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Case studies

Huntington Memorial Hospital: connecting a community


Huntington Memorial Hospital


Pasadena, California, United States

Organization type

A not-for-profit community hospital


625 beds

Inpatient and outpatient visits per year

28,773 Inpatient visits
146,023 Outpatient visits

Key benefits

Enrich the data and expand the data warehouse by getting real-time information that will ultimately enable better decisions and yield better clinical outcomes

In 2008, Huntington Memorial Hospital (Huntington Hospital), a not-for-profit community hospital in Pasadena, California, realized that it needed a modern, scalable integration engine to support and connect its various health information systems and applications. After an extensive review of solutions available in the market, Huntington Hospital decided to implement Rhapsody to power its health information exchange (HIE) initiatives and support the hospital’s mission to more efficiently utilize resources.

An Integration Challenge

From 2004 through 2014, Huntington Hospital leveraged MEDITECH as its EMR system and needed a single integration engine to connect its disparate health information systems and applications. Unfortunately, a custom, point-to-point solution would be very expensive to build, prone to connectivity issues, and may also limit flexibility in the future. Huntington Hospital also would have needed to create a full team dedicated to identifying and resolving technical integration challenges, a time-consuming and costly issue.

Huntington Hospital’s Integration Engine Checklist

As Huntington Hospital began researching and evaluating available integration technology platforms, they determined that they needed a versatile, scalable, easy-to-use solution that would be both comprehensive and flexible enough to support unknown future projects and market requirements. Huntington Hospital also
didn’t want to be held captive to its EMR vendor for all its integration needs, as that could raise future concerns from and economical or efficiency standpoint.

Additionally, the hospital needed an integration engine partner that demonstrated a “future proof” capability, with modern and flexible interfaces and standards that would support its existing and future workflows and needs.

This was amply demonstrated during Huntington’s upgrade to Cerner Millennium, where placing integration outside of the EMR reduced expenses and decreased the risk involved with integrating Cerner with the hospital’s portfolio of third-party applications and partners.

After evaluating other integration solutions in the market, Huntington Hospital determined the Rhapsody was the most scalable, manageable, flexible and proven technology available and its leadership felt confident that the technology would also drive the greatest cost savings. The organization also determined that Rhapsody was relatively easy to develop in (leveraging a well-known language, JavaScript) and could capture and replay messages.

The Heart of Huntington Hospital’s IT Infrastructure

Rhapsody provides a comprehensive set of tools to simplify complex healthcare interoperability. For example, Rhapsody is the first interoperability platform to implement the exciting new HL7® FHIR® standard. JSON and HTTP Rest support within Rhapsody routes can enable organizations to use these generically, and to
start implementing FHIR-based interfaces.

Huntington Hospital decided to leverage Rhapsody’s application monitoring services meaning Rhapsody employees monitor the solution 24/7. This ensures optimal performance as the employees who monitor the product know more about it than anyone else, since they are the ones that built it. It also eliminates the need for Huntington to dedicate additional staff to the project.

Huntington Hospital also selected Rhapsody’s Managed Services offering so that Rhapsody professionals could monitor, optimize, and upgrade the Rhapsody solution. Using state-of-the-art tools, Rhapsody professionals constantly review the systems’ performance and stability, and proactively engage to make adjustments and keep end-users up and running 24×7, and ensure that when something goes wrong it is immediately fixed.

Efficiency is King at a Community Hospital

Like many non-for-profit community hospitals, Huntington Hospital needs to be efficient with its limited resources. By implementing Rhapsody’s application monitoring services, the hospital was able to pivot internal resources to other activities, resulting in significant cost savings. They are currently able to function with less than one employee dedicated to Rhapsody.

Prior to implementing Rhapsody, Huntington Hospital spent thousands of dollars on point-to-point interfaces developed and maintained by third parties. Since then, the hospital has seen significant workflow improvements and has been able to expand its data integration strategies through Rhapsody’s flexible technology.

Supporting a Connected Community

Huntington Hospital went live with the Huntington Health eConnect (HHeC) HIE in 2013, a comprehensive community record powered by Rhapsody which enables more than 700 independent physicians in 145 practices throughout California’s San Gabriel Valley to securely collaborate and coordinate patient care. Rhapsody takes data from medical partners within the community and the hospital’s EMR to feed the HHeC community record, connecting all significant internal clinical applications and constituencies.

Future Proofing

As Huntington Hospital begins to collaborate more and more with other organizations, they have an increased need to be able to share and receive both clinical and claims data in real time, which is a capability that an integration engine like Rhapsody enables. For example, Anthem Blue Cross and seven top hospital systems in California have partnered to offer Anthem Blue Cross Vivity, an integrated health system in Los Angeles and Orange counties, which is the nation’s first partnership between a payer and competing hospital systems. The organizations, which includes Huntington Hospital, will align to enhance the health of all Anthem Blue Cross Vivity members and also share financial risk and gain.

Huntington Hospital follows HL7 standards today, but realizes that they may need to adapt to other standards in the future. As such, they need to partner with vendors that can adapt and innovate quickly in order for the organization to innovate as well. Rhapsody has made investments to ensure its technology always embeds today’s standards while being prepared for the protocols of tomorrow and the unknown of the future. Knowing that Rhapsody will support those capabilities ensures Huntington Hospital that the investment they made is worthwhile. Wherever the industry and new standards take them, they are confident Rhapsody’s flexible and reliable integration technology will put them at the forefront of healthcare innovation.

Today, while the healthcare industry buzzes about big data, Huntington Hospital is focused on “smart data,” or using data in a manner that makes an organization smarter around financial and clinical operations within the four walls of the organization. Rhapsody is helping Huntington enrich its data and expand its data warehouse by getting real-time information that will ultimately enable better decisions and yield better clinical outcomes.

Interested in learning more about Rhapsody health solutions?

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