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Ensemble Rapid Integration and Development Platform Enables Digital Healthcare Environment That Saves 1,000-plus hours of Employee Time Every Day

CHICAGO—April 6, 2009— InterSystems Corporation today announced that Metropolitan Health Corporation (Metro Health) is saving more than 1,000 hours of employee time per day from the implementation of the InterSystems Ensemble®  rapid integration and development platform. The hospital is also achieving a 10 percent increase in recoverable surgery charges, increasing recoverable glucose charges by 30 percent and saving $15,000 annually in paper and printing costs from the Ensemble implementation. The announcement, which also credited Ensemble for enabling major improvements in multiple business process flows, came during the HIMSS 2009 annual conference and exhibition.

Metro Health in Grand Rapids, Mich. is an integrated delivery network (IDN) serving a population of more than 130,000 through a 208-bed hospital and 10 neighborhood outpatient centers. “We replaced our SeeBeyond integration engine with InterSystems Ensemble several years ago,” said Gary VanderHeiden, Metro Health IT Manager. “Since then, Ensemble has helped us to achieve major cost savings while also increasing our overall staff productivity on an ongoing basis.  Currently, we’re seeing a savings equivalent to 128 full-time employees”, he said. “We’re also seeing significant improvements in accuracy, decreased turnaround times for radiology results delivery and improved physician satisfaction in multiple areas,” he added.

The global leader in software for connected healthcare, InterSystems develops and markets innovative integration, database and business intelligence products. Ensemble is a high-performance software platform and advanced messaging engine that is used to develop and integrate mission-critical applications, leverage previous software investments through composite applications, and establish an enterprise service bus or SOA infrastructure. Ensemble-based projects are deployed in healthcare, commercial and government organizations worldwide to solve many demanding HL7 integration problems.

Roadmap of Progress

Since implementing Ensemble as its core integration platform in early 2006, Metro Health has moved forward with an aggressive plan to integrate internal applications as rapidly as possible. “Our vision is to replace the manual workflow with electronic workflow and to be as close to a totally digital healthcare environment as is practically feasible,” VanderHeiden explained. “We haven’t completely achieved that objective yet, but major projects are under way.”

Metro Health’s IT strategy is to complete a migration from its current legacy health information system (HIS) to one from Epic Systems by 4Q09. Thirty-five applications with some 168 interfaces have been integrated with the Epic system via Ensemble—a major milestone on the road to the digital hospital envisioned by the IT team.

By using Ensemble to eliminate manual entry of patient data, Metro Health has achieved substantial economic results:

  • Automated synchronization of patient data among 35 systems saves about 650 hours per day in data entry time.
  • Automated population of data into the lab system and automatic results reporting to various areas of the IDN saves 269 hours each day in lab personnel time.
  • Additional savings from process improvements in nursing, pharmacy, radiology and other areas,

The total savings of more than 1,000 hours per day has enabled shifting the equivalent of six percent of Metro Health’s workforce from administrative to patient care activities. “The time saved through data sharing made possible by Ensemble is now being used for optimal care delivery,” VanderHeiden pointed out. “From our perspective, the more interfaces that are implemented, the more spectacular the efficiencies and benefits received. And, Ensemble enables developing and rolling out those interfaces very rapidly. In fact, it’s required only two full-time Integration Analysts to build and deploy all of the interfaces.”

“The projects that are under way at Metro Health typify the creative ways that healthcare providers are utilizing our technology to cut costs while improving care delivery,” said Paul Grabscheid, InterSystems Vice President of Strategic Planning. “We will continue delivering the software needed to take these initiatives from concept to successful implementation.”

About InterSystems

InterSystems Corporation is the worldwide leader in software for connected healthcare. With headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and offices in 22 countries, InterSystems provides innovative products that enable fast development, deployment, and integration of enterprise-class applications. InterSystems CACHÉ® is a high performance object database that makes applications faster and more scalable. InterSystems Ensemble® is a rapid integration and development platform that enriches applications with new functionality, and makes them connectable. InterSystems HealthShare is a platform that enables the fastest creation of an Electronic Health Record for regional or national health information exchange. InterSystems DeepSee is software that makes it possible to add embedded real-time business intelligence in transactional systems, enabling better operational decisions.

InterSystems is the world’s #1 vendor of database and integration technologies for healthcare applications. InterSystems products are used by thousands of hospitals and labs, including all 19 hospitals on the Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals as rated by U.S. News and World Report. For more information, visit

About Metro Health

Metro Health Hospital is a 208-bed general acute-care osteopathic teaching hospital that serves more than 130,000 patients in Kent and surrounding counties. Metro Health offers a broad range of services, including inpatient and outpatient services, emergency, surgery, intensive care, rehabilitation, wellness and community education. Metro’s work is supported by the Metro Health Hospital Foundation, which is a charitable organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the West Michigan community through philanthropy.  For additional information, see

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Maureen Flaherty
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