Rocheplane Medical Center Automates Interapplication Exchanges Using Talend ESB

The medical center located in the department of Isère uses Talend ESB to optimize and secure data exchanges between different applications, while fostering the scalability of its information system
Thanks to Talend ESB, our IT architecture is now completely scalable. The integration of new tools – as well as the communication of these tools with the rest of the HIS – is facilitated by the flexibility of the ESB bus, while not challenging our IT architecture.
Damien Montalan, IT Manager of the Rocheplane Medical Center

Managed by Audavie (formerly the Metallurgy and Mining Health Foundation, a government recognized public interest and non-profit organization), the Rocheplane Medical Center is a non-profit private health care facility for rehabilitation and follow-up care. In this capacity, it welcomes patients upon their discharge from the hospital to continue treatment, implement physical therapy or rehabilitation and therefore contribute to their social and professional reinsertion. With 286 full hospital beds and 40 outpatient rooms, Rocheplane Medical Center is one of the largest rehabilitation and follow-up care centers in the Grenoble region.  It has 300 employees, including 15 physicians, 45 physical therapists and 110 health care staff members.

Optimization, cost management and health care improvement

In 2008, the Rocheplane Medical Center grouped together all of its activities (previously spread out across three sites) into one new establishment built in the Saint-Martin-d’Hères business district. This merge was completed within the context of the Center’s development strategy, specifically relying on optimization and health care improvement plans.

More recently, this optimization strategy also involved information system management, particularly through the implementation of an enterprise bus using Talend ESB and the goal of rationalizing data exchanges between various applications.

The deployment of Talend ESB meets two of the Center’s needs. For the short term, we were looking for a solution to help us automate computer account management mechanisms, according to employee movements (automation of account creation/deactivation, following the arrival/departure of employees).  In terms of effectiveness and scalability, it seemed much more consistent to use a transport and interapplication communication layer, rather than develop interfaces between the 10 applications concerned,” explains Damien Montalan, IT Manager of the Rocheplane Medical Center.

For the long term, taking into consideration the strong growth of health information systems, the strategic significance of information exchanges within these information systems (patient movements, medical-economic coordination, etc.), and the possibility of openness with external information systems (see DMP, exchanges with mutual and insurance funds, etc.), it seemed beneficial to now structure our information system around an exchange bus, with the goal being to guarantee and facilitate its scalability,” continues Damien Montalan. “Talend is very easy to learn which enabled us to create our first prototype in less than 15 days.  We were then able to make sure that the solution covered all of our needs and that it perfectly integrated into our information system (both technically and through its open source philosophy).  Meanwhile, the tool’s wide range of connectors (including an HL7 connector), offered us attractive scalability options.  Lastly, its references and good contact between Talend’s business and technical teams succeeded in fully convincing us.”

Automation of interapplication exchanges regarding employee movements

After a short installation and training period (one month), Talend ESB was put into production and the first flows were developed.  Today, half of the data exchange flows programmed are operational.

The three flows to be developed are the following:

  • An “HR” flow, which recovers employee movements (arrivals, departures and modifications), then stores them in a single repository containing all of the information system users.  This repository takes the form of an enhanced meta-directory, which allows information system access management.  
  • An “Employees” flow, which enables the organization of the repository’s communication with various applications using employees as “resources” and therefore requires a continuously updated base (for example, planning management, staff badge management or access to the company cafeteria).

Lastly, a third “Users” flow, which allows the centralization and automation of IT access management in different HIS software.

Overall, the applications now relying on Talend ESB are the Active Directory, document server, messaging software (Zimbra), EMR [Electronic Medical Records], planning management software and human resources software.  Badge access management software and meal management should be integrated in the near future.

Management of information, security and scalability

By implementing Talend ESB, the goal of Rocheplane Medical Center was to automate and rationalize tasks related to IT access management in order to save time and improve the quality of services.

This project will allow us to better manage the data in our various user bases.  In fact, there were some differences, resulting from manual and decentralized access management. This represents not only an increase in quality, but also in security,” explains Damien Montalan. “In addition, the time saved due to the automation of tasks (from several minutes to several seconds to create an account) is substantial.”

At the same time, information security is now better. “Information centralization and action automation enable us to now implement a true information system access right management policy.  Previously this was very difficult, in fact impossible, to do,” recounts Damien Montalan.

Lastly, Rocheplane highlights another gain. “Thanks to Talend ESB, our IT architecture is now completely scalable.  The integration of new tools – as well as the communication of these tools with the rest of the HIS – is facilitated by the flexibility of the ESB bus, while not challenging our IT architecture,” adds Damien Montalan.

Ultimately, the Medical Center feels that the implementation of Talend ESB opens up great opportunities in terms of communication between its applications, particularly in the management field.  The existing interfaces should be migrated to the Talend bus in the upcoming months.