VigiLanz Connect

Tri-City Medical Center and VigiLanz: Achieving a Middleware First Through VigiLanz Connect

Customer Profile

Located in Oceanside, California, Tri-City Medical Center has served its community for over 50 years and is a 388-bed full service, acute-care hospital, with a primary care clinic and over 700 physicians practicing in 60 specialties. Its Gold Seal of Approval® from the Joint Commission recognizes its commitment to safe and effective patient care for the residents of the community it serves. It operates the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in North County, as well as an Orthopedic & Spine Institute, a Cardiovascular Health Institute and a Neuroscience Institute along with the Tri-City Wellness Center in Carlsbad, California, recognized as one of the best wellness centers in San Diego County. It also specializes in women’s health, robotic surgery, cancer and emergency care.

Challenge

In the age of value-based care, it’s all about performance. Hospitals continually face increased financial pressure to reduce length of stay, hospital-acquired infection rates and hospital readmissions. The organization must improve healthcare analytics and core measures, avoid penalties and secure reimbursement, so it can continue to grow and thrive. This shift means hospitals must now consider cost avoidance instead of expecting direct reimbursement for patient care.

The challenge becomes how to support and enable next-generation healthcare providers to deliver real-time results from disparate platforms and technology. Sixty-two percent of hospital CIOs identify interoperability as a top priority, and 80 percent of accountable care organizations also cite data integration as a top challenge for their IT departments.

To help more healthcare providers deliver real-time results and to improve interoperability, medical facilities like Tri-City Medical Center require a services-oriented architecture and open application programming interface (API). The API must enable efficient aggregation, interaction and exchange of disparate data throughout the healthcare enterprise and across any of its software technologies, including EMRs and third-party single-point-solution vendors.

Solution

APIs fit the bill by allowing access to all of the data a digital health application and a health system would need in real time. Clinicians and administrators can now rapidly integrate new clinical and business information for better decision-making and, most importantly, for improved patient care with new interoperability services.

Tri-City Medical Center is the first VigiLanz customer site to utilize the company’s middleware API solution, VigiLanz Connect, to convert health data from its EMR into uniform, actionable intelligence in the VigiLanz Platform. Through VigiLanz Connect, the hospital turns its closed EMR systems into open platforms through robust services that do not rely on HL7 interfaces. VigiLanz handles connectivity and normalizes data structures across major EMR platforms, including Tri-City Medical Center’s Cerner platform, to quickly unlock the data. Benefits include shorter integration time (from months to days), elegant workflows, decreased maintenance costs and minimized risk.

“An API is definitely the way to go. Not only are APIs easy to use, but they are a no-brainer when it comes to rapid and successful implementation. Using VigiLanz’s middleware API helped us maximize the platform in a different, modern way. It is a simpler effort than using a solution like HL7, and it’s also stable and steady so it’s easy to maintain, despite the significant amount of data being pulled.” – Mark Albright, Vice President of Technology, Tri-City Medical Center

A middleware architecture has been shown to be the best technological solution for addressing the problem of EMR interoperability. The middleware platform facilitates the transparent, yet secure, access of patient health data directly from the various databases where it is stored. A hospital like Tri-City Medical Center no longer has to do all of the development itself. Instead, it can rely on off-the-shelf applications to solve problems. Middleware brings an application-agnostic approach to connecting EMRs to one another while allowing for specific development to enhance the significant investment by hospitals, health systems and physicians.

Results

Improving Patient Care and Operational Performance.


VigiLanz’s clinical intelligence and interoperability services complement today’s EMR systems. On their own, EMRs may be insufficient to deliver agile, real-time intelligence services. In contrast, a middleware API can interoperate with EMR systems and is built with innovative abstract data architectures that help hospitals like Tri-City Medical Center improve patient care and operational performance.


In contrasting his organization’s middleware API experience with what would have traditionally been an HL7 integration, Albright noted, “Our hospital charged a non-programmer, non-developer, non-HL7 person with spearheading this project, something that could not have happened in an HL7 world. She would have never been able to master that.”


That “she” is Melody Peterson, a senior systems analyst, who stepped into the project post-decision, after Tri-City’s pharmacy, infection control and clinical surveillance departments had already made the decision to purchase VigiLanz, separate from the organization’s IT department. Despite joining the project later, Peterson had a seamless and successful VigiLanz integration experience.


“I was tasked with making this middleware API work, without having been part of the research or purchase decision. Because VigiLanz supports the clinical and business sides of our hospital, though, it was easy to implement this ‘plug-and-play’ integration solution, in a way that applied to all areas critical to optimizing care—from risk scoring to antimicrobial stewardship.”

– Melody Peterson, Senior Systems Analyst, Tri-City Medical Center