Collaboration delivers complex system integration

Monash Health Case Study

Monash Health sought a partner to manage the implementation and complex integration of their new Electronic Medical Record system. It would allow them to use electronic orders and results across the organisation for the first time. They needed a partner with the experience and expertise they lacked to deliver this program.

Overview

The systems used in hospitals and the integration of multiple systems can be a very complex undertaking.

Data Agility brought knowledge of the sector and a successful track record of implementing complex products, Electronic Medical Records (EMR) solutions and the integration environment.

Data Agility also brought a proven collaborative approach to working with stakeholders at Monash Health, the vendor Cerner and other parties.

Monash Health is Victoria’s largest public health service, providing end-to-end healthcare to one quarter of Melbourne’s five million residents.

Monash Health needed to implement and integrated their new Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system across eight locations, including their private hospital Jessie McPherson.

Data Agility provided the expertise to architect, design, build and test all of the critical systems interfaces between the existing Monash Health applications and the new EMR. This enabled functionality such as pathology and radiology orders and results were integrated and available right across Monash Health.

Following the successful go-live, Data Agility were retained to provide a managed services to support the Monash Health integration environment.

Challenge

The Monash Health EMR is a substantial undertaking, twelve applications were integrated with Cerner Millennium EMR and 90 interfaces had to be developed. Monash Health has a unique and complex integration landscape that required multiple complex integration transformations and several large data migration exercises. Data Agility’s capability and people had us expertly placed to address this complexity and work with the client and vendors to deliver a successful outcome.

Implementing the solution in a multi-location environment was a substantial undertaking. It added significant complexity to the integration architecture as it needed to provide new interfaces to support the EMR, while continuing to support older interfaces until later phases had been delivered.

Additional complexities that the integration architecture and design had to allow for included:

  • The lack of standardisation in the messages being produced across the in-scope applications.
  • The need to customise and modify EMR message feeds for multiple receiving applications.
  • EMR requiring results messages from applications that did not support messaging.

All-in-all it was a highly complex undertaking.

Solution

Data Agility took on this challenge by designing a process whereby each incumbent application was incrementally replaced by Cerner. 

This enabled business as usual operation to continue for sites in later phases and managed cost by minimising retesting for those phases.

Data Agility keenly understand that bringing all stakeholders along the implementation journey is a key to success. The Data Agility team worked directly with the respective system vendors, Monash Health business units and other EMR Project Team Members to ensure that the requirements for each interface were gathered and documented prior to being built.

This community were also closely involves in testing each interface to ensure it met Monash Health’s needs before we deployed the interfaces to Monash Health production environments.

And to ensure that Monash Health had complete sight of the engagement, its architecture and outcomes Data Agility provided comprehensive design and build documentation.

Results

Data Agility provided the expert management and integration services required at a lower cost than other options.

Key components of the response were:

  • Data Agility put a fully functioning team on the ground – when the project starts, so do we.
  • No need to take the time and expense of training external people and getting them up to speed.
  • A lean team of experienced practitioners which is far more cost effective than maintaining a permanent full-time-equivalent crew for the duration of the project.
  • The Data Agility model delivers the coverage of a proven organisation rather than clients having to rely on one or more key individuals.
  • Through the process, Monash Health essentially ‘purchased’ the Intellectual Property of the development enabling them to be self-sufficient going forward.

Monash Health have implemented electronic orders and results for the first time with all of the key applications fully integrated with the new EMR. This delivers organisation wide visibility of orders and results improving patient outcomes and managing costs.

Data Agility were retained to provide a managed services to support the Monash Health integration environment. Today this service manages around 300 million critical and sensitive messages a year at Monash Health.

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