Gloucestershire NHS

Enhancing Citrix Infrastructure and Patient Services

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS was established following a reconfiguration of health services in Gloucestershire in 2002. This NHS Trust delivers essential hospital care through two major district general hospitals, Cheltenham General Hospital (CGH) and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital (GRH). The trust is supported by a team of 7,500 clinical and support staff who oversee the care for over 150,000 emergency attendances and 800,000 outpatient appointments every year.

The Challenge

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS strategically acquired ControlUp to enhance its capabilities in monitoring and managing its expanding array of Citrix virtual servers and user sessions running on these servers. This move was motivated by the need for heightened visibility and control over their front-line users. The urgency of this decision was underlined by the fact that their Citrix infrastructure played a pivotal role in supporting their newly implemented electronic patient record system (EPR), which demanded uninterrupted availability.

The initial rollout of the EPR system on remote mobile carts running IGEL devices had a 30% failure rate in staying connected to the internal network creating significant delays in patient services and overwhelming the internal IT and helpdesk team. Additionally, the EPR system running on Citrix was inconsistently available for usage by hospital staff, with “The Gateway Service is Unavailable” being the most common result from attempting to access the system.

“ControlUp’s monitoring technology for our thin client devices and Citrix virtual infrastructure delivers insight into both physical and virtual challenges during the initial deployment and offers essential monitoring and resolution capabilities for continuous service support.”
Matt Benson | Senior Technical Architect, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS

The Solution

“Given that Wi-Fi issues weren’t detected in other hospital areas, it became evident that we were dealing with a hardware-related issue,“ Benson says. “Subsequent testing of the physical Wi-Fi equipment led us to identify the issue as stemming from the cart’s overall design, exacerbated by interference from neighboring electronic components near the IGEL device.”

ControlUp’s monitoring capabilities provided insight into the Wi-Fi availability problems. They assisted IT in not only finding the cause of the carts but also ensuring a reliable service to determine Wi-Fi issues in the future quickly.

ControlUp Real-Time DX quickly provided the IT team insight into the Gateway Service issue, as required services consistently failed due to virtual machine (VM) issues preventing access to the EPR system. In addition to immediately diagnosing the problem, ControlUp provided a trigger and action service on VMs responsible for supporting access to the EPR system, whereby a new VM would immediately launch, preventing the help desk team from having to keep the system operational manually.

“With ControlUp monitoring and automation in place, we reduced the number of service desk tickets by an average of 100 per week,” said Benson. “As a result, it significantly enhanced the user experience when working with the new EPR system.”

Headquarters: Gloucester, UK
Founded: 2004
Employees: 7,500
Industry: Healthcare
  • Monitoring and availability of newly implemented Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system operating on remote mobile carts
  • Monitoring and automation of VM services running Citrix servers to reduce significant delays and overhead for the IT helpdesk team
  • ControlUp Real-Time DX
  • ControlUp Edge DX
  • Synthetic Proactive Testing (Scoutbees)
  • Reduction of service desk tickets by an average of 100 per week
  • Significant increase in availability of critical EPR services on the Citrix platform
  • Optimization of IT resources
  • Consistent monitoring and availability of Wi-Fi for mobile EPR carts