With the McKesson Insight 2015 Conference taking place next week in Nashville, I scheduled a call with Greg Plank, Manager, Integration services at LHP Hospital Group, which oversees the operations of five hospitals: Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, ID is a coded value data type. The value of such a field follows the formatting rules for a ST field except that it is drawn from a table of legal values. Examples of ID fields include religion and sex.; Hackensack UMC Mountainside in Montclair, NJ; HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley in Westwood, NJ; Bay Medical Center in Panama City, Fla.; and Seton Medical Center Harker Heights, Killeen, Texas.
The purpose of the call was to hear some of the interesting interoperability projects they have accomplished in their McKesson Paragon environment (four LHP hospitals use Paragon, one uses MEDHOST’s HMS). Greg and two other analysts at LHP are responsible for all 305 interfaces in production.
Prior to joining LHP, Greg worked with several other interface engines, including several years using Infor Cloverleaf. In the following Q&A, Greg talks about a few key differences between the engines, about an innovative data workflow solution he designed for the caregiving team that provided information at the bedside, and a few thoughts on Paragon.
Special thanks to Greg for taking the time to answer the following questions.
What kind of unique workflow projects have you accomplished in Corepoint Integration Engine?
I think the coolest feature was implemented just a few weeks ago. We utilized Action Points  (see video demonstration at end) to create paging logic that alerts caregivers via pager with patient information that is on their specific floor of the hospital.
We have two connections that we monitor for specific information. Depending upon the qualifications (being a nurse unit or a medication that was ordered) we use some logic within an action list to create a message to send to a pager. We utilize Action Points  to create a pager message through an annotation set doing a dynamic lookup for the specific pager that is utilized on a specific floor of the hospital. When triggered, the engine sends a message with that text to that pager, letting the respiratory therapist know what room the patient is in and what medication or procedure was ordered. This eliminated the delay that was experienced in treating patients by notifying the respiratory therapists as soon as Corepoint received an order from Paragon.
You’re extracting specific data from the Electronic Health Record (EHR), 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 conform..., and you’re sending it to the caregiver who is on the same floor treating the patient?
This was identified as a need just two weeks prior to an EHR go live. I was able to come up with the limited scope and within two weeks we had it paging the ED department. They were so thrilled with the results that they wanted to send data to every floor in the hospital for the respiratory therapists.
What other feedback did you receive from the caregiving team?
It’s funny, when it was first implemented, they claimed it wasn’t working. I could see that the engine was sending things out – once I got them to finally realize that their pager needed a new battery, the information was extremely helpful! Since then, we’ve implemented the process on six additional floors over the past month.
I keep telling them to let me know who’s next, so we can push it out to the rest of the team.
This has been so successful, we have had a request from our other hospitals to implement the same process for their respiratory techs.
You have previous experience using Cloverleaf. What do you think is different about using Corepoint Integration Engine? And, how different would your data workflow look like if Cloverleaf was in place at LHP?
Corepoint is much simpler to use. It’s more intuitive, and I can get things done a lot quicker. I can set up an interface in less than 10 minutes with connectivity.
Cloverleaf is not that simple. Users are restricted by character limitations in the connection names, by a limited number of threads in a process, number of processes in a site, … things like that restrict you during development. It also makes it harder to support, especially if there is a problem and things crash and burn. I haven’t experienced anything like that with Corepoint Integration Engine.
When I first started with LHP, we had purchased a new site shortly after I started that needed to convert from McKesson Star, and I was able to develop all of the interfaces for that particular site, on my own, in a very short period of time. That site had close to 70 interfaces. I did all the development for it in Corepoint without assistance and had everything complete within four months. That would not have been possible with Cloverleaf.