The St. Katharinen Hospital is a primary care hospital and academic teaching hospital of the Goethe University. With 350 regular beds and six semi-inpatient beds across the departments of internal medicine, surgery, neurology, urology and geriatrics as well as the departments of anesthesia, laboratory medicine and radiology, the facility supplements the emergency care in Frankfurt am Main. The legal entity is the Sankt Katharinen-Krankenhaus GmbH, based in Frankfurt am Main. St. Katharinen Hospital is part of the Sisters of Saint Katharinen, a charitable association in Germany based in Münster/Westphalia. In overview, the capabilities include:
- Networking of the IT systems in the facility (SAP® Patient Management, iMedOne®, laboratory system, kitchen system, etc.)
- Intake of data and conversion into the format required by the facility’s target systems is handled by the integration server
- Monitoring of the interfaces of the Interface Manager by the client and mobile devices using a smartphone app
- Future plans include the uncomplicated and rapid addition of additional interfaces through open architecture
St. Katharinen Hospital’s 650 employees care for around 20,000 patients each year. The main specialist departments include internal medicine with a focus on general internal medicine, cardiology, gastroenterology, intensive care medicine, and infectious diseases, neurology with a stroke unit, surgery with a focus on visceral surgery, orthopedics, and trauma surgery, neurosurgery (intervertebral disc surgery), urology, and geriatrics. As a Catholic institution, St. Katharinen Hospital’s approach is to provide holistic care and support for its patients with an over 50-year tradition of “helping and healing”. In the hospital's view, quality consists of many components that complement each other as optimally as possible. This encompasses the entire arc starting from admission, the optimal treatment and care provided during the hospital stay, and up to discharge.
“From our point of view, an integration server must be able to do more than
only transfer data from one system to another. With its modern interface, which supports the administration staff, and the smartphone app for mobile monitoring, the Interface Manager has proven to offer the ideal combination."
Christoph Hinz, Leiter IT, Sankt Katharinen-Krankenhaus GmbH
At the St. Katharinen Hospital, the focus is always on people. As reflected in our motto, “Responsibility for people”, quality for the institution translates to special care, the highest quality of modern medicine, and safety for our patients. In our interactions with patients and relatives, we meet this requirement, among other things, through modern communication infrastructures. A seamless exchange of data between the subsystems is thus essential for processes to run smoothly. The declared goal of the in-house IT strategy was to create an anchor point to ensure consistent system interoperability: the establishment of an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB). At the same time, this goes hand in hand with a flexible and open architecture to accommodate future expansions of the IT infrastructure. When needed, such continuous improvements should - depending on the availability of human resources - be achievable easily and also be doable by the institution itself. For day-to-day operations, however, the goal was to alleviate administrative activities as much as possible. The introduction of the system was accompanied by the additional challenge of migrating the existing laboratory system to a new environment without affecting ongoing operations.
Against the background of these objectives and after a detailed analysis, the St. Katharinen Hospital decided on the Interface Manager for Healthcare. Its universal technical core satisfies very high standards of security, resilience, and availability. The solution has been used in a similar form for years by the police and government ministries. The basic system underwent careful further development as a hospital application. The Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) solution accepts data as an integration server and converts it into the required target format. This enables a viable data exchange even between incompatible systems. This obviates the need to adapt to subject-specific applications and systems. This offers the significant advantage that users can continue working as usual with their familiar systems. The Interface Manager for Healthcare supports a large number of standard adapters and connectors for all essential protocols, data formats and databases (HL7, HCM, Web Services (WSDL), HTTP(S), FTP, SCP, SMTP, RFC, BAPI, file interfaces, Oracle, MySQL etc.), which can be flexibly expanded through an open automated programming interface (API). This is realized through a modular and scalable system architecture based on Java, which is independent of platforms and third-party licenses.
The Interface Manager for Healthcare provides the St. Katharinen Hospital with a solution that enables resource-efficient networking of subsystems that previously had incompatible communication standards, and enables their targeted administration and monitoring. When systems are exchanged or updated, complexity is reduced and migration to live operation is possible without abrupt transitions. The individual requirements of the medical staff can also be addressed. The modern and transparent client interface supports the independent implementation of extensions of in-house IT structures. The large number of integrated communication standards and the open, standardized architecture also helps to map future scenarios and further developments. The Interface Manager also adapts automatically to changes in the HCM interface of the SAP system. This confers a high level of investment security. The Interface Manager can be monitored using a smartphone app. This reduces administrative effort and enables faster response times in the event of an error. This achieves the goal of providing the right information at the right time and in-house.