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IT systems

Guelph General automates dictionary maintenance

GUELPH, Ont. – Guelph General Hospital (GGH) has implemented UNISON v3.0 to synchronize dictionaries across four facilities. The solution is provided by Boston Software Systems of Sherborn, Mass.

UNISON is a standalone application to automate the tedious task of maintaining any departmental dictionary within the MEDITECH environment. It allows users to keep test and live dictionaries synchronized without spending hours of costly programming time. Within 20 minutes a user can create the synchronization and schedule it to take place regularly without human intervention.

Improved accuracy is a significant benefit of automating the task of keeping test and live dictionaries synchronized. It is monotonous work to manually replicate test into live, and it’s easy for a system analyst to make a mistake.

“Synchronizing from test to live has always been labor intensive,” said Doug Mitchell, integrations analyst, Guelph General Hospital. “But without maintaining the two systems, we run into problems later on because it is necessary to effectively test new changes or enhancements before moving the dictionaries to the live environment.”

Since working with UNISON, GGH has synchronized approximately 70 dictionaries for all four sites. Mitchell estimated that by using UNISON, GGH has saved about 40 percent of the time they had planned for dictionary building.

“I can’t even imagine how much time it would have taken to get all the syncs done manually, and it would contain any number of errors,” said Mitchell. “Even using traditional scripting tools would have been more difficult. UNISON is designed specifically for dictionary maintenance, so it’s much faster to develop and run the sync.”

“Of the 70 dictionaries, some of the more critical ones, like lab test, were more difficult to synchronize than others, due to variable screens and pop-up prompts. Automating the synchronization of just the Lab Test dictionary saved GGH 40 hours,” added Mitchell.

GGH recently implemented the third phase of its lab dictionary synchronization. By re-using the same sync that it had developed in November, staff could feed a different subset of tests, and the dictionaries were automatically synchronized. Users can now copy a sync as many times as necessary, saving weeks of time.

UNISON has also allowed staff more flexibility when maintaining dictionaries by allowing them to synchronize as little as one data element, one screen of data or just certain sections of data.

“Boston Software Systems’ customers have realized huge ROI with UNISON,” said Sara McNeil, president, Boston Software Systems. “The tool allows hospitals to automatically provide consistent and current data to all departments. This frees the IT staff to do other critical projects, which require their time and attention.”

About Boston Software Systems
Boston Software Systems is a leading standard for workflow automation and system integration software, enabling healthcare organizations to streamline complex business processes and improve productivity. Hundreds of healthcare organizations worldwide respond to regulatory and business initiatives by using Boston WorkStation technology to automate and improve processes throughout their facilities. UNISON accelerates the development of critical dictionary and table synchronization in specific hospital information system environments. Customers include more than 50 HCA hospitals, Mayo hospitals, Stanford Medical Center, Christus Health, Lutheran Health Network and Tenet Healthcare. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at