David Hallberg, Vice President, Product Management

Are you measuring your Cerner Millennium® throughput correctly?

With Covid-19 and the significant impact on hospital finances, many organizations are asking: how can we improve our clinicians’ delivery of care without incurring huge operational or capital expenditures? One method to make no-cost improvements is to ensure the correct number of processes are running on each Cerner Millennium® application node.

This may seem straightforward because the normal metrics used to identify “performance” evaluate how much CPU and memory is being used. While these metrics are effective in tracking resource consumption and the overall scalability of the application node, they are not effective in tracking performance of the throughput. These metrics are designed to provide a high-level overview of the amount of work being done by the application node, not to track the throughput of an individual process nor set of processes on each application node.

So how can you measure each process’ throughput? The next question is how do you measure the output of Millennium “service”? A service is a set of processes that work to accomplish the same set of tasks or requests. For example, the CPM Async Script process has multiple “instances” that are configured to run and are running. This is done to handle the amount of work being done by the processes. Tracking and instrumenting these processes would be a simple process, but the complexity lies in the lack of tools to track this.

Softek Panther has the tools to track and measure these throughputs. It has a Queuing Performance Spreadsheet report showing how much queuing (throughput problems), and an SCP Recommendations control that shows how many additional instances of a given process are needed to keep up with the current version of code build of the applications and clinical volumes. An example of this is included below:

By selecting the box in the “Selected” column, the number of configured instances will be changed by the number in the “Increase” column. For example, the first row, Queue, CERN.EKS_ASYNCH_01, Entry ID 150, SCP Description Discern Expert Server (EKS_ASYNCH_01) currently has a configured instance count of 31, but it requires one more instance to be configured and started. This is accomplished on all application nodes in the domain. This also cycles all server instances to ensure any build or technical configuration changes that have occurred are up to date for each instance of the server or process.

Doing this every week and making the recommended changes will keep your Cerner Millennium® system working with the highest clinical throughput that the application nodes can achieve. This is accomplished without adding hardware, updating to new Cerner Millennium® versions, or paying consultants to perform costly and time-consuming analysis.

This is a very effective and inexpensive way to keep your clinicians happy with the performance of Cerner Millennium®. This process will also keep your system running effectively, even as workloads increase.

What does Softek® do?

Softek’s mission is to help hospital systems maximize their investment in Oracle Cerner Millennium®. We do this by providing innovative software solutions and consulting services that can achieve more together than either can alone.

At Softek, our team of innovators and software developers brings expertise beyond the ordinary to every client. Our experts are involved with Oracle Cerner Millennium® hospitals throughout the country, consulting clients so they can optimize system performance and revenue integrity.

Softek delivers a full suite of consulting services and software solutions to assess and optimize EMR system performance, including revenue cycle integrity and patient accounting.

Softek was awarded 2021 Best in KLAS for Revenue Cycle Optimization.

Let’s talk about how you can get the most out of your Oracle Cerner Millennium® system.