Use the right technology to ensure interoperability
Healthcare interoperability is a topic that frustrates and skeptics many people. The reality is that the interoperability debate isn’t going away, and with good reason too, although most of it is justified.
Interoperability can transform healthcare when done right by:
- achieve better clinical outcomes
- stimulate patient involvement and grow faster,
- stimulate patient involvement and grow faster,
- promote ideas for health care reform and improve financial performance
These days, “doing it right” means using the right technology because Health informatics must be able to accomplish more with far fewer resources. For data sharing between clinical applications, HL7 Interface Engines have been used for many years by providers and health care providers.
But as interoperability requirements continue to grow to integrate a growing variety of software and hardware gadgets intended to modernize healthcare, these old interface engines are already beginning to show their limits.
Technology is available to advance healthcare. It’s no surprise to see many healthcare organizations moving to today’s more sophisticated integration engine when it comes to delivering relevant and actionable data to decision makers.
To determine if it’s time for your business to change, consider the following five factors.
1. Sharing information is more important than ever.
The amount of health information available is remarkable and will only increase.
The list includes EMRs, HIEs, PACS, billing systems, medical equipment, wearables and more.
They ALL need integration, that’s the main thing.
The more sources of information available, the better for population health management and collaborative treatment. Plus, it means your IT staff or implementation team will have to manage new data standards and transport protocols.
Even during HL7 v2 interfaces still manage the vast majority of information exchange in the health sector, things are changing. Today’s diverse array of systems and devices, from complex documents like the CCD to web service resources like the FHIR, demands a strategy and architecture built on adaptability.
Let’s say your company is currently running HL7 exclusively for HL7 integration. Build a typical HL7 interfacing takes a few days on average. What if your state’s public health department requires immunization reports to be submitted using a SOAP-based web interface? How long will it take you to build? weeks? Month?
It’s easy to understand how anchoring your strategy to a standard can be a costly mistake given the regular changes in the market and regulatory requirements.
All standards can be processed equally using a modern integration engine. The value is in the data itself, not in the format in which it is sent or received, after all.
2. You only need one integration solution.
Organizations frequently use various integration solutions, especially in the vendor domain.
It varies how or why these companies offer many solutions to solve a single problem. Sometimes it’s just a function, where they use one solution for all their HL7 integration and an entirely separate application for all of their web services integration. In other cases, it is the result of organizational structure, when various departments each apply their own approaches, often in large hospitals. The clinical, financial and operational sectors frequently use different programs.
These kinds of circumstances are far from ideal. They are obviously useless, in fact. You have to pay more for staff training expenses, license fees, updates, maintenance, and support agreements.
By ensuring that you can manage all integration requirements across your entire organization with a single solution, a contemporary data format-agnostic integration engine will help you stop this type of unnecessary investment.
3. When it comes to cost management, speed matters.
Cost is one of the most frequently mentioned barriers to interoperability, which makes sense. Creating and maintaining interfaces comes at a high price that can easily spiral out of control.
You can best control these expenses by building your interfaces faster. This is obviously easier said than done.
A modern integration engine, unlike legacy interface engines, gives you a single, standardized development environment to standardize the way you create any form of interface. There is no doubt that you will build interfaces faster if you use the same process for all your interfaces and reuse modules from already tested interfaces.
While legacy GUI-based interface engines are useful for simple data translations, we all know that most integration jobs aren’t that simple. Real-world healthcare integration involves complex processing logic, release translations, and data transformations. Scripting is the only effective method to manage these complications.
In order to handle these complications, a sophisticated integration engine is created. As a result, they feature user-friendly scripting environments, enabling fast yet reliable interface creation.
4. Interoperability is impossible without reliability.
Even though it seems like a no-brainer, I’m still surprised at how often reliability is overlooked. You can’t have a conversation about interoperability without talking about reliability.
Unplanned downtime in any healthcare facility is, at best, unacceptable, whether the flow of information is clinical, financial, or operational in nature. Modern integration engines are used by businesses, so they can honestly say there hasn’t been an unplanned downtime in years.
Of course, there will be times when downtime is caused by circumstances beyond your control. To reduce downtime and avoid data loss or corruption, it is imperative that you can react quickly to these situations.
By offering high availability and failover solutions that can be adapted to your existing IT infrastructure, a contemporary integration engine reduces downtime. All messages are logged and logged to ensure message delivery and prevent data loss, allowing you to quickly and easily resend any missed communications while the system was down.
5. You must constantly be on your guard. Still.
Mistakes happen, and they often seem to happen at the worst possible times. You cannot effectively monitor and manage your interfaces without alerts and notifications.
Consider the following example:
An interface crashes following an error. Your integration engineer should be notified by email or text message so they can begin troubleshooting. With most older UI engines, you should be able to show simple inactivity notifications, but shouldn’t your solution actually help speed up error resolution by pinpointing the exact location of the error?
More than inactivity notifications are involved in interface maintenance. You should be able to effectively generate an alert for any condition you desire. Let’s assume that in the past 30 minutes, no orders have been placed through your lab order portal. You should be able to tell your IT team that no orders have been received for a certain period of time, rather than waiting for the lab to notice there is a problem.
The reality of where and how people work has evolved, and monitoring interfaces must adapt as well. Having a central dashboard that can be viewed from any web-enabled device that can monitor all interfaces regardless of location is essential.
When it comes to cost control, interface management is just as crucial as interface construction. A To ensure you can quickly discover and fix errors no matter when or where they occur, the contemporary integration engine gives you the tools to monitor and create alerts.
With the goal of integrating health systems and synthesizing data using HL7 and other standards, KPi-Tech’s offers from qualified developers Interface development services. To identify the best custom or proprietary interfacing solutions, we combine in-depth reviews of legacy healthcare networks with HL7 technology. Among the interface engines we integrate with are Corepoint, Rhapsody, Cloverleaf, Mirth Connectand others.