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charlotte logoRapid Integration and Development Platform Will Enable Radiology Group To Streamline Business Processes and Expand Business at Minimal Cost

Charlotte Radiology has gone live with an enterprise-scale HL7 messaging hub built on the InterSystems Ensemble® rapid integration and development platform. The new hub will integrate data feeds from hospitals and clinics throughout the Carolinas. InterSystems provided information on the integration project at the HIMSS 2009 annual conference and exhibition.

One of the largest and most progressive radiology groups in the Southeast, Charlotte Radiology offers 24/7 coverage for more than 10 hospitals in the Carolinas, owns and operates 12 breast centers, and jointly owns and reads for Carolinas Imaging Services.

Not everyone uses HL7 the same way and incoming and outgoing messages typically must be translated…Ensemble does that very well.

John Frazer, IT Development Team Lead
Charlotte Radiology

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. Ensemble has been ranked number one for integration engines for the last three years by KLAS Enterprises, which provides independent measurement and reporting on vendor performance in the healthcare technology industry.

Setting the Stage for Business Expansion

Charlotte Radiology selected Ensemble as its core integration platform after an extensive search for software that would enable them to create a fast integration path to support data feeds from the hospitals and health centers in its growing network. “We had been looking at other HL7 hubs when Ensemble came into the picture,” said John Frazer, IT Development Team Lead. “The big problem with any type of healthcare integration initiative is the lack of standardization in HL7 messaging,” he continued. “Not everyone uses HL7 the same way and incoming and outgoing messages typically must be translated…Ensemble does that very well.”

Frazer also found that InterSystems’ extensive penetration of the healthcare market made it easier to share knowledge with Ensemble users in other organizations. “InterSystems’ market presence provides the potential for sharing resources with other IT staffs, making it possible to leverage their Ensemble expertise on our project.”

The Ensemble HL7 hub went live with information flowing in from the first hospital in Charlotte Radiology’s network in late February. The data feeds typically include patient demographics, test orders and dictated X-ray report results, according to Frazer. The input messages are converted to a standard data feed via Ensemble and routed to the appropriate internal application for processing, with test results and billing transactions sent back from the hub to the hospitals and health centers. “Automating communications among multiple systems and applications eliminates manual data entry and the inevitable keying errors associated with it,” Frazer said.

From a business perspective, Ensemble opens up new business opportunities for Charlotte Radiology by minimizing the costs of connecting to other healthcare organizations.

John Frazer
IT Development Team Lead
Charlotte Radiology

The resulting productivity increase “enables us to expand without hiring more people to handle back-end data entry processes,” noted Mark Jensen, Chief Operating Officer. “From a business perspective, Ensemble opens up new business opportunities for Charlotte Radiology by minimizing the costs of connecting to other healthcare organizations.”

According to Paul Grabscheid, InterSystems Vice President of Strategic Planning, “Charlotte Radiology’s use of Ensemble is further proof that integration in healthcare doesn’t just mean HL7 messaging. Ensemble, because it combines best-in-class HL7 messaging with very strong application integration, workflow, and business process management capabilities, can have a revolutionary effect on organizations looking to reap the benefits of connected healthcare, including improved operational efficiency, increased productivity and expanded business opportunities.”

About Charlotte Radiology

Since 1967, Charlotte Radiology has been considered the area’s imaging experts and is one of the largest and most progressive radiology groups in the Southeast. The practice consists of more than 60 board-certified radiologists with training in a range of specialties from Mammography to Musculoskeletal and Pediatrics to Interventional Radiology. On the web at www.charlotteradiology.com