Hawthorn Medical Associates Case Study

www.hawthornmed.com    North Dartmouth, MA

“Corepoint Health’s customer support team has been very responsive and interested in helping us resolve our issues. They follow up after each question and problem reported to make sure that what they had recommended worked.”

Hawthorn Medical Associates, founded in 1970, is the largest multi-specialty medical group practice in greater New Bedford, Massachusetts with over 60 primary care and specialty physicians.

The medical group provides high quality, comprehensive medical care, and offers state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging and laboratory services to more than 138,000 patients each year. Hawthorn Medical has four medical clinics and is currently building an ambulatory surgery center that will be completed in spring 2008.

Hawthorn Medical Associates is affiliated with Partners Community Healthcare, Inc. and Partners HealthCare systems. They partner with a number of prestigious institutions including Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Healthcare Interfacing Challenges

Between 2004 and 2005, Hawthorn Medical Associates implemented multiple clinical applications that required HL7 interfaces.


The escalating costs and lack of control with each project prompted Hawthorn Medical to search for an interface engine.

Accrued additional costs from application vendors for each healthcare interface.


Point-to-point interface approach was unreliable resulting in delayed transfers of clinical data.

Dependent on application vendors for development of interfaces, and HL7 standard and application requirements.


Time-consuming to develop and implement interfaces when dependent upon vendor’s availability.

Limited monitoring capabilities with existing connections.

Customer Solution

Hawthorn Medical Associates installed Corepoint Integration Engine™ as the interface engine solution for Hawthorn Medical Associates’ internal and external clinical data exchanges.


Internal systems interfaced include practice management system (PMS), electronic medical record system (EMR), dictation system, radiology information system (RIS), and laboratory information system (LIS).


External systems interfaced with include Longitudinal Medical Records (LMR) and Quest Diagnostics – Care 360.

Corepoint Integration Engine:


Provided a cost-effective interfacing solution that allows internal resources to effectively develop and maintain future interfaces.


Reduced reliance on application vendors for interface development, resulting in faster turnaround times. Hawthorn Medical is able to build an interface in less than a day for projects that normally would take a vendor 6 months to complete.


Delivered a simple-to-use approach that transforms clinical data into the correct HL7 message format for each healthcare connection.


Facilitated the generation of radiology reports for comparison and analysis by using patient order messages to populate a MySQL database for practice management use.


Effectively identifies message issues, enabling Hawthorn Medical to trace back to the source for quick corrections to message structure in order to meet requirements.


Proactively monitors connections. Lost connections are no longer an issue because Corepoint Integration Engine establishes or re-establishes connections automatically, if disconnected.

Hawthorn Medical Associates Insights

Dave O’Connell, Clinical Systems Analyst, builds and maintains interfaces at Hawthorn Medical Associates. Dave’s insights:

“Overall, Corepoint Health has helped Hawthorn Medical with our turnaround time and cost for deploying interfaces in our clinics. With Corepoint Integration Engine we are able to quickly build quality interfaces for better communication between internal systems, our four clinics and external partners, and continue to productively grow our business in a cost-effective manner.

Corepoint Integration Engine places the control of building HL7 interfaces in our hands rather than in the hands of the application vendors. Prior to Corepoint Integration Engine, building interfaces from our practice management system was normally a 6-month project because we had to rely on multiple parties for the delivery of each interface. We had to pay each vendor, which would cost us anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 per HL7 interface. Today, our costs are a fraction of that. The Corepoint Integration Engine paid for itself the first day it was installed.

Corepoint Integration Engine allows Hawthorn Medical to be extremely flexible. We are now able to quickly implement changes to existing messages by using the configuration capabilities in Corepoint Integration Engine. We are able to monitor message transactions, look at the message formats, and breakdown a message into individual segments, fields to see the corrected information.

We found Corepoint Integration Engine more stable than using a point-to-point connection between our practice management system (PMS) and other information systems. We were experiencing many lost connections with our 15 TCP/ IP interfaces before we purchased Corepoint Integration Engine. Corepoint Integration Engine provides the ability to resend messages due to ancillary system issue or reload, automatically.

Corepoint Health’s customer support team has been very responsive and interested in helping us resolve our issues. They follow up after each question and problem reported to make sure that what they had recommended worked. Corepoint Health is very knowledgeable about the different clinical applications we work with in our clinics, too. We found this very helpful.

Corepoint Health’s online Corepoint Integration Engine class was great. Following the training, I found the installation and implementation process to be very intuitive. Maintaining the system now is far more efficient, and additional connections take less than five minutes.”

Matt Nivison, Patient Business Manager, manages operations at Hawthorn Medical Associates. Matt’s insights:

“Using Corepoint Health’s interface solution, Corepoint Integration Engine, in our practice has made it so much easier for us to work with our software vendors and to assess the cost associated with each interface project. Before Corepoint Integration Engine, we were subject to what our vendors told us and often times left in the dark about project requirements.”

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