MediLink Network, Inc. provides state-of-the-art technology solutions to the healthcare industry in the Asia Pacific region. Established in 1999 in the Philippines, MediLink has grown to serve over two million insured members with a network spanning more than 4,800 health facilities and 43,000 practitioners. By providing comprehensive services ranging from member enrollment, transaction authorization, claim adjudication, and fraud monitoring, MediLink's platform allows health insurers, facilities, and healthcare providers to communicate seamlessly and enable patients to access their healthcare benefits conveniently.
MediLink piloted ExtraHop with its client -- the Philippines' leading HMO -- which has over one million members spread across the country's over 7,000 islands. The client has a complex environment with 5,000 devices across its datacenter, headquarters, and remote branch offices that process one hundred million transactions daily related to the authorization of care for patients and payment to providers. Those transactions must process seamlessly in order to support patient care and experience.
"Given that a patient's access to healthcare could be a matter of life and death, we have an obligation to keep our services up and running 24x7," says Esther Go, President and CEO of MediLink Network, Inc. "If one of our applications or infrastructure components goes down, it can quickly impact our ability to deliver the high-level of service our customers demand."
During the 2016 HIMSS AsiaPac Conference, Ms. Go encountered ExtraHop and had a light-bulb moment.
"One of the challenges of our monitoring architecture was its siloed nature," says Ms. Go. "Different tools gave us visibility into different components, but we didn't have a source of information that gave us the full picture. When problems arose, it was hard to get to a consensus about the root cause."
In ExtraHop, Ms. Go realized she'd found a solution to her team's visibility problem.
An IT Treatment Plan
The MediLink team turned to trusted IT solutions partner Nexus Technologies to test and implement the platform. Working closely with ExtraHop, Nexus Tech quickly operationalized the platform to get Ms. Go's team the visibility they needed.
With ExtraHop, they finally had access to real-time insight across all of their most critical systems, from the back-end infrastructure, to applications, to VoIP.
"When we implemented ExtraHop, we had – for the first time ever – the ability to see performance issues before they turned into outages or impacted end-users," says Ms. Go. "More importantly, the unified view across our systems allows us to see if one issue is having a cascade effect on other systems. We can now truly triage ICT for better patient experience."
One of the biggest concerns for MediLink is compliance with industry information security and quality standards. With its large portfolio of corporate clients, the company frequently subjects itself to information security compliance audits. ExtraHop has dramatically simplified a process that once required manual aggregation of reports from diverse systems.
MediLink has leveraged real-time reporting and data visualization from ExtraHop to quickly hone in on errors and response time deviations. With transaction record search from ExtraHop, MediLink can quickly identify the source of the issue and deliver a fix, helping meet their incident response SLAs.
When issues arose previously, clients generally heard from unhappy end users, usually patients or their family members. While service issues can be unpleasant in any circumstance, their impact is greatly magnified in a healthcare setting.
"Our first priority is customer care and experience, and that means more than just the quality of care a patient receives in a hospital," say Ms. Go. "Every interaction they have with us – whether a pre-authorization for hospitalization, an inquiry about benefits, or a referral to a specialist – should be seamless."
The ExtraHop platform proactively alerts the management team of service degradations and allows them to investigate those issues to determine root cause, while implementing workarounds such as additional staffing or proactive call-outs to affected service areas. They can also determine whether the problem is arising from within the internal environment, or whether it's coming from the telco, helping facilitate a more pleasant healthcare experience for the patient.
A New Focus on IT Wellness
An important application MediLink supports on behalf of its insurer clients allows providers to request pre-authorizations for patient claims. "This application accounts for as much as a third of the one hundred million transactions we process every day. The bottom line is that it needs to work all the time," says Ms. Go. "If it's slow or down, it impacts provider workflows, often delaying healthcare services for our insured members."
ExtraHop and Nexus helped MediLink build dashboards that track the number of transactions processed and application response time. "Now we have the information we need to understand exactly how this application is performing, and if it's not, quickly triage a business continuity workflow before it impacts user experience," says Ms. Go.
"Anyone who does a lot of transactions needs ExtraHop," says Ms. Go. "There's just no substitute for the quality and speed to insight they provide."
*3.4 defects per million opportunities