For the past seven years, Children’s Health System of Texas (Children’s Health℠) had 130 eGate interfaces operating on an AIX server. In 2014, the decision was made to convert to the Corepoint Integration Engine hosted on a Windows server. Children’s Health engaged the Professional Services team at Corepoint Health to assist with planning and implementing the organization’s interface engine conversion.
The following Q&A with Children's Health Group Manager, John Wolfe, details the reasons for the integration engine conversion, their experience working with Corepoint Health Professional Services and the go-live experience.
Key Takeaways: The Children's Health team had a great strategy for migrating interfaces efficiently. Their preparation and planning paid great dividends as they leveraged the talents of the Corepoint Professional Services team to make sure all the eGate interfaces were built perfectly within the Corepoint Integration Engine. The end result was a go-live that was described as a "non-event".
Q: In choosing Corepoint Integration Engine to replace your eGate engine, was there concern in moving from AIX to a Windows environment?
Sure, there’s concern when you go to Windows, but the reality is it gets a bad rap. Some people will say, “You’re going to Windows? You’ll have to reboot it, etc., etc., etc.,” but frankly as the technology has grown and gotten better over the years, Windows has become a very suitable environment  on which to run and support applications.
So, I was determined not to let the server environment be a factor. I focused strictly on the functionality of the application (interface engine). What can it do for us? Can it support what we do now? Can it do things we aren’t already capable of doing? Can it support what we want to do in the future?
I also looked at customer support models. Support was a big key factor for me. Considering all of those factors led to our decision to choose Corepoint Health.
Q: You had a team used to working in an eGate environment. How has their transition been getting used to working with Corepoint Integration Engine?
It's a night and day difference, really, comparing where we were to what we’re able to do now. The ability to rapidly create interfaces that Corepoint provides is just outstanding.
Q: Does your team have any favorite features within Corepoint Integration Engine  they enjoy using?
There are a lot of alerting configurations that we’ve taken advantage of. And it’s really nice to have a tool for monitoring you can use right from your browser without needing an application installed. It’s basically like having the interface engine right at your fingertips no matter where you are.
Q: Could you describe your go-live experience from preparation to launch?
Corepoint Health Professional Services worked directly with my team in converting our eGate interfaces. We started by delivering all the java interface code from our environment to the Corepoint team, which they converted into interfaces within Corepoint Integration Engine.
We then used log files to perform validation testing between the output from our original interfaces and those converted into Corepoint. This way, we could compare the raw data to that processed by each engine. We put each interface through two rounds of testing, but by the time the interfaces were delivered back to our environment from Corepoint Professional Services, we knew the output matched exactly, so they were essentially already validated and tested.
In addition to that, when we went live, I kept both engines up and running and routed transactions from one engine to another. That eliminated the possibility of having any broken interfaces or connectivity problems. Now that we are certain all the interfaces work, my team is contacting our downstream application vendors to change the IP addresses from the old eGate engine to Corepoint Integration Engine.
On the day of go-live, we didn’t do anything special. We used a regularly scheduled maintenance reboot for our electronic medical record (Electronic Medical Record (EMR), as defined in Defining Key Health Information Technology Terms (The National Alliance for Health Information Technology, April 28, 2008): An electronic record of health-related information on an individual that can be...) to bring up all our Corepoint interfaces over the span of about 15 minutes.
Q: How would you compare the Corepoint Integration Engine Go-live to others you have managed?
I’m still amazed that we took our interface engine down, turned the new one on and had zero major issues. It was basically a non-event.
And I have to give kudos to Corepoint Professional Services . They were "Johnny on the spot" and always available whenever we needed something. It gave me great confidence to have them on-site.