Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Public teaching hospital
Austin Health is the major provider of tertiary health services, health-professional education, and research across four campuses in Melbourne and numerous sites throughout the state of Victoria. As an internationally recognized center of excellence in hospital-based research, Austin Health has nearly 1,000 researchers. In addition, 9,000 staff members serve approximately 111,000 inpatients across 840 beds and 314,000 outpatients annually.
In 2017, the Victorian Department of Health selected Rhapsody Integration Engine to replace its legacy Java Caps (JCAPS) integration engine — which the vendor was no longer supporting — in 16 Victorian Health Districts, including Austin Health.
Supporting current and future business needs with a small IT team
After nearly two decades, Austin Health’s legacy JCAPS health messaging program was nearing end of life. Since JCAPS lacked the API and FHIR capabilities Austin Health needed for evolving interoperability needs, the team saw an opportunity to create a foundation for a more connected future.
However, Austin Health’s small, purpose-driven IT team was already operating at capacity to serve competing priorities from throughout the organization. Austin Health also needed to share data with providers and patients, including to My Health Record, as part of the Australia and Victoria Digital Health roadmaps. More recently, business and clinical teams have been seeking to adopt digital health applications and analytics that require integration between the billing, clinical, and lab systems.
The JCAPS replacement needed the agility to scale to meet future requests — without additional resources. That meant it needed flexible tooling to support API and FHIR-based data exchange, as well as HL7 V2 and CDA. It had to connect cloud and on-prem applications. Security was also top of mind as Austin Health planned additional integrations with Victorian and Australian health agencies.
“Throughout the hospital, people are looking at ways to integrate their data and make their processes electronic. That all relies on transferring the data to the right place, whether it’s our patient administration system, our CRM, Cerner, or other platforms. We use Rhapsody to do most of it.”
Manager, Application & Integration Services, Austin Health
Rhapsody Integration Engine
With funding and project support from the Victoria State Government, the Victorian Department of Health selected Rhapsody Integration Engine to replace JCAPS. Zoran Naumoski, manager, Application & Integration Services, found that, “None of our other options could cater to our high volume of interfaces, or scale to what was coming.”
With Rhapsody, Austin Health can leverage API web services, CDA, HL7, and FHIR to support future growth. Rhapsody lets Austin Health extract data directly from internal and external databases, enabling digitization across the health system.
Naumoski explains, “There’s quite a lot of integration: pathology, radiology, medications, billing — not just our internal systems, either. Now that’s all done by Rhapsody. It gives us a secure way of communicating from cloud to our on-prem services.”
Rhapsody also supports Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration, helping Austin Health digitize paper and fax specialist referrals throughout the state. Specialists can review patient information digitally, then the referring physician can see any updates, improving efficiency and continuity of care.
Naumoski adds, “Rhapsody plays a big role in updating our GP information from the National Health Services directory to downstream systems in real time.”
Since Rhapsody went live in mid-2020, Austin Health has nearly doubled its usage, from 90 interfaces to 190, with more to come.
300,000 daily messages
The Rhapsody engine at Austin Health receives around 300,000 inbound messages every day.
111,000 inpatients and 314,000 outpatients
Austin Health serves 111,000 inpatients and 314,000 outpatients each year.
Reliable integration that supports more digital health
Since Rhapsody went live in mid-2020, Austin Health has nearly doubled its usage, from 90 interfaces to 190, with more to come. Rhapsody now receives around 300,000 inbound messages every day, which are transferred and transformed to multiple outbound interfaces.
Rhapsody’s ease of use and reliability allow Naumoski’s team to stay agile and focus on business and clinical requests.
“Most of our monthly service level reports come back blank — and that’s a good thing,” Naumoski says. “It shows that the product is very stable.”
Rhapsody is also key to connecting pathology, radiology, and endoscopy data with My Health Record, a nationwide initiative. And as departments see the impact of digitization, demand is growing for help with their own initiatives.
“I like Rhapsody because it’s not too technical. It’s easy to support without needing to grow the team. We can use our current team’s skillset and expertise. If I can work with it, I’m pretty confident anyone else can work with it.”
Naumoski explains, “No one likes working from multiple systems. They want all that patient information, the referrals, the notes together in one place. Now that all that data is being integrated using Rhapsody, we’re working with the businesses to digitize more processes.”