If your organization is seeking affordable interface integration, the following ideas will be of immense value to you. Integration helps providers to connect a range of disparate health IT systems. Due to the digitization of healthcare, providers now use many tools, apps, and systems that capture, store, and process data.
However, if these systems can’t “talk” to each other, the poor integration results in low productivity and high operational cost. The U.S. federal government created integration requirements outlined in the Promoting Interoperability Stage 3 (PI3). A survey on compliance with PI3 objectives showed that more than 70% of hospitals had adopted 4 out of 6 functionalities.
1. Plan Your Interface Development
Take an inventory of all the information systems you use today. Ensure you include your EHR, billing system, practice management, Lab information system, pharmacy management, and CRM.
Remember to add the health information systems (HIE) that you may connect with to send and receive information. Then make a slight projection into the future to know the new systems you are likely to acquire.
After obtaining this information, determine the current or desired flow of data between these systems. Then you can decide on the number of interfaces you need to develop.
If you have a tight budget, you can develop your interfaces in phases, beginning with those that will have the most significant positive impact on productivity.
2. Avoid Uni-directional Interfaces
Uni-directional interfaces cost less than bi-directional interfaces. But they are only helpful for simple data transfers that will not require any feedback.
Instead of using these low-cost interfaces, you should develop bi-directional interfaces. A bi-directional interface enables seamless communication between your EHR and other systems within and outside your organization.
If you need to build multiple bi-directional interfaces, consider using an interface engine.
3. Install an Interface Engine
A well-designed interface engine will transform the way you develop health IT interfaces. The engine will handle all the disparities in implementing data exchange standards like HL7.
Using an interface engine speeds up the pace of development. Developers can create interfaces to connect information systems without spending a long time understanding how each system works.
Instead of spending several months building a pair of interfaces, your developers will be equipped to build, test, and troubleshoot several interfaces within a few weeks.
4. Invest in Training
Whether or not you decide to invest in an interface engine, you still need to train your team to build and manage interfaces. Training gives your team the knowledge and skills required to create interfaces and troubleshoot them effectively.
Without adequate training, you will need to depend on your consultants to fix minor problems. On the other hand, well-trained staff will lower the total cost of ownership.
5. Partner With a Specialist
Interface development is a complex task, and your in-house development team can’t handle all aspects of the development. Indeed, your team may be able to develop a few interfaces in-house. But creating an interface engine that can work with virtually all major EHR and health IT systems is not a simple task.
You need a highly skilled interface development agency to handle a robust interface engine’s development, customization, training, and support.
Contact Us for Affordable Interface Integration
Connect with Lifepoint Informatics at 877.522.8378 to discuss your healthcare interoperability needs. You can also visit our contact page to schedule a free consultation or request a demo of our interface engine.