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Breakthrough Real-time HL7 Connectivity and Message Access

CareGroup Healthcare System, a Boston-based integrated delivery network (IDN) comprised of four hospitals, has selected the InterSystems Ensemble® rapid integration and development platform to replace its legacy eGate platform for strategic integration throughout the organization.

A New Integration Strategy

The decision to transition from eGate to Ensemble came after an intensive evaluation, according to Steve Herzog, Senior Director, Financial Systems at CareGroup. “We developed a document outlining all of the requirements and expected deliverables from an Ensemble proof-of-concept,” he said. CareGroup’s IT specialists designed a test environment where Ensemble was used to replicate and build the interfaces used on a production basis,” Herzog said.

stock-p10In addition to proving that Ensemble could support all current file and application interfaces, CareGroup found that configuration was fairly straightforward—an important consideration in an organization where Ensemble will eventually handle more than 200 system and information interfaces. “Ensemble will be used to support data integration throughout the IDN,” said Herzog. “Our strategy is to deploy Ensemble at BIDMC first and then to the community hospitals that are included in the CareGroup network.”

CareGroup’s first major integration initiative involves integrating an SCC Soft Computer Softlab laboratory information system (LIS) with the Ensemble platform. “We’ve developed the Ensemble interfaces, are currently in test mode, and plan to roll the application into production in October,” said Herzog. “And, we have some fairly standard HL7 applications that will probably be migrated to Ensemble before 3Q10.”

Real-time HL7 Connectivity, Message Access

Herzog views Ensemble’s support for secure HL7 connectivity to other systems in real-time mode and the ability to rapidly develop new interfaces as key benefits to executing CareGroup’s integration strategy. “We see increased usage of secure protocols for transmitting across the Web among the companies that the IDN deals with,” he noted.

…Ensemble stores messages in an easily accessible embedded database. As a result, the process is both easier and faster when messages have to be resent

Steve Herzog, Senior Director
Financial Systems at CareGroup

Real-time access to live and previously processed messages for high reliability, and recoverability of long-running business processes are Ensemble deliverables that CareGroup developers increasingly appreciate. “Messages are transient with eGate. In contrast, Ensemble stores messages in an easily accessible embedded database. As a result, the process is both easier and faster when messages have to be resent,” Herzog said.

“CareGroup is recognized worldwide for innovative use of healthcare technology and we’ve had the opportunity to work with them for more than a decade on projects built on InterSystems’ advanced software technologies,” said Paul Grabscheid, InterSystems Vice President of Strategic Planning. “We appreciate the opportunity to support CareGroup’s transition to Ensemble as they take the next steps on the road to completely connected healthcare.”

About CareGroup Healthcare System

Boston-based CareGroup is an integrated delivery network (IDN) that offers a broad spectrum of health services to residents of eastern Massachusetts, in a variety of settings ranging from world-renowned academic health centers and outstanding community hospitals, to physician offices and community health centers. The IDN includes Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Needham, Mass., New England Baptist Hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital and hundreds of clinics and physicians’ offices.