When working at a busy practice, it’s good to have peace of mind knowing Genie will be performing at its best throughout the day. When you experience slowness in Genie, it can cause unnecessary disruptions and frustration, and can prevent you from performing your daily work effectively. The purpose of this article is to inform you about the many factors that can influence slowness within Genie, so you are better equipped to troubleshoot this slowness and get Genie running smoothly and efficiently again as quickly as possible.
Before you begin
As a starting point, it is a good idea to determine if the slowness you are experiencing is more prominent in a certain area, or when performing a certain action within Genie. This can help narrow down the possible causes of the slowness. You should also check to see if there have been any changes to your computers/network recently, and whether the slowness is a result of any of these changes.
One of the leading causes of slowness within Genie is the network environment, and the connection you currently use to connect to your Genie Server.
WiFi vs Ethernet
If you currently connect to your Genie Server using a wireless connection (WiFi), this type of connection is generally less stable than an Ethernet cable connection, and in most cases, will cause Genie to perform more slowly than an Ethernet connection. For more information about the difference between WiFi and Ethernet and how to check which connection you use, refer to the WiFi vs Ethernet article.
If you are using terminal services, remote desktop connection, or Citrix environments, these can influence the speed Genie performs at, as you have introduced more remote connections that Genie needs to transfer data across. As these environments are not configured by Genie Solutions (and are usually set up by your nominated IT representative), the support we can provide in the optimisation of these is very limited, so it will be best to speak with the company who has configured this for you.
If you experience slowness at a certain time of the day, it is possible there may be additional third-party software running processes on your server machine that could be causing the Genie Server application to run more slowly. This includes pathology software or any third-party correspondence software such as Healthlink, Medical Objects, or Argus.
You may also wish to confirm if there are any backups set to run on the server machine during the day. This includes external backups and also Genie automated backups that may have been configured for your database. You can find out if you have automated backups configured by accessing your Genie Server application, and navigating to File > Backup, and clicking the Database Properties button in this window. Learn more by reading our article on Backups.
Genie Single User
At a time when there are no users connected to Genie, you can close down the Genie Server application and open the Genie Single User (Solo) application, to confirm if the same slowness is present in this application. If you do not experience slowness in this application, as there is no internet or network connection in use, this would tell you that the network connection may be the main contributor to the slowness you are experiencing.
Another factor that can contribute to slowness in Genie is the hardware you have set up to run Genie and support your network.
The first thing to check when it comes to hardware is whether or not your server and client computers meet the hardware requirements for the version of Genie you are currently running. For a comprehensive list of our hardware specifications, please refer to our Genie Hardware Specifications article.
It is important to ensure there is an adequate amount of space free on the hard drive of the server machine responsible for running the Genie Server application. You can check the amount of RAM and memory available left in the Genie Server application itself, by looking at the two graphs pictured below in the Monitor tab of the Server Administration window:
If you don't have easy access to your server machine, you can also access the Server Administration window through the Genie Client version of the application by navigating to File > Maintenance and Reports > Server Admin Window.
If you notice there is minimal or no space remaining in either the hard drive or the memory on the machine, you may wish to consult with your nominated IT representative and ask them about freeing up some space to allow Genie to run without issue. The recommended amount of free space you should have on the hard drive is twice the size of the data file. For example, if the data file is 10GB, you would need to have at least 20GB of free space available on the machine.
If you are using an Ethernet connection, you can check the cables for any signs of damage, and make sure these cables are all connected correctly. If the slowness is limited to one computer, you can try swapping the Ethernet cable from the problem computer with the Ethernet cable from a computer that is not experiencing slowness.
You can also perform a number of different processes to clean up your database, optimise the way your Genie Server performs, and reduce the size of your data file if this has become bloated over time.
Optimising your server
To ensure your Genie Server application is performing at its best, the Optimising Genie Server guide covers some settings on your server computer that can be adjusted to optimise this.
Deleting 4D preferences
Deleting 4D Preferences can resolve a number of problems within Genie. If you are experiencing slowness on one computer in particular, you can navigate to File > Maintenance and Reports > Delete 4D Preferences, and confirm the prompt that the program will now quit and restart. This will quit Genie on your computer only. For more information about what this function does, please refer to our article on Deleting 4D Preferences.
Tidying up extra user records
If you have users in your system who are no longer at your practice, you should mark these users as inactive, by going to File > All User Preferences, double clicking on the user in question and ticking the Inactive User box in the top right-hand corner. You can also reduce the number of provider columns listed in your Appointment Book. If you notice there are users who have a column in the Appointment Book but shouldn’t, you can remove these by going to Appts > Appt Preferences > Column Order and Rooms, highlighting the user in the Provider column on the left hand side of the window and clicking the delete icon.
Using appointment schedules/simplified view
If your Appointment Book is overcrowded with appointment types instead of using appointment schedules, this can lead to slowness in moving between days in the Appointment Book. Refer to the Appointment Schedules article for more information about how you can utilise the appointment scheduler as opposed to appointment types.
If the slowness you are experiencing is directly related to the Appointment Book, you can also try switching to the simplified view to see if this alleviates some of the slowness. This can be done by clicking the simplified view icon, which is usually located on the left-hand side of your Appointment Book.
Verifying your data
To rule out the possibility of any errors or corruption causing slowness throughout Genie, you can perform a verification of your data file on your Genie server computer. It is recommended this process be run when there are no users logged into Genie, as it may cause the Genie Server application to quit. Please follow the steps in the Verifying your Genie Data article to carry this out.
The size of the data file can be an issue, so it is a good idea to check this regularly to confirm this is a suitable size and ensure this has not bloated. If you have noticed the data file is a large size, there are few different things you can do to reduce the size of this.
Note: Before starting any of the following processes, it is very important to ensure you have taken a valid backup of your data file.
Clear old appointments
Check the settings for deleting patient/non-patient appointments. These can be found under Appts > Appt Preferences > Main. These settings determine how long after the appointment date Genie will keep the appointments.
On logging out of Genie, if you have appointments that are older than the specified number of days in your appointment preferences and you have not yet cleared out old appointments, you will receive the prompt below:
Clicking OK to the prompt will go through and clear out appointments.
Archiving and culling
Please refer to the Archiving and Culling article for each of the archiving and culling processes that you can perform on your data to free up space before compacting.