Technical Assessments: Improving Performance and Reducing Risk

One of my first client-related activities after joining Galen Healthcare Solutions was doing data collection for a Technical Assessment. One of our senior resources was on-site, and he thought this would be a good opportunity to get my feet wet.

A full Technical Assessment of a client’s EEHR environment involves reviewing server hardware, software, settings, network configuration, etc. The benefit to the client of these assessments is two-fold. First, we can identify and attempt to resolve performance bottlenecks, typically stemming from misconfiguration. Second, we can identify general areas of concern, such as staffing, hardware, software, or future growth concerns.

To begin, I went through and confirmed a server listing with the client for both their production and test environments. I then proceeded to collect pertinent information for each server, including a number of role-specific items, for example, the version and service pack level of SQL used in the Clinical Database Server. This process is akin to the System Certification process done during EHR upgrades.

I collected a considerable amount of the necessary data with a VBScript-based application, which leveraged Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and dumped most of what I needed into text files for each server. I then proceeded to populate that information into my reports, and I shared those with my team. The details of those findings were compiled into a written report by the senior resource and presented to the client.

Shortly after the report was delivered, I was notified that one of my findings had been found to be the cause of one of their most significant issues. A misconfigured “Lock pages in memory” Local Security Policy setting was hindering their ability to properly fail over the clinical database cluster to another node. It is required that the user running the SQL Server service is configured to have this ability.

I have done a number of similar assessments for other clients over the years, and it is always interesting to find out what new information we can provide our clients to help them better utilize their systems. It is also great to be able to put a face with a name. As part of the Upgrade Team here at Galen Healthcare Solutions, we look forward to helping clients through the changes necessary to implement new and upcoming versions of EEHR and the updated technology that goes along with it.

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