Do you know what’s going on before your end-users? Be the first to know— before your end-users report it.
How many times do you find out something is wrong with the application from your end-users? Do you wish you knew before them, if possible, so there can be a more proactive versus reactive approach? I am going to highlight some tips that may help organizations get ahead, to ensure the best possible communication to end-users of any outages or issues within the application. In some small organizations, the IT staff actually don’t have the time to do application maintenance like a larger organization, and they rely on either office managers or super users to assist in monitoring. Either way, it would be nice to be able to inform users before they inform you!
- Sign up for all Client Connect blog updates that are potential areas of concern, based on your organization. For example, if you want to proactively see when Surescripts may have connectivity issues with inbound or outbound prescriptions, follow the blog to get those notifications. Allscripts utilizes this to notify their client base for designated areas of the application. This also allows you to be notified of updates/releases that are available. Links to TouchWorks EHR Advisory and Updates Blog Directory: https://clientconnect.allscripts.com/docs/DOC-19659
- Monitor the TouchWorks application queues. I recommend that a designated resource monitors the queue for printing, faxing , message queue for Rxs (inbound/outbound), CDS patient match (POC alerts), and the error queue if you use CIE. Understanding resources can be limited, I’d suggest every 30- 60 minutes someone goes in and checks each queue for failures. This actual task shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes to look to see everything is working as expected.
- Under TWAdmin> Queue Admin> Print queue – any print or fax jobs can be evaluated for failures. Note: for faxing, depending on setup, a completed fax may be misleading, and you may need to look at RightFax as well.
- Under TWAdmin>Message Queue – any inbound/outbound Rxs (DUR events/RX Faxed events can be seen as well), Immunization registry transmissions, and CDS successes/failures for Point of Care recommendation alerts.
- Under TWAdmin> Error Queue – monitor CIE interfaces for backlog of messages and/or failures
** items in the “Look for” Column would indicate to notify users and take action for resolution, which may include server administration action, or Allscripts case, or wait until notification if an expected outage from a cloud/connectivity solution.
- Check on the Interface application if using ConnectR (recommend every 30-60 minutes). Evaluate any backlog of messages and/or failures.
- Server Maintenance can also be a great tool to get ahead by checking various items. Below is a table of suggested items to develop a regular maintenance program.
The above list is not an all-inclusive monitoring plan of your application and environment. It is meant to highlight areas during the normal course of the business day that should be evaluated or established to increase your proactive time versus you reactive time. Depending on the size of your organization, some of the suggestions may not be viable. However, hopefully this article has stimulated areas of thought in the general maintenance area. Lastly, I invite readers to check out our formal 3 day on-site Allscripts TouchWorks Architecture, Maintenance, and Monitoring Training on our website (http://www.galenhealthcare.com/products-services/technical-services/training/). I’d love to hear what others recommend and are doing to ensure they try to stay ahead of their end-users.