How One Healthcare Organization Boosted Care and Efficiencies with Strategic Automation

Mary Greeley Medical Center and Informatica

Last Published: Mar 04, 2024 |
Mary Greeley Medical Center
Mary Greeley Medical Center

Authored by Jacob VanRoekel, Senior System Administrator and Bill Schellekens, Data Warehouse Architect, Mary Greeley Medical Center

In healthcare, efficiency and precision can be the difference between life and death. The ability to improve patient care and outcomes in addition to saving valuable time is a testament to the transformative power of automation in healthcare. As part of the IT team at Mary Greeley Medical Center, we’re excited to share the story of our automation journey, and the success we achieved with the help of Informatica.

Mary Greeley Medical Center is a community-based municipal hospital with a strong commitment to public service and non-profit operation. Our IT team is responsible for supporting the Cisco Call Manager environment, managing Mobile Heartbeat, and Responder 5, our primary nurse call system, overseeing our HR system and Active Directory, in addition to other systems.

Recently, our IT team leveraged more of the capabilities on the Informatica Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC) to successfully automate user management between our alert systems.

Improving the Work Life of Staff

We set out to address a few of our biggest challenges: enhance our nurse call system to improve patient care and reduce burden and errors due to changes in systems or staff.

Our primary goal was to ensure that alerts reached the right staff quickly, especially in critical care scenarios where timely responses were crucial. Automation would likely save time, potentially saving lives.

Before utilizing the cloud data management capabilities with Informatica to help us achieve this goal, our nursing staff received notifications from a Cisco 7925 device. The nurse call system would send alerts one at a time, which then sorted these alerts based on user, role, and care team. The entire process relied on manually adding staff to the correct teams. Any mistake in the process could result in poor staff onboarding experiences and hampered patient care.

The Automation Process

We began our automation journey by assigning roles to our staff and departments, provisioning accounts in various systems. This role assignment initiates the automation process. When a new hire joins Mary Greeley Medical Center, their information is entered into our human resources (HR) system, including whether they are in the intensive care unit or any other department within the hospital. A report is then generated and transmitted to downstream systems.

For example, when a nurse joins, their HR information is automatically fed to the care team to which they belong. When an event relevant to their care team occurs, the on-call nurse receives an alert automatically. This process marks a significant improvement from our previous manual approach, where we had to manually manage alert groups, inviting potential human errors. Automating this process has reduced mistakes, simplified operations, and saved a substantial amount of time. It has also significantly enhanced the user experience, ultimately benefiting patient care.

Saving Lives

Nowhere has our decision to automate our nurse call system been more vital than in our birthing unit, where expectant mothers deliver their babies. We have different alert codes depending on the situation. For example, a baby may exhibit respiratory issues requiring immediate attention. An alert is triggered, taking precedence over other alerts, as a few seconds can mean the difference between life and death for the baby. This alert may occur mid-procedure or during childbirth, initiated by the attending clinicians, usually through nearby hardware in the rooms. The software identifies the care team assigned to the case, automatically set by Informatica. Relevant roles and departments are promptly notified, ensuring that staff can enter the room and provide timely assistance.

Through this new automation process, we have significantly increased patient safety and ensured better outcomes, preparing our staff to respond promptly and to support both the patient and the colleagues aiding them.

This role-based approach may not be suitable for every organization, but it has worked well for us. We would, however, recommend that organizations consider adopting role-based assignments because deviating from this can become quite complex. By defining roles, you streamline your work processes, since each role comes with predefined parameters and definitions specific to job titles and departments. The system automatically configures access as required in these scenarios.

Improving Efficiencies

Our IT team has also enjoyed several significant benefits from our automated system. One of the most notable advantages is the extra time freed up to work on other systems and promptly address emerging issues. Before the recent implementations, we spent roughly five to six hours a week solely setting up new users. With the new system in place, we can devote those extra hours to other areas, which only serve to help us improve further. We're in a continuous learning and tweaking process as we progress.

It's essential for any organization to anticipate that getting the automation to be fast and more efficient takes time while maintaining precision. Time should be allocated for learning and fine-tuning. In the long run, the time and money saved will make it all worthwhile, ensuring a reliable and consistent setup process for new users.

Another crucial benefit is the comprehensive error handling integrated into the system. Prior to implementing automated alerts, we received an average of 20 complaints per month, sometimes as many as three times a day, impacting staff and delaying patient care. Now, depending on the week, we can go for up to a week or even two weeks without hearing about any issues.

Our new automation processes now extend to 38 departments, benefiting almost 1400 employees, including our partners who handle patient admissions and billing and insurance logistics. We have also included our patient transporter department, enhanced their program efficiency and significantly improved patient care and overall experience.

Informatica’s Low-Code, No-Code and Usage-Based Model

Why Informatica for automation? We were already utilizing their cloud data management solution in other ways due to its user-friendly, less code-heavy approach to performing integrations. Since we lacked a dedicated development team and had no immediate plans to hire one, we sought a solution that didn't require a developer to maintain. Our decision to utilize other aspects of IDMC was also influenced by its payment model, which aligns with our preference for paying based on usage rather than endpoints.

While we knew we needed automation for our alert systems, the exact implementation was initially unclear. The initial data transfers were completed in a couple of weeks, followed by a few more weeks of fine-tuning. Now, we rarely encounter exception cases. Most importantly, our stakeholders, teams and nurses eagerly embrace this move towards automation due to the numerous benefits it provides.

Taking Automation to the Next Level

Much of the automation logic we developed can be repurposed in various ways. The extent of its applicability depends on an organization's maturity in their automation journey. In our case, we are still in the early stages, and we continue to make advancements.

We're also seeking to use Informatica to update Active Directory, streamlining user data management and enabling efficient user decommissioning and creation. We're improving our approach to grouping users in Active Directory based on roles and departments. This logic can be leveraged for future integrations in new systems. Our current focus is on centralizing integrations within Informatica to replace multiple systems, reducing manual efforts, and exploring data lineage and documentation for continuous improvement.

As Mary Greely IT continues to work with Informatica to address a greater scope of challenges in our information landscape, we expect to find more efficient methods. We are engaging with Informatica to help guide this journey. 

Next Steps

To learn more about the advantages Informatica brings to healthcare, visit

First Published: Mar 01, 2024