J2 Interactive

Interface Engine Modernization: One County’s Success Story

Interface Engine Modernization

A Prominent County in California Transitioned from Cerner OpenLink to InterSystems IRIS for Health

The Challenge

In an ambitious undertaking, one of California’s largest county health systems aimed to modernize its outdated interface engine by migrating to the InterSystems IRIS for Health platform. The legacy system had many limitations in interface functionality, hampering the health system’s ability to execute its Whole Person Care projects, connect with other healthcare systems, and meet modern healthcare message standards.

However, replacing an engine in a car that’s running wasn’t going to be easy. J2 was tasked with migrating a complex network of 235 Cerner OpenLink interfaces to InterSystems IRIS for Health. This task was made even more challenging by the need to minimize downtime and maintain a zero-tolerance policy for clinical errors. With the client’s desire for the project to be completed by the end of 2023, there was also a tight timeline for completion.

The Solution

J2 Interactive tackled the migration using custom tools and a unique development approach. Rather than one programmer writing a whole interface from beginning to end, collaborative development teams focused on specialized conversion steps for various interface types, including HL7, SFTP, X12, and REST/API.

Proprietary software allowed J2 to analyze and compare output messages from OpenLink to those transformed by IRIS for Health, ensuring precise matching and eliminating the need for excessive user testing. This solution resulted in fewer distractions to the client’s clinical team, leaving them to focus on patient care.

The result: a replacement engine that allowed faster, more efficient, reliable, and easier-to-configure interface builds, with advanced prebuilt functionality purpose-built for healthcare messaging.

Empowering Through Knowledge Transfer

In addition to the successful migration, J2 went beyond the typical vendor-client relationship by providing shadowing and on-the-job training for the client’s development team. This hands-on approach empowered the client’s team to independently build new interfaces on IRIS for Health, fostering self-sufficiency and ensuring a seamless transition.


Choosing the right partner is key when navigating the complexities of any large-scale migration project, especially ones with the right experience. Because J2 has worked with all major integration engines, our experts intimately understood both the new and legacy platforms, allowing them to be able to reverse-engineer complex interface logic.

This commitment to excellence, in addition to our innovative tools, and comprehensive support, not only facilitated the efficient migration of interfaces for the large county health system in California but also positioned them for sustained success in service of a growing, diverse population.

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J2 Interactive

J2 Interactive is an award-winning software development and IT consulting firm that specializes in customized solutions for healthcare and life sciences.