The history of Acmeware
Data Repository Talk

Genesis of Acmeware

The story of how Acmeware was born from a custom request for a Data Repository by a MEDITECH Client

The concept of a company providing professional consulting services to support the MEDITECH Data Repository was born while we were still developing the application in the mid-1990s. In 1994 a MEDITECH client in the Chicago area, live for several years with the MEDITECH MAGIC HCIS, requested that a subset of data from a few core application modules be replicated in an “open” relational database management system (RDMS). Their primary goals were to separate report processing from transaction processing, allow data to be retained indefinitely, and open up the report development options to “industry standard” tools. Roberta Grigg, then Vice President of Client Services, approved the project and I was tasked with identifying a small group of talented programmers and leading the development. We worked closely with the client to identify approximately 100 tables’ worth of NPR data and built batch extracts to update the information in an Oracle database. The RDMS technology was changed to Microsoft SQL Server before being released to our client (a topic for another blog).

At the 1995 MUSE Conference, we presented an educational session to more than 50 clients where we reviewed and discussed what we had accomplished for this site. We also coined the name Data Repository (DR) at this time. It became immediately apparent that there was growing demand for the DR from the MEDITECH client community though consensus on how it would be used was far from unanimous. Nevertheless, a decision was made to transition the custom development work we had performed into a standard DR application module. By 1998, we had expanded the number of tables in the DR to over one thousand, constructed both MAGIC and CS versions, successfully implemented DR at several dozen sites, and accumulated a large backlog of requests for DR implementations. At this time, we were also beginning to receive requests from live DR clients for report development support using the commonly available RDMS reporting applications of the time (e.g., MS Access, Crystal Reports, MS Excel using MS Query, and straight Transact-SQL).

In early 1998, I proposed to MEDITECH executives the concept of putting a new team together to support report development for the DR, functioning in much the same manner as the NPR Report Writer support team which already reported to me. With development of the new Client Server technology reaching full intensity, potential Y2K-related issues on the immediate horizon, and a dearth of staff currently trained in the non-MEDITECH reporting technologies, a decision was made not to construct a team to offer these services. Having an altruistic, if mistimed, passion that our version of “big data” could revolutionize heath care if we only knew how to perform the analysis, I made the difficult decision to amicably depart MEDITECH in mid-1998 and launch Acmeware to pursue this ambition.

Why the name “Acmeware” I’m often asked and the simple answer is that in my childhood I spent too many Saturday mornings watching Wile E. Coyote use the coolest gadgets from Acme Inc. in his pursuit of the Road Runner. Acmeware’s pursuit has remained true to its original mission in 1998. We offer professional services and certified reporting products that assist our MEDITECH clients in transforming data in their DR into knowledge that improves the quality-of-healthcare and reduces costs. We are passionate about identifying data, using the latest tools to analyze and present information in a meaningful way, and developing custom analytics and report design to meet the specific needs of every one of our clients. We remain a staunch advocate of MEDITECH and are recommended on their web-site for the quality of services we are able to deliver.

By Glen D'Abate at 3 Feb 2015, 14:01 PM



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