Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (MSHMC) is a leading university health center located in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Annually, the center admits 29,000 patients, accepts a million outpatient visits, receives 72,000 emergency room patients, and performs 30,000 surgical procedures. Its campus includes Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Cancer Institute, and Penn State Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital in the region. In 2016, MSHMC became part of Penn State Health, a multi-hospital health system serving patients and communities across central Pennsylvania. The system includes Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center in Reading, Pennsylvania, as well as Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital, various other jointly owned healthcare providers, and 78 outpatient practice sites across the region.
After Oracle Corporation sunsetted its eGate HL7 integration engine, eliminating the possibility of an upgrade path and effectively forcing its users to seek out third-party support, the decision makers at MSHMC recognized that, after a decade of using the technology, a change would have to be made.
“We had stayed on the same version of eGate for 10 years,” said Chuck Kruse, senior programmer/analyst, MSHMC, “because we’d heard from our colleagues at other hospitals that all subsequent versions had been fraught with problems. So once the upgrade path ended, and all hope was lost that there would someday be a better version of eGate than the one we had, there simply was no other choice. What were we going to do in the future? Without that upgrade path, given how health IT is constantly changing, and given how it’s our responsibility to ensure that our integration engine keeps pace with the growth and management of MSHMC’s infrastructure, we knew we had to investigate our options right away.”
The decision makers at MSHMC did not take that investigation lightly.
“We came up with a list of 92 criteria, which informed a weighted scorecard that would ensure that all the vendors’ solutions were evaluated fairly,” said Kruse. “Next, we searched eGate forums to see which products other hospitals had migrated to and how they felt about their choices.”
Read the Case Study to learn how MSHMC approached the challenge and how they’ve been using the solution.