In 2014, Frederick Memorial Hospital in Frederick, Maryland upgraded their integration engine platform from eGate to Corepoint Integration Engine. Pat Whitmore, Sr. Systems Analyst, has been using some iteration of eGate/JCAPS at Frederick Memorial since 1999. Along with fellow System Analyst, Mutaz Awad, and a little guidance from a Corepoint Health Professional Services team member, they converted over 100 interfaces in 3 ½ months.
The following Q&A with Sr. Systems Analyst Pat Whitmore focuses on the experience of learning a new integration platform after 15 years working in a JCAPS environment, the features that helped make choice, and the impact a contemporary integration engine has had for his hospital.
Key Takeaways: The decision to dramatically change a key software platform is never easy, particularly for anyone who had been using the same system for 15 years. Once support for eGate was set to end, the team at Frederick Memorial knew it was time to find a replacement. Scalability, functionality and customer support were key factors in selecting their next integration engine. They selected Corepoint Health and very quickly realized the benefits a modern integration platform would offer.
Q: Could you summarize your experience selecting Corepoint Health, learning to use the engine, and converting over 100 eGate interfaces in just 3 ½ months?
We had been using eGate since it was STC (1998-1999). Once support for the product was to be sunsetted, it was time to find a replacement. Working with interface engines this long, we knew which engines were out there. As a MEDITECH shop we have a very active user forum to reference. That along with KLAS rankings helped us narrow our list. So the fact that Corepoint Health had been #1 the past five years had to speak to something.
There was some trepidation in migrating interfaces from the programming environment of eGate to the more drag and drop world of Corepoint. After seeing all the benefits Corepoint Health offered though, it was pretty easy to see that it would be worth it.
Alex from Corepoint Professional Services came on-site for 3 days, and he didn’t just do the work for us. He basically taught us to use the engine as we converted over 100 interfaces ourselves. We started with the easy interfaces and saved the hard ones for last. It didn’t take long to become proficient using the engine. As of the end of November (2014) we have converted or built 134 interfaces.
Q: What were some major factors that led to choosing Corepoint Integration Engine?
One of the things that really stood out to us was the derivative builder. It was mind-blowing how easy it was to create a derivative. Working in a MEDITECH environment, we are surrounded by the need for derivatives since MEDITECH doesn’t always “play nice” with standards.
The monitoring tool really stood out from other engines we were evaluating as well, and the testing features make it really easy to debug code.
Q: After using eGate/JCAPS for more than a decade, was it difficult getting used to working with Corepoint Integration Engine?
It was a challenge at first, but you know, it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be. We were concerned that some of our harder translations would be difficult to convert. We had a few interfaces that were pretty intense, but we were able to work through them and figure it out every time.
For years I was used to just getting in there and writing code, doing things quickly from a command line. But there was so much code to write and you had to build in so many levels of error checking in java just to make sure it wouldn’t blow up for some reason while it was running. All that was eliminated with the move to Corepoint Health. It really sped things up for us to be able to just drop commands in without having to worry about writing conditional code to protect yourself.
Q: Have any features had a particularly positive impact on workflow or performance?
Alerting in Corepoint Integration Engine has been very good, especially for queue-depth issues, which was already a weakness in JCAPS.
Also, anyone in the JCAPS world will tell you that monitoring is very limited. With the way Corepoint Health works, now we have a much better and more proficient monitoring process.
Troubleshooting is great. I can’t tell you how easy it is. I can get a call where someone says, “I was expecting a report but it has not arrived yet, can you tell me what happened?” and I can find it and track its progress so much easier and so much faster than before. Just recently I got a call and needed to perform a task that in JCAPS would have taken 20-30 minutes, but with Corepoint, I was able to find the message, resend it and fix the problem in 2-3 minutes. Having Corepoint is such a big difference.
Q: What interesting or challenging plans do you have for using Corepoint Integration Engine in the future?
There’s a lot, but in particular, we’ve got an interesting project on the horizon working with a number of outside labs. We’ll be receiving orders from a bunch of different labs, filling them into MEDITECH, and then routing the results back out. That’s going to be a big project encompassing a number of our nursing homes and physician offices.
Q: Anything else to add?
Just a shout out to the rest of the eGate world – It’s time to switch, time to move on. There are better platforms out there. I think eGate users are going to find Corepoint Health to be a really great world to work in.