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InterSystems Ensemble is now the cornerstone of the Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust’s IT strategy

Eton, UK—July 20, 2011—InterSystems Corporation, today announced that Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust has deployed with InterSystems Ensemble® to connect 14 clinical departmental systems. Ensemble is a seamless platform for integration and the development of connectable applications. It is being used by Trafford to enable information to flow between departments and systems.

Trafford previously used MS BizTalk 2002, a legacy integration messaging engine with point-to-point interfaces between several disparate departmental systems supported by business logic held in an Enterprise Master Patient Index (EPMI) system.  However, when one interface was changed it often caused a “domino effect” of problems with other systems as their interfaces were incompatible with that change. The need to rethink their integration capability was exacerbated by Microsoft withdrawing support for 2002 BizTalk. Looking forward, Trafford planned to reduce the cost of integration interfaces by making them simpler and more reliable to install and maintain.

Trafford decided to use Ensemble to create an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), which they call their ‘Healthbus’, using a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). This enabled their departmental systems “to speak the same language” when sharing information.  All clinical applications connected to the Trust are published as a list of services on the ESB. Changes can be partitioned by system interface to prevent unwelcome “knock-on” effects, and data separated into distinct services that can be reused and combined in new ways.

The new Ensemble-based ESB was developed by InterSystems’ implementation partner, Integrella Limited.  The project was implemented in a three-phased migration, with the last systems operational in early July 2011 – just six months after the project started.  Stephen Parsons, Head of Information Management & Technology at the Trust, commented, “Ensemble is now the cornerstone of the Trust’s IT strategy; it’s far more resilient than anything we had previously and we’re delighted with the results to date of our phased migration. Integrella’s highly specialized knowledge and experience allowed the project to be implemented very quickly. What’s more, they walked our team through each step and audited the process extremely well, which will enable our staff to have the knowledge in-house to quickly solve any issues in the future.”

Marcus Davies, Managing Director at Integrella, added, “This is the second deployment of our Healthbus architecture within the NHS and already it is delivering significant benefits – the ability to ‘plug-and-play’ new systems into this will allow the Trust incredible flexibility in its delivery of services in the future. What makes Ensemble particularly suitable for this type of architecture is its unique scalability, and having InterSystems Caché® at its heart means in the future the Trust could also implement a reporting solution.”

The overall decrease in the complexity of their new integration infrastructure has led to a reduction in the cost of new application development and maintenance.  The Healthbus has a robust architecture that is easy to manage, with the IT department able to see instantly on a dashboard when an interface has problems, before any users are affected.  The Healthbus-based application services are flexible and easy to adapt to the changing needs of users, and key user benefits of the new strategic approach to integration include:

  • Information such as patient demographic details can be entered into any publishing system and received by any subscribing system
  • Departments can select the information they want to subscribe to using a simple “rules based” system
  • Paper-based documents that are expensive to maintain and transfer have been replaced, leading to faster clinical decisions that can be made using 24-hour remote e-access

Jonathan Selby, Country Manager UK & Ireland at InterSystems, said, “Trafford has implemented a solution that will enable the Trust to quickly and seamlessly add and remove systems in the future– saving significant amounts of integration work and ultimately making more of a limited budget. Ensemble is the ideal platform to implement novel approaches to integration like this and we would encourage other Trusts to investigate using this innovative style of agile IT delivery.”

Editor’s Notes: At the time of completion, Integrella will have migrated interfaces from the Trust’s Electronic Patient Record, electronic scheduling, colposcopy, pathology and case note tracking systems, as well as interfaces to its A&E system, pharmacy, anticoagulation, rheumatology and infection control. In addition, there are plans to extend the project to include an information exchange with community systems and neighboring South Manchester Hospital’s A&E department.

About InterSystems

InterSystems Corporation is the worldwide leader in breakthrough solutions for connected care. With headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and offices in 23 countries, InterSystems provides advanced technologies for breakthrough applications.

InterSystems Ensemble® is a seamless platform for integration and the development of connectable applications. InterSystems Caché® is a high performance object database that makes applications faster and more scalable. InterSystems HealthShare is a strategic platform for healthcare informatics, providing capabilities such as sharing of clinical information (including regional and national EHR solutions), comprehensive advanced analytics, building clinician and patient Web-based communities, and quickly filling informational and functional cross-system “gaps.” InterSystems DeepSee is software that makes it possible to embed real-time business intelligence capabilities in transactional applications. InterSystems TrakCare is a unified Web-based healthcare information system that rapidly delivers the benefits of an Electronic Patient Record.

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About Integrella Limited

Integrella is a UK based consultancy and InterSystems Ensemble Implementation Partner, providing Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) integration and Business Process Management solutions to the NHS.  Integrella are using their in-depth expertise of SOA and ESB solutions to deliver high-quality and low-cost solutions for the healthcare market so that NHS Trusts can maximize their new and existing IT investments.

About Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust

Trafford Healthcare provides acute general hospital services and some community health services to people in Greater Manchester. It runs Trafford General, Altrincham General and Stretford Memorial Hospitals.

Editorial Contacts

Alex Heeley
De Facto Communications
0207 861 3043

Helen Dew
01753 855 450