Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is a medium-sized acute general hospital, serving a population of approximately 300,000 within Northamptonshire, UK. The Trust has been providing services since 1897 and reached Foundation Trust status in 2008. As well as the main hospital site, the Trust runs a wide range of outpatient clinics in Corby, Wellingborough and Irthlingborough.
The Trust has developed many state-of-the-art facilities, such as an £18m short-stay surgery treatment centre that enables the majority of operations to be carried out within a 48 hour stay and a Cardiac Centre offering heart related treatments closer to peoples’ homes.
Kettering General Hospital also has a special care baby unit, 600 inpatient and day case beds, a modern A&E department, a large maternity wing, 17 operating theatres, an intensive care unit, skin care centre, cancer care wing and a host of excellent diagnostic facilities such as CT and MRI scanners.
A time before Rhapsody Integration Engine
Long before Kettering General Hospital adopted the Rhapsody Interoperability Platform, information was held in silos and healthcare systems were disparate from each other. The Trust had no means of interfacing between systems, and no forms of HL7 integration were being used. It was when the Trust was required to bring in a new theatre system that they identified an urgent need for an integration solution and one that could provide fast, real-time data. Rhapsody was selected as the healthcare specific Integration Engine of choice due to its proven functionality, reliability and scalability and was rapidly deployed in 2006.
How Rhapsody is used
Rhapsody is installed on the one central site within the
Trust. The PAS system receives over 6,000 messages
per day, which are translated via Rhapsody into other
standards compatible with 13 downstream clinical
systems. Rhapsody processes approximately 70,000
messages a day including numerous database inserts
as well as the SMS messaging system, all of which
Rhapsody guarantees delivery of.
Rhapsody is currently being utilised to host a number
of unique, simple and complex routes. This ranges from
picking up a flat file and moving it to a different file
location through to manipulating positive histology
results to a downstream cancer system. The cancer
system interface was created as a result of pulling
large quantities of data together from lookup tables
and inserting new patient information whenever a
positive histology result is taken. The integrated lookup
tables within Rhapsody provides high performance data
translations, with simple configurations data can be
matched against multiple fields, translated to other data
types or simply used to apply business logic against.
Kettering General Hospital has also developed a real
time feed using triggers to generate HL7 operation
details from the Trust theatre system. Rhapsody
supports a vast range of protocols and standards such
as XML messaging, which from the results system at the
Trust, is used to populate the medicine system, ‘DMARD
Dawn’, which monitors blood tests for patients who are
prescribed dangerously high-risk medication to stabilise
blood levels during treatment. The medicine system is
unable to handle large volumes of result reports, but
Rhapsody is able override this issue by storing messages
and releasing messages according to scheduled times.
“Rhapsody is our Integration Engine of choice as it is easy to use, provides real time data, is highly flexible and has an unlimited number of uses which has been valuable to us.”
Rob Freeman, Integration Specialist,
Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Email and SMS alert
Kettering General Hospital have developed various
routes to enable Rhapsody to facilitate an unlimited
number of email and SMS patient appointment
reminders to relevant clinicians, at no extra cost.
The SMS system works simply by using Rhapsody to
query an SMS database, which is pre-populated with
outpatient booking messages from the PAS system,
using an email communication point connected to the
NHS Mail, java script filters are applied to identify and
generate patient mobile numbers.
Discharge letters go out electronically to GP’s regionally
via Rhapsody and when the discharge system outputs
a PDF file, Rhapsody generates an email containing
the file and sends it to the appropriate clinicians. The
following are further examples of how the Trust uses
email alerts in other, various clinical scenarios:
• Patient Deaths – GP’s are alerted when a patient
under their care dies within the hospital via NHS Mail.
• Infection Control – infection control nurses are
notified when an inpatient that has previously
contracted MRSA or C.difficile arrives to the hospital.
• Cancer Care – Cancer Nurse Specialists are alerted via
SMS when a patient who has had cancer in the past 5
years attends the hospital unexpectedly.
Reported benefits of Rhapsody Integration Engine
The Trust particularly appreciates the ease of using
Rhapsody. The Graphical User Interface (GUI), a feature
of Rhapsody, is visually appealing and intuitive which
gives developers the flexibility to produce and manage
complex routes and filters with minimal effort. Drag
and drop tools simplify development and easy point-and-click configuration provides users with support
for complex healthcare integration, thereby reducing
workload. In addition, the Trust has also reported cost
savings both directly and indirectly as a result of using
Rhapsody, such as managing tasks and interfaces in
place of 3rd party systems. For example, setting up SMS
alerts took only a couple of days to configure, saving the
Trust money so they were able to remove the need to
purchase a separate SMS alerting system.
Once configuration takes place, Rhapsody automatically
generates documentation which saves users time and
provides extra support. Rhapsody also offers a highly
flexible alerting and notification system that is easy to
set up and ensures that administrators of Rhapsody
are alerted to events and issues so that they may be
escalated and resolved as quickly as possible.
Kettering General Hospital continues to find new ways
to maximise its use of Rhapsody and performance of their hospital systems.
Using Rhapsody has saved us considerable
Rob Freeman, Integration Specialist, Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
money and time.”