CentraCare Health System Rolls Out InterSystems Ensemble For Enterprise-Scale Integration

Press Release | Intersystems, Centracare | February 21, 2011

InterSystems Corporation, the global leader in software for connected health care, today announced that CentraCare Health System has completed an organization-wide rollout of theInterSystems Ensemble® integration and development platform.

The announcement was made at the HIMSS11 conference. InterSystems specializes in advanced integration, database, and business intelligence technologies for breakthrough applications.

CentraCare, based in St. Cloud, Minn., is a collaborative group of Central Minnesota health care professionals in a delivery network that includes hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and specialty care services. St. Cloud Hospital, a part of CentraCare, recently received the Thomson Reuters Top 100 Hospital award for the fifth consecutive year.

Superior Functionality, Speed Critical to Ensemble Selection

“We were looking for more functionality, faster throughput and more robust disaster recovery than could be delivered by our legacy eGate platform,” said Amy Porwoll, Director of Information Systems. “We informed InterSystems, the top integration software vendor, that we wanted to do an onsite proof-of-concept project to see how they would address a fairly extensive list of business issues,” Porwoll explained.

Ensemble’s speed, array of capabilities and its embedded InterSystems CACHÉ® database were driving factors behind the successful proof-of-concept effort and the decision to make Ensemble CentraCare’s enterprise-wide integration platform. “In addition, we have a CACHÉ-based Epic system installed,” Porwoll noted. “The ability to seamlessly deliver queries from other applications to the Epic system via Ensemble as well as the fact that we could leverage our Epic administrators to manage Ensemble also contributed to our integration software selection.”

An estimated 110 HL7 interfaces were migrated to Ensemble in a very active conversion initiative. “We can build interfaces much more rapidly with Ensemble…we’ve completed as many as three interfaces in a single day compared to taking a day on average to build just one eGate interface,” Porwoll said. “More than 415,000 messages are streaming through the CentraCare delivery network every day.”

In addition to using Ensemble to integrate applications and data repositories within the organization, CentraCare has launched an Ensemble-based system to interface with external health care providers who are part of its affiliate program. “We’ve already gone live with some providers and are finding that this offering provides smooth connection with outside programs…in effect, with Ensemble, we now have our own public information network,” Porwoll explained.

And, Porwoll views Ensemble’s ability to support fast interface development and evolving software applications as valuable for CentraCare’s future expansion. “The transition from eGate to Ensemble was just the first phase of enterprise integration,” she said. “By extending our EHR to outside organizations, we can expand without acquiring other health care providers.”

“CentraCare is implementing breakthrough, high-value Ensemble-based initiatives very rapidly,” said Paul Grabscheid, InterSystems Vice President of Strategic Planning. “We’re committed to working with them to enable the success of these innovative projects.”