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pcMAINFRAME Customer Profile: St. John Medical Center

St. John Medical Center integrates their data systems with pcMAINFRAME
If you're contemplating an investment in an integration tool, or if you've already invested in pcMAINFRAME, read on. St. John Medical Center will give you tips on getting the most out of pcMAINFRAME -- the most powerful data access tool on the market.

I am a typical PC user. At any given moment there are at least twenty software applications installed on my hard drive, and many more available on the company network. I could not live without my word processor, database, spreadsheets, design applications, multi-media software, desktop publishers...Unfortunately for the data processing department, my coworkers depend upon even other applications, and each one of us has a unique physical processing configuration. In short, we are data processing's worst nightmare, especially when it comes to information sharing.

If your user environment is heterogeneous like ours, chances are you have the same problem: providing consistent, accurate and timely access to corporate data.

And if you've invested in a platform integration utility that is compatible with a limited number of mainframe or PC applications, or one that supports only your current communications facilities, it will soon be outdated. End user needs change like the wind and utilities quickly become non-utilitarian.

pcMAINFRAME integrates PC and mainframe platforms even when PC applications are obscure or when mainframe environments are unique.

The solution to this problem isn't the systematic elimination of outrageous PC users and their applications. Rather, it is pcMAINFRAME, a cross-platform information exchange application. pcMAINFRAME is flexible and powerful, capable of moving data between unusual and obscure applications through various communications methods, even if they are outdated. While many of our customers purchase pcMAINFRAME with a specific use and PC application in mind, they soon discover that it integrates seamlessly with many PC applications that exist out there in the network nether-regions. Let the users be spared!

pcMAINFRAME accesses mainframe and PC data, routing information through all types of communications facilities. It is the one tool that outlasts the software it services because of its broad scope of compatibility. At least that's what our customers say.

Case in point
St. John Medical Center is a 700 bed hospital with approximately 3,000 employees. It uses pcMAINFRAME with a diverse group of PC and mainframe applications and environments. When pcMAINFRAME was first introduced, St. John's PCs ran DOS and were coax connected to the mainframe. Now half of their growing number of PCs run Windows and are connected to the mainframe on a token ring network using HLLAPI interfaces.

To this day pcMAINFRAME has been used for at least ten different processing activities in St. John's evolving environment. As Denny Klaver noted, "there is a lot of fluctuation in the way we have used pcMAINFRAME."

When St. John Medical Center purchased pcMAINFRAME, no application conversion was necessary. pcMAINFRAME supported everything they had. It is able to translate special characters, which was of particular interest to St. John because of the unusual .HL7 format of many of its healthcare specific PC applications.

Most mainframe applications at St. John are developed in-house, including the mainframe general ledger system. pcMAINFRAME interacts with this system in a few different ways.

First, pcMAINFRAME uploads patient account receivable from PC accounting software to the general ledger application. pcMAINFRAME also uploads financial information to the general ledger from Skyline, a PC-based package for property management.

Another way pcMAINFRAME integrates PC applications with the general ledger system is by downloading medical claim information. Patient information is downloaded to a PC as a text file, from where it is sent to CIS Technologies, a local clearing house that produces standardized UB92 claim forms. Medicare information is also downloaded from the mainframe account receivables application with pcMAINFRAME, then sent to the mainframe at Blue Cross via a home grown method. "If Blue Cross had pcMAINFRAME we would use it for this step. I wish they had it," said Mr. Klaver.

Once St. John programmers discovered how easy pcMAINFRAME is, they broadened its use. For example, pcMAINFRAME is used for staff scheduling. Each care sector within the hospital is equipped with a workstation. Sometime during each shift, every patient is assigned an acuity of care stamp which is entered at the workstation. When each shift is over, patient classifications are downloaded to a PC scheduler in the general office where staffers can then assign an appropriate number of workers for each care sector. This cycle is continuous, and allows St. John to provide extra care for floors that need it, less for those that don't.

Our customers know that pcMAINFRAME grows with their environments. When platforms, applications, communications facilities--even the goal of a project--change, pcMAINFRAME adapts. This kind of self-protecting investment means that IS departments save on development, training, and implementation costs.

pcMAINFRAME even gets involved with diagnoses: Respiratory Therapy Testing results are collected within a LAN based application on the server. Results are uploaded to an analysis application on the mainframe two or three times daily.

pcMAINFRAME, or information accessing software like it, is usually purchased for a particular use. A specific and demonstrated need is perceived, so the need gets filled. There is no guarantee that when another similar information sharing problem occurs, the solution will be there. But not so with pcMAINFRAME. The more our users use pcMAINFRAME the more applications they discover that they can link together, the more information is shared, the more systems run smoothly, and the more end users across departmental boundaries are satisfied.

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