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Sauk Prairie Healthcare Achieves Interface Independence with Immediate ROI

Sauk Prairie Healthcare



Sauk Prairie Healthcare (i.e. SPH) of Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin provides care for more than 40,000 people in its service area. It consists of a 36-bed hospital, two surgical specialty practices, and four primary care clinics and has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including Truven Health Analytics “100 Top Hospitals.” SPH’s relationship with Forward Advantage began back in 2002 when it purchased Communication Director to streamline the delivery of reports and other clinical information. When SPH migrated one of their clinics to MEDITECH’s MPM, they turned to Forward Advantage again for Document Imaging and Scanning Conversion (DISC) services. Most recently, SPH purchased Forward Advantage’s Connections Engine (FACE) to achieve interface independence by developing and maintaining interfaces in-house. FACE has not only helped ease SPH’s transition to a new data center, but it is helping this comparatively smaller facility achieve some big interface goals and even bigger financial savings.

Achieve Interface Independence with FACE

FACE is a GUI-based solution powered by Orion that simplifies the programming, configuration, and maintenance of hospital interfaces. Depending on customer needs, it can be deployed and managed by Forward Advantage or maintained solely in-house by the hospital. When SPH performed a market analysis of interface engines, FACE was the only one it found that would allow the facility to become truly interface independent. Prior to implementing the engine, SPH hired MEDITECH to develop any interfaces it needed, and customizations were done by MEDITECH or by the vendor to which SPH was connecting. “We only have three Network Administrators, so we don’t have a lot of extra available time or resources,” says Scott Vaughan, Network and Security Manager at SPH. “The previous interface engines we looked at required hiring a third-party to code everything and implement it, and if any trouble-shooting had to be done, we’d have to reach out to them.”

Minimal Training Required

FACE is highly configurable with drag-and-drop interfaces, and its Web-based design allows for easy monitoring. “This product is very intuitive with a GUI-base,” continues Vaughan. “It has true ease-of-use and is easy to filter. Our staff picked it up very easily with just a little bit of training.” In fact, Vaughan credits the solution for easing the transition to a new data center. “We were migrating from one data center to another, which meant IP address changing and everything else. The external vendors to whom we connect did not have to change anything after we got the engine up and going. Our internal processes changed but our external processes didn’t, which allowed us to get connectivity back to those vendors that much quicker.”

"A lot of our upcoming projects will use a common interface that we’ve already purchased, so we’re looking at reduced maintenance fees and reduced expenditures to put into the new interface. All in all, we will see quite a cost reduction for some of these projects we’re looking to do."

Scott Vaughan
Network & Security Manager

It Can Pay for Itself

SPH’s data center migration played a large part in the decision to purchase an interface engine; however, the inherent cost savings is what really sold senior leadership. Vaughan and his team have an initiative coming up that will use standard ADT interfaces, and they calculated that the cost of purchasing four ADT interfaces (plus implementation and maintenance fees) would have been the same as purchasing FACE. SPH plans to use FACE to repurpose some existing interfaces they’ve already purchased to allow for more functionality with other solutions. “A lot of our upcoming projects will use a common interface that we’ve already purchased, so we’re looking at reduced maintenance fees and reduced expenditures to put into the new interface. All in all, we will see quite a cost reduction for some of these projects we’re looking to do.” says Vaughan.

Why Forward Advantage?

As a MEDITECH-preferred partner, Forward Advantage has worked closely with MEDITECH for more than 20 years to develop solutions and services that optimize its HCIS. This partnership allows Forward Advantage to offer MEDITECH-best pricing for customers interested in FACE. Its expert-level staff is highly familiar with the unique needs of MEDITECH hospitals, which translates into expedited service and customized implementations. “Forward Advantage has a really good track record of working with MEDITECH, and we’ve had a good track record with their other products,” concludes Vaughan. “We ultimately chose Forward Advantage because of their reputation and knowledge of the EHRs that we have. Their support is the best. I know that if there’s ever an issue, I can reach somebody quickly versus waiting weeks on end like with other vendors.”

“Our Connections Engine is a great option for customers seeking a flexible and cost-effective tool for creating and managing interfaces,” says Charles Williams, VP of Migration and Integration Services at Forward Advantage. “It uses proven technology that delivers an impressive return on investment, as Sauk Prairie and other customers have shown.”

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