Harris Methodist Health System Selects Model 204 for Its Integrated Data Management Solution
Harris Methodist Health System is a major medical facilities network, headquartered in Arlington, Texas. The network consists of eight hospitals and a health maintenance organization. The hospitals' and HMO's computer systems are completely integrated and support more than 750 concurrent users daily. Thousands of doctors access the systems to obtain information on surgery schedules, test results, test requests, and other pertinent patient information. Administrators from both the hospitals and the HMO use the systems to access patient administration, financial, and clinical information. Harris Methodist manages all of this data, over 500 gigabytes, using Rocket's Model 204 database management system.
Harris Methodist has been a customer of CCA since 1984, when it was a single hospital facility. Since that time, the organization has grown tremendously to become a major health network serving the Dallas Fort Worth area. As with any major health care facility, Harris Methodist has struggled with the problems of spiraling health care costs. A major component of the problem is the cost of managing the paperwork involved in such operations as billing, delivering test results, and filing insurance forms. In many health care organizations, the approach to information processing is to develop systems for each department - one for the laboratory, another for the nursing stations, and still another for accounting. As a result, they are often left with islands of information with no bridges between them.
Harris Methodist recognized the need to integrate these islands to quickly deliver test results from the lab to the doctor; to automate accounting services and reduce paper flows; to guard against the prescription of drugs that may produce harmful interactions with previous prescriptions; in short to maximize the efficiency of information flows and the value received from them. In 1986, in an effort to streamline its operations processes, reduce costs, and provide better patient care, the hospital embarked on the implementation of a fully integrated hospital administration system. Rocket's Model 204 is at the core of that integrated system. The hospital chose Model 204 after an exhaustive search for a high performance, high capacity database management system that was also extremely flexible.
Harris Methodist was facing many challenges. The organization was growing at a rapid rate and the DBMS of choice would have to accommodate significant changes. The hospital wanted the ability to easily modify applications and data housed in the system. Another consideration was the need for information in real-time. Seconds can make a significant difference in the treatment of critically ill patients. Doctors want test results in hours, not days. And while there was a need to share data, much of that data was confidential, requiring decentralized processing, but centralized control.
Model 204 provided Harris Methodist with an open, flexible information management solution that has enabled the organization to decentralize information while centralizing its control - an important factor considering Harris Methodist has over 3,000 applications, all of which are totally integrated.
Model 204 manages all administrative and financial applications; the patient information systems; all clinical systems including pharmacy, laboratory, radiology, and respiratory therapy; and accounting information including accounts payable, accounts receivable, billing, and collections. The system stores over 450 million records and processes over 20 million transactions a month, with an average response time of .6 seconds per transaction. Model 204 technology has enabled Harris Methodist to keep its costs down and its transaction processing performance high, all while managing a growing, profitable health organization.
The hospital continues to grow. Sometime ago, Harris Methodist merged with another hospital in the Dallas area, the St. Paul Medical Center. The transition of systems, including the process of extracting data and loading historical information into Model 204, went smoothly.
Best of all, Harris Methodist's patients benefit as well. Test results are available much faster, and the savings derived from a less labor-intensive process are passed on to the patients and their insurers. By carefully realigning systems to mirror their health care needs and corporate strategies, Harris Methodist has aggressively streamlined the movement of data to enable high quality, cost effective health care.