HEALTH CARE SOFTWARE: AN IBM i CASE STUDY

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HOSTED TECHNOLOGIES
Software as a Service (Saas)
IBM i Hosting
IBM i Cloud

Health Care Software provides mission critical, integrated solutions for the post acute care market. Since 1969, they’ve been committed to the IBM i platform, and why not....its proven reliability and security make it a perfect platform for mission critical applications. As the market evolved and HCS provided a web-based front-end, they searched for a hosting partner with an IBM i pedigree and IBM i Cloud. They chose Connectria. Learn why.

About Health Care Software

hcs Health Care Software, Inc. (HCS) has been exclusively dedicated to providing information technology for healthcare providers since 1969. The HCS platform, INTERACTANT, is an integrated suite of clinical and financial modules exceeding the needs of facilities across the spectrum of care including long term acute care, inpatient, outpatient, long term care, behavioral health, and rehabilitation.

INTERACTANT is intuitive and easy to use. The health care software system is comprised of five modules to deliver comprehensive, end-to-end support for the operational and clinical aspects of an organization’s health care management. These include:

  • Revenue Cycle for automation of revenue management, including billing and reimbursements
  • Revenue Cycle for automation of revenue management, including billing and reimbursements
  • Financial module for automating accounting, HR, payroll, inventory and facilities maintenance
  • EMR (Electronic Medical Records) for improving documentation accuracy and efficiency
  • A Mobile module which enable web-based access to INTERACTANT from devices such as laptops and tablets
  • Insight, a comprehensive reporting and analysis module to support decision-making

In addition to INTERACTANT, HCS offers Long Term Acute Care Hospitals (LTCH provider community) a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution that automates LTCH CARE Data Set and submission. This is important since it addresses the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Reporting mandate, which requires long term care hospitals to provide quality data related to patient care. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in a 2% reimbursement reduction.

Headquartered in New Jersey, HCS employs approximately 60 employees and supports a wide range of healthcare clients across the United States.

HCS Challenges

hcs As a well-established and growing software company, HCS takes pride in developing and supporting all its applications in-house. Over 43 years ago, HCS committed to developing on the IBM System 3 platform. Since then, they’ve evolved their software to the IBM System 38, AS/400 and now the Power System Architecture. As HCS and its solutions evolved, so did the market. Where HCS typically implemented its mission critical, integrated clinical and financial information software at the client’s premises, they had to address an evolving market toward the cloud and hosted applications. No longer would the customer be required to procure, implement and manage the hardware, software and network. A hosted model would alleviate this need, however HCS did not have the data center infrastructure to do this on their own. “We’re on the second floor of an office building,” noted Tom Fahey, HCS President and CEO. “Though we have a controlled environment for our developers, it’s certainly not a certified data center equipped with raised floors, generators, and everything needed to support that type of environment. Besides, we’d rather focus our energies into developing, marketing, and supporting quality health care software, not managing severs, operating systems and networks.”

HCS needed a hosting partner with a solid reputation of reliability, security, scalability and extensive knowledge of the IBM Power Systems environment.

In addition, as a company serving the healthcare market, HCS is subject to compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HCS wanted a hosting partner that not only understood HIPAA and would sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA), but had demonstrated experience and knowledge hosting HIPAA compliant solutions. “In our business, we obviously have customers storing PHI (Protected Health Information). It’s very important to us that their data’s secure, encrypted and there’s no chance of compromise. There are huge fines for violations….and we’d be on the hook if any PHI was divulged.”

Finally, HCS wanted a hosting partner with the expertise to help them design and deliver a Software as a Service solution in an IBM i Cloud. They envisioned the SaaS solution to address a growing need surrounding the CMS mandate of the long term acute care data set. Since this was a new market for HCS, the IBM i Cloud would allow them the flexibility and scalability needed to grow as their business grows.

Choosing Connectria

hcsHosting was not a new concept for HCS. They have worked with numerous hosting providers and selected Connectria. They realized Connectria’s commitment to hosting IBM i Cloud environments as well as providing the capabilities of a professional hosting provider required for the SaaS solution they were deploying.

HCS included several hosting companies among their search with requirements of providing a IBM i hosted model for their mission critical INTERACTANT software, ability to SaaS-enable and host their LTCH Data Set solution in an IBM i Cloud, as well as provide HIPAA compliance.

HCS quickly discovered Connectria was the best solution. Experience in hosting IBM i mission critical, production applications as well as the IBM i Cloud were key factors in the decision. They found Connectria to have a high level of IBM i knowledge and experience. According to Darren Yonkin, “Even though we’re not the system admin, we’ve been around for 43 years. We know the System 38, 400, System i and Power System. In talking with a lot of vendors, we often felt we knew just as much as they knew....until we met Connectria.”

The ability to help HCS SaaS-enable its application, its IBM i Cloud and HIPAA experience also allowed Connectria to stand above the rest. Tom Fahey noted, “Since we did not know exactly how many SaaS clients we’d get, Connectria’s IBM i Cloud allowed us to grow as needed. If we need to size up, it’s just a phone call, implemented the next day and invisible to the customer.”

HCS went on the say, “As far as HIPAA compliance was concerned, it’s the difference between running it out of your garage versus a professional, certified data center. Others were willing to sign a BAA, but rather than us educating them, it was nice to have a partner in Connectria who had the requisite HIPAA hosting experience.”

“Connectria is always willing to go the extra mile. We had issues due to Hurricane Sandy with our own development box and Connectria’s engineers helped us to resolve them. They view our problems as theirs, which is rare in a hosting provider.”

hcsToday, approximately half of HCS’s customers are leveraging a hosted model and HCS expects this trend to continue. It’s also clear that HCS isn’t concerned about server infrastructure. Describing their relationship with Connectria and their performance, Tom Fahey noted, “I think everything’s gone exceptionally well. In my role as President, I don’t hear much about Connectria, which is great. No news is good news...since we’ve signed with Connectria, there hasn’t been a blip.”

To learn more about Connectria’s IBM i Hosting solutions, please visit us at:
www.connectria.com/technologies/iseries.php

To learn more about Connectria’s IBM i Cloud, please visit us at:
www.connectria.com/cloud/ibm_i_cloud_hosting.php

To learn more about HCS, please visit:
www.hcsinteractant.com

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