Hospital network relies on open source monitoring in Docker containers
The highest standards in healthcare
Paracelsus has the goal of mapping the information stream, including the complete lifecycle of individual files, in its monitoring. To do so, one has to understand the special IT communication in healthcare: Usually, medical devices use control systems that are set up on virtualized middleware machines. For medical devices, these management systems are the only way to interact with the network. The control systems then distribute the input from the medical devices, such as X-rays, over the network, and then transmit the data to communication servers, for example via Java interfaces. These interfaces then pass the information on to subsystems such as hospital information systems (HIS). All of these diverse elements needed to be monitored.
The ability to retrieve and combine detailed information from multiple sources is used by Paracelsus to narrow down the sources of errors as precisely as possible. Paracelsus relies on predefined HL7 standards in all clinics. All exchanged data follow the same structure and are always processed by the end devices according to predefined patterns. The IT team monitors compliance with these processing patterns.
Monitoring complex procedures
Plans for the future
Paracelsus made a conscious decision to implement the system via Docker, since all clinics of the group use container infrastructures in many other areas. For example, every clinic already has a Kubernetes cluster, which is also monitored with Checkmk. Paracelsus also uses Checkmk integrations with Grafana and Prometheus. This allows the creation of meaningful visualizations and an interlocking with the monitoring tools of the development teams.
Paracelsus wants to provide as many branches as possible with Checkmk instances. In some hospitals Checkmk replaces further legacy tools, in others, there has not been real monitoring up until now. In any case, the local IT managers welcome the use of Checkmk, as IT problems can be detected faster and even avoided with the monitoring. Checkmk is also able to identify unused resources and systems.
Paracelsus is focussing on the inclusion of further hospitals into its monitoring. It also plans to monitor cloud assets. Paracelsus already uses AWS and Azure Cloud and hosts Prometheus in the Azure Cloud. Therefore, in the future, the hospital group also intends to monitor its AWS and Azure Assets with Checkmk.