Haight Ashbury Free Clinics use IT to reduce data bottlenecks, patient wait times
Using Paessler’s PRTG Network Monitor, San Francisco's Haight Ashbury Free Clinics are reducing network delays which extend patient waiting times, cause system downtime and result in a loss of productivity.
“It is a better way to network the traffic, peaking the Internet connections,” said Adam Eckstrom-Browne, the nine-office, two-clinic network's sole administrator.
Patients have noticed the improved “uptime” of the system as a whole and increased access to the practice system, scheduling and connecting to other constituents, he said. E-mails notify patients when the system does go down.
“The software saved the company money and my time, I don’t have to troubleshoot as much,” said Eckstrom-Browne. ”It tells you which points in the system are piquing and when and it reduces down time.”
Dirk Paessler, president and founder of Paessler AG, based in Germany, said the monitoring of data collected over time is the ideal basis for network optimization.
“In developing PRTG, our goal was to put the most powerful solution of this type possible into our customers’ hands,” he said. “This specially-developed database format, optimized for storing monitoring data as well as comprehensive analysis and visualization options, make recognizing trends simple, quick and convenient.”
Paessler donated its network monitoring software with a one-year license and support to the clinics.
The network monitor allows for the long-term collection of data and detailed analysis, which can then be used as a basis for effective planning of investments in network infrastructure, as well as optimal utilization of hardware and virtualized environments. In this way PRTG supplies the basis for in-depth data analysis, so that the root causes of network problems can be identified.
At Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, thin clients run software programs that handle everything from e-mail to billing and patient/client scheduling. They connect to a single network that also supports Internet and phone use for all users. The nine offices are supported by a hybrid phone system that combines digital and VoIP technologies. At the main site there are 70 users, with an additional 110 spread over the eight other sites.
“When a lot of people are checking their voicemail, it puts a great deal of stress on the T1 line,” said Eckstrom-Browne.