Hospital Simplifies Integration with InterSystems

Holland Hospital is using InterSystems Corp.’s Ensemble object-based integration and development platform to drive improvements in patient care. IT execs at Holland said they especially liked how the Ensemble SQL-compliant object database made it easy to rapidly connect to a variety of systems.

Holland Hospital is using InterSystems Corp.’s Ensemble object-based integration and development platform to drive improvements in patient care.

Executives at Holland selected Ensemble because of its ability to rapidly allow them to connect a variety of systems across the hospital, as well as its ability to support integration with EMR (electronic medical record) systems used by other physicians.

“We wanted to add more interconnectivity internally as well as connect to physicians and multiple external organizations. Our previous platform didn’t offer a good upgrade path for achieving our objectives,” said Randy Paruch, Holland’s Director of Information System said in a statement.

Paruch said Ensemble was easy for the hospital’s developers to understand, use and work with.   He also liked the easy customization and extensibility features Ensemble offered to help his IT staff readily connect with new systems — without needing to know all the underlying code and complexities. 

“We needed a system that could handle an expanding number of new connections and facilities and that’s what we received with Ensemble,” said Paruch. “We keep throwing more projects at this platform and it just keeps running. There has been no unscheduled downtime.”
Inside InterSystems Ensemble’s
Object Database Approach To Integration

Ensemble features a high performance, highly scalable and SQL-compliant object database at its core, which can scale to handle thousands of simultaneous users and terabytes of data.
All elements of Ensemble, in fact, are modeled as object classes within this database.

During the development of solutions, the Ensemble object model is extended to a variety of resources (applications, services, data sources, business rules, and other components) via Ensemble’s advanced abstraction facility.

The result: Ensemble can integrate various heterogeneous resources among one another, by abstracting the functionality and data of the native resource into a set of “object classes” with properties and methods. Once abstracted, Ensemble stores the classes in its database, and makes them available.

For efficient integration and low-latency, Ensemble can present these classes in any form needed by other parts of the integrated system, including COM, .NET, ODBC, Java, JDBC, EJB, XML, and SOA / web services.

For SOA integrations, Ensemble also supports  WS-Security, high-performance web services performance when sending messages in binary or binary-encoded XML formats within SOAP messages. extended monitoring and embedded tracking for composite applications.

For management and auditing, the Ensemble database serves as a repository for every message generated. So, messages are never lost, and an interrupted business process can be restarted from the point of interruption. Ensemble also provides sophisticated transactional bitmap indexing that enables real-time updating of, and access to, the message repository.

Architecturally, InterSystems’ Ensemble messaging includes:

  • High-speed, highly reliable publish/subscribe, event driven, and content-based routing via a simple rules engine that non-programmers can use
  • An extensive adapter library and framework to connect to a wide range of applications, services, data sources, and technologies – out-of-the-box
  • Bi-directional support for standard messaging formats (XML, ebXML, SOAP web services, and vertical standards for healthcare, financial services, teleco and others)
  • Graphical creation of XML-based data transformations
  • End-to-end management, including Visual Trace for rapid troubleshooting and message inspection
  • Rapid development environment to easily extend existing adapters to new sources

“It’s a very stable product and the creation of new interfaces is extremely fast… maybe half the time needed for development on the previous platform,” he said.  “As of Q1 2010, Holland has completely converted all legacy interfaces over to the Ensemble platform and has also connected the laboratory information system, radiology information system, and other internal applications to the hospital information system (HIS) and billing systems, according to Paruch.