nychh-jpgThe New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is the largest municipal hospital and health care system in the United States. It serves 1.3 million people with 11 acute care hospitals (7,407 beds), four skilled nursing facilities, 6 large diagnostic and treatment centers, and more than 80 community based clinics.

In 2007, when a dangerous salmonella outbreak occurred among children eating a popular snack food in another part of the country, the New York City Department of Health (DOH) didn’t want to wait for New York’s kids to get sick before taking action. Instead, it used an information system built on the InterSystems Ensemble rapid integration platform to quickly identify 200 children between the ages of 1 and 4 who could be at risk. The Ensemble-based system draws live data from the healthcare information systems in use at the HHC hospitals and many of its community clinics.

Ensemble enabled quick identification of 200 children who could be at risk

Within hours of asking HHC to identify kids at risk, the New York City Department of Health had the information it needed to contact the families and make sure that these children were checked for salmonella poisoning.

Ensemble builds a single view of patient data

To enable easy access to system-wide data for the Department of Health, HHC needed a solution that could reliably store, process, aggregate, and share patient data coming from all its hospitals, diagnostic centers, and community health centers. HHC chose Ensemble, and turned to J2 Interactive, an InterSystems Implementation Partner in Charlestown, Massachusetts, to design an Ensemble-based system to meet the immediate need for data sharing with the DOH and to address broader needs for data access and analysis.

In the resulting system, ADT (admission, discharge, transfer) events at HHC facilities trigger HL7 messages in existing message routers. Ensemble continuously analyzes those messages, aggregates them into patient-centric data structures, and stores them in its embedded, high-performance object database. DOH uses this data for its real-time bio-surveillance efforts, and HHC uses a Web browser interface for system-wide ad hoc reporting and analysis.

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