Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center Case Study
www.rmccares.org Anniston, Alabama
“I have a renewed level of comfort in my support of our hospital’s primary responsibility – delivering quality patient care. Corepoint Health has delivered this stability through their products and services.”
Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center (RMC) offers patients personalized and top rated health care. RMC is the first hospital in the area to be approved by the Commission on Cancer, to develop a fully operational cardiovascular surgical team and to house high tech equipment such as the digital Varian Acuity Simulator for treatment planning.
A JCAHO-accredited facility, RMC’s position as a medical leader is because of its investment in advanced technology to help diagnose and treat patients. RMC’s medical staff of 185 physicians, representing all major specialties, and over 1,400 employees provide the human connection and caring spirit between technology and patient care.
Healthcare Interfacing Challenges
RMC’s previous interface engine went through several transitions during more than one corporate acquisition. During these transitions, the underlying technology of the interface engine changed and customer support began to weaken. The hospital saw problem resolution through the client service team taking two to three weeks.
RMC also was planning to implement several new McKesson systems. With this initiative, re-writing over 100 interfaces on an aging interface engine did not seem prudent.
The IT team at RMC decided to evaluate interface engine solutions to replace their existing integration infrastructure. The primary selection criteria were defined by their past experiences and future IT plans, including:
Simple to build, test, and deploy new interfaces; no writing of code desired
Ease to monitor and administer a growing integrated environment, ensuring a productive environment to manage 100+ critical interfaces
Support the complete healthcare interface lifecycle within the integration engine, enabling streamlined capabilities within each development phase
Search, filter, and re-send any message (or group of messages) in the log files in a straightforward, timesensitive manner
Supporting vendor of the interface engine platform must be healthcare-centric
Interface Engine Selection Process
During the selection process, the mindset for the RMC IT team was “prove it.” Given the past experiences, there was an intense skepticism about what could or could not be done by the interface engine vendors participating in the evaluation process.
At the end of the process, Corepoint Integration Engine was selected to serve as the RMC interoperability platform. The selection was based on the careful scrutiny of Corepoint Health’s capabilities against the key selection criteria and the “prove it” approach.
One year later, the selection has been validated as the right one. Corepoint Integration Engine has been running continuously – no interruption in service, as previously experienced with the former interface engine – and through the efforts of primarily one person, every interface was transitioned to the new integration platform within six months.
Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center Insights
Below are highlights and comments from Jeff Ramsey, Integration Analyst at Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center (RMC):
“I will be the first to tell you that I was skeptical Corepoint Integration Engine could do what they said it could do. It all sounded good, but I wanted to see it in action. During the evaluation process, I saw first-hand how well they approached the develop-test-deploy process. It was straightforward, yet very powerful. The years of healthcare integration experience of the Corepoint Health team came through in their integration engine. They get healthcare interfacing, and we benefit from that through their software and their approach to support.”
“As a hospital, we were going through leadership changes as well as many application changes. We needed to get a better integration engine platform, so we could support the IT initiatives efficiently and steadily. Corepoint Integration Engine provided that stability through all the changes.”
“First, I built, tested, and deployed over 80 interfaces within six months. I did this after taking their software training class and with less than 40 hours of assistance from their implementation team. During the conversion, I found their professional service team was more interested in a solid conversion than running up a lot of billable hours, and the customer support team was very capable and always willing to assist. The whole process was a quick and, what I would consider, the perfect transition from our previous interface engine to Corepoint Integration Engine.”
“Second, when I met with the teams in our hospital to discuss new applications going live, their concern was whether or not getting interfaces in place was going to be the bottleneck. They expressed the early skepticism that I had prior to our selection.”
“The McKesson bed board application helped satisfy the skeptics. In less than an hour, I built and tested this new interface. In the past, this process took at least three days. The team was naturally impressed by the turnaround time for this and many other interfaces. Corepoint Integration Engine supports new application implementations with ease and ahead of plans.”
“Using Corepoint Integration Engine has enhanced my level of confidence in any interface challenge that comes my way. Our team can throw anything at me, and I know that I can handle it within hours, not days or weeks. While Corepoint Integration Engine is solid, the support team behind it is equally dependable and responsive. Just as I experienced during the transition phase, I know the answer to each of my questions is a quick click or call away. Corepoint Health has also provided great documentation and a great team to answer any of my questions quickly and completely.”
“While our previous interface engine often crashed 1 to 2 times a week, Corepoint Integration Engine continues to run and process messages without any interruption. The architecture is rock solid, and the Microsoft Windows Server platform performs as well as any other option. Any skepticism about Windows vs. UNIX is quickly answered in how the product performs in production and practical use, and Corepoint Health has delivered on both.”
“Just one other item to note on performance. In our previous interface engine, our queues could stack up from time-to-time. This happened most commonly with our lab orders interface. As you might imagine, having a delay in processing your lab orders is not good. Corepoint Integration Engine has never had any delays in processing. The queues flow smoothly for lab orders and all other interfaces. Again, Corepoint Health delivers a level of comfort and confidence I can rely on so I can do my job without any road blocks.”
“Due to our experience with the previous engine, one of the key areas that we wanted better functionality in was the on-going management of our message logs and interfaces. When there is a question on whether a message was sent, I can easily search by any field and find a specific message very quickly. Beyond the log management, the web-based administration console provides great monitoring capabilities and enables me to be proactive in ongoing support. The bottom line is that we get better accountability throughout our operations by using Corepoint Integration Engine.”
“I am glad we selected Corepoint Health for our integration infrastructure. They have lived up to every expectation and more. I know they are always there if I need them. I also know that Corepoint Integration Engine will support our future healthcare interoperability initiatives as we move forward with more interfaces and more connectivity. Without a doubt, Corepoint Health is our partner for the long haul. Using Corepoint has made my job fun again.”