Healthcare organizations that need to meet the requirements of the Interoperability Rule must develop a new EMR interface; price is a concern because interface development is a costly project. While CIOs and their teams wish that the average EMR interface price was low and affordable, well-designed interfaces integrated with labs, radiology, pathology, admin, and practice management are not cheap. A simple bidirectional point-to-point interface could cost up to $15,000. On the other hand, complex multi-channel interface development for full integration could cost more than twelve times that amount. That’s why it is vital to minimize the cost of interface development without compromising on quality. Here are some tips for keeping your EMR interface price low.
1. Tackle Your EHR Issues First
The EMR/EHR is the hub around which all patient-centered interfaces revolve. Any significant change to your EHR will lead to changes in your interfaces.
Such changes can be costly. So you need to deal with any issues you have with your EHR before building new interfaces.
Some of the interface issues you need to deal with include:
- Low physician productivity while using the EHR
- Migration of legacy system records
- Reduction of time spent on data entry
- Migration and archiving of medical records
2. Develop a Detailed Interoperability Project Plan
Create a strategy that will meet all your interoperability needs within a proposed timeframe. You need this to reduce the cost of developing interfaces when you adopt a holistic approach to interoperability.
Focus on improving patient care and meeting all regulatory requirements for patients to access their medical records.
Your plan should include:
- Choosing and establishing standards for all interoperability projects such as FHIR, USCDI, ICD-10, SNOMED, LOINC, etc.
- Documentation of the data your clinicians need to treat patients
- Details about where the data resides and how your interface will bring it to the physician when needed
- How data will be exchanged between providers when treating a patient for the first time
3. Develop the Most Viable Interfaces First
Gone are the days when you had to build all the features of all interfaces before you start using and testing them. Start with the most essential interface and the most critical data you need to move to and from your EHR.
Some of the most essential interfaces include those needed for diagnostics. Doctors base about 80 percent of their diagnostic decisions and treatment on test results.
Building interfaces between your EHR and the lab and radiology departments should be on the front burner. After that, focus on your patients and build interfaces that will fulfill the requirements for unfettered access to patient data.
4. Choose a Robust Interface Engine
It is still possible to build point-to-point interfaces between your EHR and other departments. But these are no longer cost-effective or efficient.
You will save costs and build better interfaces by deploying an interface engine. Once this is in place, you can start developing multiple interfaces within a few weeks. This reduces the time and cost of each interface significantly.
5. Invest in Training
Whether you work with consultants or you build your interfaces in-house, you must invest a substantial amount of resources in training your personnel. Plan to train both IT personnel and end-users of the new interfaces.
Training will equip your IT staff to build and support new interfaces efficiently. And it will help end-users to reap the full benefits of interoperability, such as higher productivity, better diagnosis, and improved care delivery.
6. Work With an EMR Interoperability Expert
Partnering with an EMR interoperability specialist will give you instant access to skills, experience, and knowledge that you may not get by employing your own staff. You can avoid re-inventing the wheel and take advantage of proven models and solutions that will reduce time and cost.
Building cost-effective interfaces for EMR interoperability is not a trivial task. However, you can sail through the turbulent waters by working with the right partner and applying proven principles and strategies.
Get a Quote for Your EMR Interface Price
Contact Lifepoint Informatics at 877.522.8378 today to get a quote for your interoperability project. Visit our contact page now to discuss your needs or to schedule a free demo or consultation.