EMR API integration addresses one of the most significant challenges of full digitalization in healthcare: interoperability. Interoperability is the capacity to share important patient data between different information systems for fast and easy access without compromising the security of protected health information (PHI).
While over 90 percent of physicians now use an EMR to carry out daily activities, the multiple solutions adopted for different departments create data silos within the organization. This results in the absence of a unified format for data transmission.
Similarly, many practices have EMRs that can’t read and interpret data received from other platforms. Consequently, physicians find it challenging to gain access to a patient’s complete medical history. And this leads to unnecessary manual data entry, which consumes consultation time and increases the risk of errors.
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) offer an effective solution to the interoperability problem in healthcare. EMR API integration enhances the sharing of existing data between platforms, information systems, and medical devices. APIs allow developers to use a standard public interface so that any authorized application can send and receive data with the correct authentication.
CIOs and health information managers should consider adopting APIs for the following reasons:
1. APIs are More Secure and Efficient
APIs have well-defined rules for security authentication and data transmission. This makes it easier for developers to connect EMRs to other platforms. With APIs, the information does not have to remain in silos to stay secure.
APIs allow for more efficient data connections with the use of fewer resources per connection. They enable applications to request data “on-demand” instead of using the feed subscription model offered by HL7 specifications.
When applications or data consumers pull in data on-demand, the exact amount of information required is transmitted. This also helps to minimize access to protected health information. In essence, APIs make it possible to have better requester authentication and promote the rapid flow of information without breaking confidentiality rules.
2. EMR APIs Allow for Specialty Add-ons
Large EHR/EMR vendors are increasing their use of APIs. Instead of offering every possible service in their product line, they partner with smaller specialty partners like LifePoint Informatics to create add-ons.
While some vendors allow developers to create add-ons as required, others add these proprietary APIs to their platforms and offer them to clients. EHR vendors are also creating app stores that provide access to the best medical and surgical apps that work seamlessly with EMRs through API interoperability.
3. APIs Improve Value-based Care
Efficient data sharing offers direct benefits to the patient. One of them is value-based care. Unfortunately, this has been hampered by insufficient data. While the data needed for value-based care is locked up in silos, providers and patients need a system that is well integrated to access and use this data.
When physicians have access to patient data, they can make a better diagnosis and provide better treatment. Also, patients can provide information online through the provider’s website or app linked to the EMR with an API.
Contact Us for EMR API Integration
Call LifePoint Informatics today at 877.522.8378 to schedule a free consultation on API integration. We can show you a demo of EMR integration using APIs and other tools that we have used to help healthcare organizations cut costs and improve patient care quality.