Hospital Q&A: Halifax Health Replaces eGate, Improves Workflow and Interface Development Speed
Halifax Health is the largest health system in East Central Florida and includes a tertiary and community hospital with 678 licensed beds and more than 500 physicians. In late 2013, they made the decision to upgrade their integration engine from eGate to Corepoint Health.
The following Q&A with John Kamer, Sr. Integration Engineer, and Ryan Ellerton, Business Analyst II, focuses on their decision to migrate from eGate, their experiences working with Corepoint Integration Engine, and the overall improvements they’ve experienced in their integrated environment.
Key Takeaways: The interface team at Halifax Health is comprised of 2 members, both with extensive programming knowledge and backgrounds. One has worked with interface engines since 1998 (primarily with Cloverleaf™), while the other was new to health care. The experience by both was that Corepoint Integration Engine was intuitive to learn, and performance was a vast improvement over their eGate engine. Their first few months using Corepoint Integration Engine were spent converting their old eGate interfaces. Since then, they’ve enjoyed exploring the modern features in Corepoint Integration Engine to improve upon the integrated workflows they support at Halifax Health.
Q: Now that you’ve been working with Corepoint Integration Engine for over a year, how would you summarize the experience of migrating from eGate to Corepoint Health?
John: Life has been a lot easier since converting from eGate to Corepoint Health. And having Corepoint Integration Engine definitely helped us meet Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements.
Q: What were the primary factors in finding a replacement for your eGate interface engine?
John: With support for eGate sunsetting, my number one priority was evaluating and finding a replacement interface engine. My background was working at hospitals that had the Cloverleaf engine.
Overall, we evaluated 4 different interface engines. The most important factors were the speed of interface development, reliability and the alerting capabilities. We’re a large hospital and we had to convert our interfaces in a relatively short amount of time.
For months, based on my experience, I had assumed I would select Cloverleaf 6.0, especially since I’m a certified Level 2 Cloverleaf user. But after seeing a demonstration at MUSE, I was sold on Corepoint Integration Engine. The speed of development and ease of use, along with the alerting structure surpassed anything I had seen before.
Q: How would you describe your experience learning and becoming comfortable in using Corepoint Integration Engine?
Ryan: We both had programming backgrounds, so we were a little unsure about the drag-and-drop aspect of Corepoint Integration Engine, but that went away quickly, and are really happy about it now.
While I had been in IT for over 12 years, I did not have any healthcare background before joining Halifax Health. I had plenty of programming knowledge and quickly found out many healthcare applications can be clunky and not all that intuitive. Sitting in front of Corepoint Integration Engine and going through the initial training was all it took. By the time I finished my first interface, I was comfortable with it.
John: I found Corepoint Integration Engine very intuitive and got used to it very quickly. While it was a big change, within 3-4 days I was comfortably writing interfaces.
I’m a programmer, I went to school for programming and I’ve been working with interface engines since 1998. So, the transition was easy. The hardest part was getting logs out of eGate to do our interface comparisons.
Q: Do you have any favorite features or tools in the engine?
John: I really like the metrics. It makes it a lot easier to look at counts and get an overall sense of the health of the server. We don’t have to guess or get on the server itself.
Ryan: The fact that you can give out roles with permission just to view only certain metrics is great. That concept didn’t exist before we migrated to Corepoint Integration Engine.
Being able to customize when alerts get triggered and who receives them has been a lot better than we were used to. The flexibility of the alerts has been great. We’ve got 4 sets of alerts that cover every possible scenario.
Q: What overall impact has the migration to Corepoint Integration Engine had on your workflow or everyday performance?
Ryan: Troubleshooting is greatly improved. Just yesterday we got a call from our transcription department. They were having issues with specific report types uploading improperly with blank results. John was able to quickly diagnose what was happening in the header of certain files and we were able to show them the specific reason for the problem and also trace back to the first date of the occurrence.
We’ve been able to do some really cool things with the engine over the past year that our organization has been impressed with – logging, troubleshooting, or the ability to resend messages when needed – things we just weren’t able to efficiently do with eGate.
John: Just from the aspect of troubleshooting. Someone can call and say, “Can you look at what happened with this message, or this result, or can you resend it?” Re-sending in eGate required so many steps.
The speed of development has also been a big improvement. In eGate it might have taken me half a day to write an ADT interface. Now, either Ryan or I can write a basic ADT interface in 3-5 minutes. So, it’s had a major impact in helping us get projects done sooner.
Ryan: It’s almost too fast and easy, now every department wants an interface.