David Hallberg

Triage 1: Diagnose System Slowdowns

During my years working with and managing hospital IT infrastructure, the three most common calls to the help desk were: “The system is slow,” “Millennium is slow” and “Millennium is too slow to use.” I’m guessing these are quite possibly the hue and cry for your Millennium installations as well. And the clamor is often accompanied by a director, vice president, nurse manager or chief resident rushing into your work area and demanding you to tell them what you’re doing about it.

In crises like these, it’s important to keep your cool and conduct your triage. I use the word triage because you have to determine if there is an actual problem and, if there is, who will get treated first. What can you do to make the environment fast enough to be usable? System performance diagnosis is a large topic and one I will be addressing in detail over the next two weeks.

Today I’ll take Millennium users through the steps necessary to identify which services are backing up and causing the greatest suffering among clinical and business users. Softek Panther users will be able to view Millennium’s service queues and interface operations through a simple click-and-drag process of setting up a monitoring screen on their desktop. Non-Panther users will need to use Millennium point tools to gain access to their information.

After learning how to view and interpret Millennium’s vital signs, you’ll be able to begin treatment, which in many cases is as easy as starting more instances on the problem server. This first line of treatment might be all that’s needed to produce the reliable system responsiveness that the clinicians and administrators breathing down your neck are demanding.