Scalability & Performance Metrics for an Event Driven Clinical Communication & Collaboration Solution
Importance of Usability and End-User Experience
One of the key contributing factors to the success of a Clinical Communication and Collaboration (CC&C) solution is ensuring the end-user experience is optimized. Because the Engage Platform is uniquely constructed, it’s native mobile application also has some unique features that improve usability including:
• Ability to aggregate and store data from many data sources and use this data to drive multi-variable rules and provide clinical context to alerts, alarms, and messaging.
• Ability to process multiple simultaneous event-based data streams from various devices and systems and apply rules to reduce interruption fatigue and enhance event response.
• Ability to prioritize alarms, alerts, and messaging in the Engage Mobile app.
• Ability to provide patient-centric messaging—all alert and alarm response conversations carry the patient context.
• Ability to generate a dynamic care team based on the patient and event/alarm.
System Performance and Scalability—Impact on Usability
The proven ability of a solution to scale to an enterprise level deployment must be a key consideration when selecting a CC&C vendor. There is a direct correlation between system performance and a positive end-user experience. For example, when a system is at peak load and it takes 1 minute for a user to login or 45 seconds to complete a search for another user, then the user experience is compromised and the long-term adoption of a solution is also in jeopardy. Clinical users simply have no tolerance for a poorly performing mobile app and will usually find an alternate means to do their job.
Aside from typical technical computing factors such as the number of CPU cores, CPU processor speed, RAM memory, network bandwidth, etc.—ensuring good system performance is highly dependent on a number of additional factors including the following:
• The ability of a solution to scale to accommodate a large number of users and resources in the app roster.
• Number of rooms with active patients and the resulting level (average and peak) of alarm and event processing occurring at any given time.
• End-user search types varying by Enterprise, Care Unit, Group, and Patient.
• Number of simultaneous searches being conducted at varying times throughout the day including critical times such as at shift change.
• Number of individual one-on-one and group conversations at varying times throughout the day.
• Number of users logging in and out of the mobile application at given times—including at critical times such as shift change.
• Number of changes in presence at varying times throughout the day.
Vocera’s Enterprise Scale Testing Criteria for Engage
With each release, the Vocera® system undergoes performance and stress testing (i.e. the “Holodeck” test) to ensure it meets the requirements of the largest healthcare systems. One criterion is sustained sub-second search response times for a roster size of over 100,000
resources including clinicians inside and outside the hospital, patients, and groups.
Extra Search Load Parameters applied to this testing:
• 20 randomly varying searches every second with 455,000 unique search parameters
• Searches vary by length and characters
• Search types varying by Global, Unit, Group, and Patient
• Simultaneous searches vary from 1 to 5 every second
• 40 conversation searches included per hour
• 20 phone call searches included per hour
• 20 physician communication searches per hour