Deploying a “free” open source software integration engine may seem like a great choice for maximizing a tight IT budget, but the total cost of ownership (TCO) of interoperability solutions involves much more than just the software license. When factoring in the added costs of training, building and maintaining interfaces, hardware and other support infrastructure, uptime obligations and more, in addition to the labor involved with installation time, “free” quickly adds up to a hefty fee.
For a real-world illustration of this, here’s a lesson from Mission Community Hospital (MCH), a two-campus acute care non-profit hospital located in California’s San Fernando Valley. MCH places a high value on connecting its healthcare data, systems and processes to seamlessly deliver integrated care to patients. MCH had been using a free open-source integration engine to integrate its MedWrite transcription service and Carestream PACS system with its McKesson’s Paragon® hospital information system for several years to help accomplish this mission.
While the open-source engine had no licensing cost, MCH quickly discovered that its lifecycle costs were far greater when the human resources and time-to-implementation costs of training, development and on-going maintenance were fully assessed. For example, MCH had chosen not to purchase the solution’s training, support and interface maintenance options; instead, they employed the services of a third-party consulting firm to implement interfaces. Costing nearly $15,000 per interface in development dollars and taking anywhere between 8 to 12 weeks to complete, the cost and time to production became unsustainable for MCH.
Without the IT budget required to hire a dedicated interface developer or to continue outsourcing this function, coupled with plans to greatly expand the number of MCH’s integrated services, MCH began a search for a replacement integration that would be more scalable and cost-effective. Additionally, the team was looking for a comprehensive solution that would enable MCH’s small IT staff to add interface building to their existing responsibilities to help further reduce development costs and time.
Are you interested in reading the full story about how Mission Community Hospital optimized its TCO with the Iguana Integration Engine? Download the full case study today!