One of the interesting conversations I had at HIMSS this year was when I caught up with Brad Smith and Jim Boyer the CEO and CIO of Rush Memorial hospital for breakfast. Rush Memorial is one of a growing number of hospitals that have chosen to use IGUANA as their enterprise integration engine. We have well over 40 direct hospital sites now – over 25 new sites since last year.
In an environment where many small independent hospitals are struggling with reduced Medicare and Medicaid payments, Rush Memorial is thriving. It comes down to having a sound strategy of structuring their organization to deliver top quality patient care. Rush Memorial pays its doctors to spend the time needed with a patient (quality) versus patients by numbers. There is a strong encouragement for physicians to take their time with each patient and look at all of their ailments in one visit rather than with multiple visits.
Patient care quality is very high as a result. Rush Memorial is serving its community well and attracts a lot of patients through excellent word of mouth.
The hospital shows a lot of Information System innovation under the vision of Jim Boyer.
For example, Elvin Vivares – a member of Jim’s team whom I had the pleasure of meeting when he attended one of our training sessions – has been using IGUANA to do all sorts of non-traditional integration. These integrations go well beyond what one would typically even dream of using a conventional HL7 engine for.
Elvin built a system with IGUANA that does this:
- When a patient has an emergency visit in the hospital.
- IGUANA uses SQL queries to pull their relevant demographics from the HIS system as well as a TIFF file of the patient’s scanned chart.
- Then this information is formatted and sent via SFTP to the separate billing company the hospital uses for ER – using this module.
Other creative ideas both Jim and Elvin are working on using IGUANA include:
- Using IGUANA to create internal executive dashboards by abstracting hospital financial and clinical data, warehousing the data to a SQL database, and then reporting the results via their intranet.
- Using IGUANA to provide physicians a full report of a patient as soon as they are discharged from the Hospital or clinic. It is often time consuming for physicians to review multiple systems in follow-up of a patient’s discharge, thus pulling all the data from disparate systems and delivering a report via secure email allows a doctor to have one source that is quick and efficient.
That really is ahead of the curve. I wish hospitals in Canada could do this with our family doctor. Most hospitals can only dream of having this type of capacity and they usually would have had to spend a lot of time and money to achieve it.
Rush Memorial has a healthy belief in giving their people the opportunity to be creative. It makes Rush Memorial a much better place to work. Encouraging creativity, setting a good vision and making good technology choices all work together to create an atmosphere that results in great things being achieved for the organization.
It’s eye opening when you see just how much value can be created in healthcare when integration technology is easy to use and cost effective.
I think we are well overdue to have a user conference that makes it easier to see and share all the amazing and useful things that can be done to improve healthcare. I am looking forward to seeing what other things Rush Memorial can do with IGUANA.