Logging and monitoring
The importance of logging and monitoring to DevOps cannot be overstated. When things go wrong, logging shows a team what happened and when it happened so they know where to start the rework.
It’s just as essential to capture when things go right. The operational data logging provides insights on end user behavior and use case patterns. Armed with this information, a DevOps team can see data flow changes within a system and identify areas where improvements can be made.
When logging and metrics data is captured in a central store, such as Splunk or Fluentd, an automated monitoring solution can be set up to catch problems before they occur. In some cases, these solutions can work in concert with container orchestration to self-tune an application.
Embracing DevOps allows a national patient care provider to field a HIPAA compliant mobile app in just six weeks
This is just one of Devbridge’s many DevOps success stories. Yet, despite an abundance of results, it is common for companies to encounter resistance to DevOps principles.
Recently, a physician-driven company dedicated to helping hospitals and providers deliver high-quality patient care came to Devbridge in search of a custom solution.
The company’s network spanned 7,200-plus partner providers and more than 400 independently run facilities nationwide. Its physician partners had treated more than eight million patients annually. In order to fulfill its mission, the company’s recruiters were continually hiring new clinicians and schedulers needed to efficiently coordinate with existing providers. As you can imagine, communication was vital to an enterprise operating on this scale.
In the past, doctors and company employees had to rely on a mishmash of communication platforms that included an out-of-the-box text messaging system, email, SMS, iMessage, and telephones—far from ideal. This forced schedulers to reach out to doctors individually via several platforms.
To remedy this situation, the firm’s vice president of IT went in search of an all-encompassing solution that could address all their daily communication needs.
“We didn’t want (doctors) to have to worry about navigating multiple channels. Instead, we wanted to offer one channel and provide many opportunities within that channel.”
The solution the company envisioned was a single user-friendly mobile messaging platform that was secure enough to comply with HIPAA rules and could transmit group messages based on roles. No out-of-the-box tool was robust enough to meet these demands, so it was decided that a custom solution was required.
After researching several mobile app development companies, the vice president of IT chose Devbridge. “I felt like they were agile and they were listening to us,” she said. Once hired, the Devbridge team interviewed and surveyed the client’s employees and partner doctors to inform the product design.
Because the client embraced DevOps best practices, Devbridge was able to build a CI/CD pipeline suited to the task at hand. Sharing system admin credentials allowed the team to automate deployment of the app directly to iOS and Android app stores. This deep partnership allowed Devbridge to develop and release an MVP in a mere six weeks. As the client put it, “With traditional waterfall development, that would have been impossible.”
Senior product manager at Devbridge, Dipak Prasad, explained the solution, “We built a communication tool similar to Basic Messenger, but we encrypted it in transit so schedulers, employees, and providers could communicate about patients and remain HIPAA-compliant.” The team built a contact directory into the app, making it easy to look up contact information. Users can send direct, group, and broadcast messages in the system.
Since the MVP, Devbridge has been able to make many enhancements to the system, releasing a new version (based on user feedback) every two weeks. “In just seven months, we have released 12 versions—each one delivered across iOS, Android, and the web,” Prasad said.
The company reported a user adoption rate of 85% and growing with every release. Embracing DevOps and developing this application has truly revolutionized the way the organization operates and the level of care they provide their providers and patients.