Netherlands' National IT Institute for Healthcare (NICTIZ) Success StoryIn 2005 the Netherlands’ National IT Institute for Healthcare (NICTIZ) moved boldly, on behalf of the national health community, to establish an infrastructure for nationwide electronic sharing of patient information among healthcare providers. Like similar efforts elsewhere, the goal is to improve the quality of care and the efficiency of healthcare delivery, and to drive down costs. What’s different about the Netherlands’ effort is the speed with which they have achieved technical milestones. InterSystems’ Ensemble rapid integration platform is a major reason for this success.

We found that Ensemble could run as fast as we needed on a straightforward and easy-to-manage configuration which supports the performance and scalability demands of the NSP.

Bob Schat
Solution Architect

In October of 2005, the project’s system integrator, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), chose Ensemble as the technology for the core National SwitchPoint (NSP) system. The NSP maintains a central index pointing to all locations of records for each patient and a registry of associated clinical systems, handles authentication and authorization of system users, and logs all transactions for auditing. In only four months from the time Ensemble was selected, the CSC team was trained on using the technology, completed requirements gathering and analysis, and developed, tested, and deployed the NSP software. “Our architects designing the system and creating specifications were hard pressed to keep up with the developers implementing those specifications,” says Hans Rietveld, NSP developer at CSC. “Development is that fast with Ensemble.”

Ensemble was chosen for the NSP project because of:

  • InterSystems’ depth of healthcare experience
  • Its rapid development environment
  • Extensive support of the HL7v3 messaging standard
  • Its use of “virtual documents” for high performance XML and message processing
  • Exceptional messaging performance (anticipated load of more than four billion messages per year, representing 20 terabytes of data)
  • Automatic persistence of all messages passing through the system
  • Ease of management through its Web-based management portal
  • Its built-in high performance and highly scalable object database
  • Nearly linear scalability with CPU power

“With Ensemble we could run as fast as we needed on a straightforward and easy-to-manage configuration, supporting the performance and scalability demands of the NSP,” says Bob Schat, solution architect at CSC. Ensemble is simply doing more for NICTIZ, faster, and with greater manageability and less expense.