Union General Hospital Case Study
www.uniongeneralhospital.com Blairsville, Georgia
“The Corepoint Health solution allowed me to seamlessly integrate multiple applications supporting our radiology practice while I continued to deliver a high level of service to my radiologists.”
Union General Hospital opened as a small outpatient clinic in 1959, but has since evolved into one of the most modern and progressive hospitals in Georgia. Union General Hospital continues to meet the health care needs of its community by building and expanding state of the art facilities to deliver clinical, surgical, emergency and critical care, comprehensive women’s, and diagnostic imaging services.
Healthcare Interfacing Challenges
Interfaces between applications are critical, but the increasing costs to add interfaces from application vendors had to be contained. Our healthcare application interface approach needed to be cost-effective.
Monitoring our healthcare interfaces was a necessity, and we did not have the means to accomplish this objective. We needed a practical, proactive manner in which to monitor our interface environment and receive proactive alerts on any potential issues.
Different healthcare applications have different data formats in which they send and receive clinical messages. We needed an easy way to manipulate and transform clinical data to meet each application’s data format specifications.
Saving message transaction history was a requirement, but we lacked the capability. We needed to have transaction history for reporting purposes and for populating a new PACS database.
Implemented Corepoint Integration Engine™ to initially enable application interfaces for the following:
Dolby Fusion Dictation
Sentinel Nurse Call system.
Corepoint Integration Engine:
Enabled Union General Hospital to quickly implement new interfaces using only internal resources and without involving application vendors.
Delivered a simple-to-use approach that transforms clinical data into the correct HL7 message format for each healthcare application.
Facilitated proactive monitoring and alerting of critical interfaces, raising service levels.
Provided effective capture and storage of message transaction history.
Created a source of transaction history used to populate new PACS database.
Implemented an integration platform on which to build future interfaces to external physician Electronic Medical Record (EMR) applications.
Union General Insights
Walt Stafford, PACS/RIS Administrator, builds and manages clinical interfaces at Union General Hospital. Walt’s insights:
“Union General Hospital is an innovative, growing hospital that has invested in developing state of the art facilities for our patients and physicians. We wanted to streamline our workflow processes — internally and externally — in our radiology operations.
Internally, our objective was to make the workflow between our RIS, PACS, and dictation systems transparent to the users of these systems. To our physician community, our objective was to install an integration platform through which patient reports could be easily and electronically sent to referring physicians.
We discovered that Corepoint Health could provide us the integration communications platform to meet both key objectives for our radiology department.
We decided an integration engine was the right approach for the following reasons:
- We anticipate a growth of healthcare interfaces for our radiology practice. The rapid acceptance of EMRs in the physician community is quickly becoming one of the driving factors behind this growth.
- We want to be responsive to the needs of the clinical staff when they requested new interfaces. We believed we had to have the ability to control the timing of the delivery of new interfaces in order to accomplish this objective.
- We wanted to lower our interfacing costs by reducing our reliance on various healthcare vendors for each and every interface.
After researching several engines, we selected Corepoint Health for many reasons. Building interfaces to various applications can be complex, and Corepoint Health enabled me to implement interfaces immediately after a 15-hour web-based training course. Corepoint’s Health solution easily met our goals of simplifying complex interface development and offering proactive monitoring and alerting of message interface transactions.
As a PACS Administrator, I play many roles, so it was important that building and supporting interfaces did not take too much of my time. The Corepoint Health solution allowed me to seamlessly integrate multiple applications supporting our radiology practice while I continued to deliver a high level of service to my radiologists in other areas.
Before Corepoint Health, we had limited capability to manipulate HL7 messages to meet specific application data format specifications; we could not save message transactions – no history of what was sent to whom; and we had no ability to monitor interfaces and their connections.With Corepoint Health’s healthcare integration engine, we have achieved the following:
- Easily develop, test, and implement interface connections to various radiology applications.
- Store a complete history of message transactions.
- Populate a new PACS system database with three months’ data by using the logging features.
- Retrieve patient information from multiple applications and populate the PACS with valuable information.
- Monitor interfaces and receive alerts if an interface is not acting according to specifications — know of a potential problem and resolve it before a client notices a change in service.
- Deliver a dictation .wav file to our PACS so that a physician can listen to the dictation before the transcribed file arrives — streamlining the diagnosis process.
We have accomplished a great deal with Corepoint Integration Engine. I wish that every healthcare application was as rock solid as Corepoint Integration Engine. Corepoint Health delivers the integration platform for our radiology practice by delivering message transactions reliably and robustly to our radiologists and physicians.”