Interoperability of the EMR with other essential hospital information systems is critical to ensure seamless communication and maintain a comprehensive patient record. Connecting this vast network of information sources requires the EMR to successfully integrate with a wide variety of disparate technology systems; however, this is often a challenge because not all systems can be easily configured to communicate with a specific EMR.
Furthermore, many hospitals are connected to a network of affiliated locations, which can introduce additional documentation challenges across the enterprise. Data is traditionally exchanged by outdated technologies such as fax, which creates the need for manual data entry/re-entry and introduces the potential for errors. This issue is compounded by a hospital’s necessary interaction with external entities such as physicians, laboratories and more, which requires an additional exchange of patient information.
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC), a nationally recognized, not-for-profit children’s hospital, was facing these kind of challenges when they searched for a new technology that would help improve physicians timely access to patient data. They sought an integration engine that could easily connect its central EMR, EpicCare™, with more than 12 essential hospital information systems without requiring too much of the hospital’s IT department, and with enough flexibility to meet the evolving integration needs of the hospital.
CCMC ultimately chose the Iguana integration engine. Iguana is now being used to facilitate data exchange between essential hospital systems including radiology, cardiology, pharmacy, laboratory, devices, and more, to create a centralized patient record in EpicCare. Additionally, the hospital has used Iguana to painlessly convert data from legacy systems to EpicCare, including one million records such as hospital encounters, transcription data, radiology data and vaccination information.
The connections enabled by Iguana have streamlined the workflow required to coordinate patient care across departments, making things faster and easier for hospital personnel as they no longer need to enter data into multiple systems. The IT department is also seeing benefits from a reduction in the number of applications they are required to support.
Because CCMC is part of an affiliate network of almost 40 hospitals and specialty clinics, the hospital uses Iguana to share patient registration information between facilities, replacing inefficient fax-based workflows. CCMC also relies on Iguana to securely distribute clinical data to a constellation of external vendors that are helping solve key issues in patient care, while retaining full control over what each vendor sees.
A key reason that CCMC chose Iguana was its speed of implementation and flexibility. Iguana is easy to install and get up and running, integrating with systems that need to share data in a variety of ways. The hospital’s integration staff can also implement interfaces quickly and have the flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of integration requirements. CCMC Integration Lead Hans Groschel stated: “When I put Iguana side by side with other tools, it was always much faster to setup and start using.”
Iguana now reliably handles more than 100 interfaces processing nearly a million messages a day. It has proven to be so reliable that it requires very little troubleshooting, and a small staff of 2-3 is able to manage, monitor and develop interfaces across the enterprise.
This has helped CCMC improve efficiencies across the entire hospital, specifically by eliminating data entry repetition, which has reduced data errors across all hospital systems. Patient data is now easy to search for across all systems, allowing the hospital to focus on patient care rather than data entry. Hospitals with similar-sized systems have saved upwards of $200,000 in implementation costs using Iguana.