experience in mind as Lighthouse Guild prepared to adopt one of its first enterprise SaaS apps, an eHealth portal containing member visit histories and care plans. “We wanted visibility into the user experience so we could quickly identify and remediate issues,” he says. As it happened, the need arose on day one, when login to the eHealth portal took a frustrating 24 seconds. To improve the experience, Lighthouse Guild’s IT service provider, G-Net Solutions, had to discover whether the delay came from the cloud provider’s servers, the network, the virtual desktop infrastructure, or some combination.

Solution: Proactively monitoring the user’s experience

Lighthouse Guild found its solution in Aternity End User Experience Monitoring, which G-Net offers as a managed service. “With Aternity we can see exactly what Lighthouse Guild users see as they use the eHealth portal in the course of their day,” says Jim Magee, G-Net’s Director of Engineering. “When response is slow, we can see the breakdown by client time, network time, and server time.”

After installing Aternity on Lighthouse Guild’s user devices, G-Net immediately spotted the sources of the slow login—one of which was the SaaS provider’s servers “The service provider was unaware of the problem and initially questioned it,” says Dulak. “But after they saw our data they made changes over a week or two that sped up response from 24 seconds to 14 seconds.”

Aternity also revealed that several of the Windows servers hosting Lighthouse Guild’s virtual desktops slowed down significantly once a certain number of people had logged in. “Adding CPU resources cut the server portion of login time from 8.18 seconds to 3.95 seconds,” says Magee. “Without Aternity it might have taken months to discover the remedy.”

G-Net now also uses Aternity to monitor Lighthouse Guild’s on-premises applications, including Microsoft Office Suite and financial applications.

Benefits: A better clinician experience means better patient experience

“By pinpointing the reasons behind slow logins, Aternity helped us save 14 seconds on each of 300 logins a day,” Dulak says. “That’s 70 minutes extra minutes a day for patient care—303 hours a year—for the listening and caring we’re known for.”

More efficient IT, with proactive support

Monitoring the user experience enables G-Net to fix problems proactively, saving providers from having to open IT cases. Early awareness of user experience issues helps Lighthouse Guild keep operations running smoothly and mitigate risk. Aternity has become a trusted partner for both G-Net Solutions and Lighthouse Guild

Effective communications with executives and business owners

G-Net built custom Aternity dashboards that Lighthouse Guild IT staff use to set priorities. One dashboard shows the best-performing and worst-performing applications; another shows common health events, devices affected, and trends such as memory and processor usage over time. The company is adding dashboards to display real-time performance and availability data, creating a single source of truth. Various IT teams, company leaders, and business owners will have custom views showing their key performance indicators.

Next steps: eye on the user experience

Dulak concludes, “Aternity is helping us rethink how we do IT to become more transparent and responsive. In addition to looking at traditional IT metrics like application, server, and network performance, we also keep an eye on what matters most in healthcare organizations—the member and provider experience.”

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