About the Customer

Founded in 2011, the leading healthcare provider in one of the largest health systems in Illinois. They offer a full continuum of care from childbirth to retirement living, and they believe in a personal, hands-on approach to care. They are recognized for providing exceptional and compassionate care to more than 4.5 million men, women, and children in 12 hospitals, 150+ outpatient facilities, 27 senior care locations and dozens of doctors’ offices. The company is driven by a singular goal: to provide compassionate health care to all those who need it.

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Azure Web Apps PaaS

 

Azure SQL 

 

Clearfix

Business Challenge

In mid-2016, the Client's Community Health Department performed a soft rollout of a web application designed to consolidate and centralize data relevant to the health and well-being of communities in Illinois to extract greater insights from the collected data. Some of the data, like the confidential information provided by partners, was kept private, while the rest was made public.

The data served by the web app resides in Azure SQL, and the Azure Web App Service manages the database for both public and authenticated users. The foundational technology of the web app is the Django framework for Python with an Azure SQL backend.

Before the web app could be publicized to a larger audience, the healthcare provider approached SNP to “professionalize the application,” which meant ensuring that:

  1. The web application code and its data were secure.
  2. The application is performant.
  3. The development methodology followed industry best practices.
  4. The solution was scalable.

 

Security Concerns

  1. Stop unauthorized access to the internal workings of the web application.
  2. Encrypt data at rest and in motion.
  3. Cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection mitigation.
  4. SSL enforcement.
  5. Regular data backup.

 

Performance Concerns

  1. Configure application settings effectively to enhance performance.
  2. Address latency caused by Python’s serialization of very large datasets.
  3. Best usage of external cache, e.g. Redis, for caching of page requests and page assets.

 

Additionally, the health care provider identified programming challenges which their internal team was unable to resolve.

The SNP Solution

SNP’s team of Cloud architects and Python/ Django specialists proposed a comprehensive solution based on Azure cloud infrastructure, Azure SQL database and application code. We provided a set of guidelines for code standards and specific recommendations to improve their application architecture security and performance.

SNP replicated the web application’s production environment into an isolated resource group to serve as a sandbox for performing analyses and a test bed for the healthcare provider to use on an ongoing basis.

Beyond these recommendations, SNP also provided several coding solutions to help the healthcare provider identify and fix bugs in their systems faster, which enhanced the overall performance of their application.

Customer Benefits

  • SNP’s code solutions have built-in software components with features like scalability, high availability, and security which helped the healthcare provider cut its coding time drastically.
  • The recommended coding solutions were designed to be replicated across the application to achieve performance and security enhancements. For instance, one of the customer’s data serialization concerns was resolved by SNP’s code updates, improving query speeds by 50%.
  • With SNP’s Azure PaaS services, the healthcare provider gets access to reliable business intelligence tools that allow them to better mine their data, find insights and patterns and predict outcomes to improve forecasting, investment returns, and other business decisions.
  • By providing them with isolated resource groups, the healthcare provider now has a small network to test and enhance application performance before moving to production.
  • SNP’s recommendations ensured the healthcare provider that it had all the support needed from building, testing, deploying, managing and updating within the same integrated environment going forward.