Welcome to part five of our Application Updates blog series. In case you missed it, this post is the follow-up to A Poorly Timed Application Update Cost a Financial Services Organization Millions in Revenue, which recounts my experience with an update gone wrong at a large financial services company that lost potentially millions in revenue. While that was certainly a high-pressure environment, I never felt more pressure performing application updates than I did working in healthcare, which is where I spent most of my career.
In some cases, it’s not just revenue and jobs on the line. In the healthcare space, a faulty application update could mean the difference between life and death. This blog details how critical it is for application updates to be handled in a modern, efficient manner in healthcare organizations and how Cloudpager rapidly enables just that.
Maintaining Legacy Desktop Operations is Simply Not Worth the Risk
Healthcare environments are amongst the highest pressure for IT workers. Patient care is now heavily reliant on Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. These systems must be routinely patched but obviously hospitals operate 24 hours a day and there is never a good time to disrupt patient care but even so the patching must be done. During these EHR updates, there is a scheduled downtime and large teams work to complete the updates as quickly as possible since the downtime is so sensitive.
Sometimes updates do not go to plan. Perhaps, the EHR client is deployed with Citrix or VMware solutions and there is an infrastructure issue preventing the reboots required to update PVS images or move to new snapshots in MCS or Horizon. This happened to me. Hundreds of VMs needed to be rebooted to get the updated client available at scale quickly for those working in the hospitals. Unfortunately, a scheduled backup was not disabled by a separate team which resulted in reboots taking a long time in some cases and failing in other cases. This can be a major problem because if you go beyond the downtime schedule for an EHR and patient care is adversely affected, this may have to be reported to the regulatory body.
Adopt a Modern Approach to Application Updates with Cloudpager
With Cloudpager, there would be no need to put the complex EHR software into an image. Thus, there would be no need to revert all VMs to a certain snapshot or reboot servers to get them to stream a new image. Cloudpager would simply update the application container. No image updates required; no reboots required. Your Cloudpaging containers can also work with your existing systems. For example, if your EHR recommends the use of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops or VMware Horizon for centralized management, Cloudpager can seamlessly deploy to those systems while providing the same enhanced container management features.
As I noted before, the majority of my career was spent in healthcare. I have to say there is a lot of respect shown to the EHR software. Updates are rolled up through many, many different types of test and development environments long before they ever get to production. As such, mishaps or disruptions during the production updates are caused by unexpected slowness rather than a problem with the software update. Where I see extra added value by Cloudpager for your EHR is being able to use it for packaging and deploying to all EHR environments from a single solution, which will cut down on the number of images that need to be maintained. It will allow you to roll back changes in those non-production environments when there is a problem during testing because something was added to a build that doesn’t work or there is a misstep, such as the DB team updating the wrong environments or the Citrix team being told the wrong environment to move to the latest version. With Cloudpager, rolling the update to an additional environment to correct the misstep or even rolling back an environment is simple, near-instant, and can be executed without reboots or disruption.
Patient care and actual human lives are much more valuable than money. Cloudpager can revolutionise how you update software in your healthcare system. If you are an IT Pro reading this and feeling that knot in your stomach just thinking of pressure brought on when trying to get your EHR back up and running after a bad patch, not only will the speed of deployments with Cloudpager amaze you but the ability to quickly rollback application containers may bring tears of joy. All those late nights and early mornings backing out changes can be resigned to the trash can of history.
Take a deep dive into the entire application updates blog series, if you haven’t already. Also, let us know what real-world examples you would like to learn about on Twitter or LinkedIn.
- Blog 1: How to Achieve Truly Seamless Application Updates with Cloudpager
- Blog 2: Expedited Updates without Capable Tools Fracture Teams
- Blog 3: Weekend Updates Don’t Have to Take All Weekend
- Blog 4: A Poorly Timed Application Update Cost a Financial Services Organization Millions in Revenue
- Blog 5: Slow Application Updates Can Negatively Affect Patient Care
See Cloudpager in Action!
Schedule a demonstration with our Solutions Architects to see how Cloudpager enables you to dynamically provision applications and updates within seconds in a friction-free manner.