What are your Concerns about Interoperability, in your Healthcare Organization?

May 3, 2016 Dhaya Sivakumar, Executive VP Integration

Interoperability is a pain point for most healthcare organizations, so I think the answer will be yes. Healthcare organizations have a primary mission to enable patient-centric care, by providing clinicians with timely access to data which helps to improve the decision-making process, and empower fully-informed actions.

But in an increasingly digital age, the many systems that are designed to improve the delivery of healthcare data can become a burden. This is because legacy systems, and new technologies each come with a unique programming language, and in some instances these disparate systems cannot communicate with each other. To enable the timely access to healthcare data these systems need to be able to communicate. 

To meet these interoperability requirements, some organizations will invest in in-house developers to connect their unique collection of systems together.

This may meet the short term needs of connecting systems, but in the long term there will be ongoing, and increasing maintenance costs with a custom development approach. Or other organizations will try to solve their interoperability problems, by having multiple disparate systems with multiple vendors.

The other option for providing interoperability is to make use of a commercial healthcare-focused integration engine. These engines act as a universal translator for the multiple systems running within organizations. So why would your organization invest in a commercial healthcare focused integration engine? 

  • Invest in an integration engine from a trusted vendor. This will ensure your organization will be empowered to remove the time consuming, and difficult technical issues, involved in custom development, and free up your technical team’s time to focus on other developments. A single vendor can provide an out-of-the-box solution that addresses all your organizations needs. By providing a single suite of products, that can address all your organizations problems.
  • Choose an integration engine that is easy to implement. Every organization has unique requirements, and migrations can be time consuming, and costly. However, an integration engine that quickly, and easily connects systems together, with flexible configuration rather than code will provide your technical team with the tools they require. Then they can focus on identifying, and integrating the appropriate systems that will add value to the organization. 
  • This is especially true for healthcare organizations with legacy systems that need to be replaced. In some cases, integration platform vendors are discontinuing support for these platforms or discontinuing the product altogether. Plus, there are currently fewer developers than there were in the past with knowledge of specialized algorithmic programming languages.
  • A supported integration engine, with a vendor that provides dedicated 24/7 customer care. When issues arise in healthcare organizations especially in hospitals which require their systems to be connected 24/7, comprehensive troubleshooting tools, and product experts are required to resolve problems quickly.
  • Commercial integration engines provide sophisticated monitoring, and maintenance tooling that help to proactively maintain a healthy deployment of connected systems. Having a stable engine means there is time available for your technical team to focus on other important projects.
  • Future-proof your organization by investing in a contemporary integration engine, where there is a robust road map that incorporates traditional integration technologies with the emerging ones. Where contemporary integration development teams are working towards cloud technologies, FHIR APIs, and mobile capabilities. 

Integration engines that are designed for rapid interoperability between systems of varied maturity, and standards, work as a hub, and spoke model. They connect multiple systems together centrally, and manipulate data in the process, so that each destination system can understand it.

The goal is to invest in an integration engine that maintains a connected network of systems, with stress free pro-active monitoring. Your organization will benefit from flexible, and reliable interfaces, which will provide time savings for the technical team, and cost savings for the organization.

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