Partezis developed an integration solution for hospitals called HealthLink. After evaluating technologies from SAP, Siemens, and Lawson, Partezis developed HealthLink on the Microsoft platform, including Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009. BizTalk Server 2009 helped developers create innovative functionalities more quickly. The HealthLink solution eliminates single points of failure for mission-critical dependability and can be customized by Partezis customers. Business Needs
Partezis develops IT solutions for healthcare enterprises. One primary line of business is integrating the many disparate technologies that hospitals use to manage business operations and patient care. Partezis offered an integration solution called Azis Open Interface (AOI), which was deployed at 42 hospitals. AOI successfully managed application integrations, but the solution could not be customized by Partezis customers to incorporate new industry standards or preferences.
||Basing HealthLink on … BizTalk Server 2009 and SQL Server 2008 makes it easy for us to convince customers that we can meet their current and future mission-critical integration needs.
Team Leader, Collaboration and Integration
In 2008, Partezis began evaluating platforms for a new integration solution that customers’ IT departments and third-party partners could revise and update on their own. The solution, called HealthLink, needed to be able to easily incorporate not only the current Health Level Seven (HL7) application-integration protocols but also future standards.
Most importantly, the platform needed to be dependable enough to play a mission-critical role in hospitals’ IT infrastructure. “For the health and safety of our customers’ patients, it is absolutely essential that our HealthLink solution be able to deliver accurate, up-to-date medical information whenever doctors or nurses need it,” explains Frank Vandewiele, the Team Leader for Collaboration and Integration at Partezis. “If the integration system failed, our customers wouldn’t know who or where their patients are or what treatments to deliver.”Solution
In late 2008, after evaluating integration solutions from SAP, Lawson, and Siemens, Partezis decided to develop HealthLink on the Microsoft platform, including Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009 Enterprise, the Microsoft BizTalk Accelerator for HL7, and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 data management software. “BizTalk Server 2009 has a good track record for mission-critical applications, and a lot of Belgian hospitals are already using it,” says Vandewiele. “Our customers see it as a good choice.”
BizTalk Server 2009 adapters help Partezis integrate its customers’ disparate applications without the need for custom code. Intuitive graphical user interfaces (GUIs) help developers design orchestrations that implement customers’ business processes. To ensure compliance with industry standards, developers used BizTalk Server 2009 Enterprise tools that support load balancing, parallel processing, and the maximization of throughput. The solution also uses database-server clustering to provide high availability and eliminate single points of failure.
Partezis developers used Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2010 – Database, Development and Test tools to build HealthLink on the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5. The development team also used the Microsoft BizTalk Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) Toolkit 2.0 to create a GUI optimized for the healthcare IT environment. The interface hides the complexity of the underlying solution and helps non-expert users add new integrations and orchestrations as needed.
Microsoft’s Business Platform Division Customer Experience Team helped Partezis employ an application framework that provided rich insight into the end-to-end architecture. This helped Partezis to capture detailed telemetry and diagnostic information that was critical to meeting the project’s demanding performance requirements.
Partezis has deployed HealthLink for three customers since June 2010 and expects to migrate the remaining 39 by 2013. Vandewiele says that the success of the project has depended on strong support from Microsoft. “The assistance that Microsoft gave us in designing and launching our new application was essential. It’s been a very successful collaboration.”Benefits
By developing the HealthLink solution on the Microsoft platform, Partezis can innovate more easily, provide mission-critical dependability, and offer increased value to customers. Specific benefits include:
Support for Innovation
Because BizTalk Server 2009 offers out-of-the-box support for a range of data formats and application interfaces, it took less time to develop HealthLink on the Microsoft platform than it would have taken to redesign the AOI application. “With BizTalk Server 2009 and the BizTalk Accelerator for HL7, developing HealthLink took us about two months,” says Vandewiele. “The project would have taken much longer if we’d had to work in our original home-grown code.” Because of timesaving BizTalk Server 2009 features, Partezis developers can concentrate on projects that create business value. “With BizTalk Server 2009, instead of thinking about the technical planning of interfacing standards and other internal plumbing issues, we can focus on content and functionality,” says Vandewiele. “This will speed development and time-to-market.”
Vandewiele says that Partezis customers are confident that they can depend on the Microsoft platform for critical patient information. “Our customers consider Microsoft technology to be a reference point for quality in the Belgian healthcare industry. Basing HealthLink on scalable, redundant, and highly available technologies like BizTalk Server 2009 and SQL Server 2008 makes it easy for us to convince customers that we can meet their current and future mission-critical integration needs.”
Increased Value for Customers
Partezis customers also appreciate the flexibility of the Microsoft platform. “With the Partezis GUI and the extensibility of BizTalk Server 2009, users can easily customize HealthLink without needing to know a lot about the underlying platform,” says Gert Degreef, Operations Manager for Care and Collaboration Solutions at Partezis. The value of the solution is further increased by the wide availability of developers familiar with Microsoft technology. “By using BizTalk Server 2009, we were able to create an open solution based on an industrial standard,” says Vandewiele. “Our customers appreciate that they are not restricted to working with Partezis but can turn to their own IT departments or third-party partners if they want to build onto the solution.”This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.