Forty thousand clients a year. A variety of care needs. Complex funding models and stakeholders. With such a challenging setting, it was clear that GGZ Rivierduinen needed a flexible digital working environment. But the regional mental healthcare institution is now ready for the future, thanks to a thorough overhaul of its application landscape.
Robbert-jan de Jong, Information Architect at GGZ Rivierduinen, is quick to describe the old landscape: ‘outdated connections’, ‘information silos’, ‘time-wasters’, etc. All the patient information was neatly stored, but all in separate applications.
“The data was not centralized. Applications just weren’t communicating with each other,” Robbert-jan recalls. “The interfaces we had were only ‘see-through’ interfaces. If a therapist wanted to view a patient’s recent data, they still had to log in to another application to get the results, and it wasn’t possible to transfer data between applications. Treatment providers often complained about this tedious way of working. In today’s world, flexibility and efficiency are a must.”
Integral Data Layer
The growing discrepancy between the institution’s digital functionalities and the demands of the modern era gave rise to a new strategic vision on information policy in 2019. The main focus was the overall availability of data. “We were looking for an integral data layer, which would allow users freedom in accessing data from all applications equally. We wanted a platform which, if necessary, would enable us to disconnect an application and upgrade it to a better version, which would then be directly accessible to the entire landscape.”
To do so, GGZ Rivierduinen engaged the services of Cegeka, who had already been managing their digital infrastructure for a long time. “Cegeka is an expert at understanding processes. They asked us the right questions. Why are we doing this? How will it work exactly? What do the next steps look like? What I liked most was that they didn’t just ask what we wanted but established what it was that we wanted to do exactly. Then they came up with a solution according to our answers.”
A Data-driven Future
The new solution is called Integration Platform as a Service, also known by its abbreviation ‘iPaaS’. It’s a centralized platform that connects applications to each other in a uniform and flexible manner. Since iPaaS makes it possible for all applications to use the same ‘language’, users can quickly retrieve data from other systems and project it into the app they are currently working in.
Organizations that switch to iPaaS save on future integration costs and are ready for a digital, connected and data-driven future. For healthcare organizations such as GGZ Rivierduinen, it is also important that iPaaS is compatible with HL7 FHIR, the standard for the exchange of healthcare information.
GGZ Rivierduinen is gradually switching to iPaaS. Within a year, the entire landscape will be connected to the system. Now that the first applications have been transferred and are being managed by Cegeka’s managed services, the ‘tremendous scaling advantage’ can already be observed, according to Robbert-jan. “Healthcare is continuously evolving, and we have to react quickly to these changes. Using iPaaS, we can implement future changes to the landscape much more quickly and cost-effectively. With any new application, we no longer have to wait for a supplier to build a customized link. It’s a plug & play solution for the entire organisation.”
“The new platform supports our intended best-of-breed strategy,” he adds. “The modular functionalities of iPaaS enable us to freely switch between applications. Linking a new application to the environment is a simple, one-off action. This saves us a lot of time and ensures high investment costs are a thing of the past.”
In the fast-changing healthcare sector, a solution that works today is not necessarily the best one for tomorrow. That’s why Cegeka regularly organizes continuous improvement sessions with GGZ Rivierduinen: strategic meetings in which the objectives of the organization, any developments in the healthcare sector, and the latest technological functionalities are discussed.
“We are working in close cooperation with Cegeka, and this has proven to be very enjoyable,” Robbert-jan says. “Cegeka has always focused on what would be of added value for Rivierduinen. We don’t always get what we ask for, we get what we actually need. This is only possible if a company looks beyond the customer’s request. Cegeka really understands us, which has enabled us to realize our vision.”