Selecting a new interface engine is a significant business decision. Your choice will affect the flow of vital clinical, administrative, and financial data. With the new regulations concerning the Interoperability Rule, you must choose a solution that will give patients access to information specified by the new code. Your team must determine the vendor, the features to look for, and what to prioritize during implementation. Here is a brief list of essential features to consider when making an HL7 interface engine comparison.
During your demo session, look out for features that reveal user-friendliness. Some of them include:
- Intuitive graphical user interface that allows the development of interfaces with or without programming
- Reusability of existing interfaces, which makes migration fast and cost-effective
- A simple learning curve that reduces training requirements
- Easy onboarding for users to minimize resistance to change
- Dashboards to monitor messages and quickly detect and abnormalities or failed messages
2. Amount of Programming Required
Your final choice should simplify the interface development process. Make sure the interface engine is optimized to convert data from one standard to another with minimal programming.
Anything beyond the writing of simple scripts will drastically reduce the productivity of your team. That’s why you should lookout for a rich library of connectors that come with the engine.
A well-designed interface engine will be helpful in primary care settings and large facilities with a branch network. Be sure to ask the vendor about the maximum number of interfaces and systems the engine can integrate.
Before you sign a contract, ask the vendor to tell you how many applications the engine has interfaced with already.
You need to go with a tested solution. Where possible, ask for referrals that you can contact and ask questions about the performance of the interoperability solution.
4. Compatibility With Health Information Standards
Go for a robust solution that can receive and transform messages and data from a wide variety of interface standards. This is a must when you have legacy systems, or your EHR needs to connect different applications in different departments. If you connect your EHR directly to medical devices, your engine needs to support many health information standards.
Some of the most important ones to verify are:
- HL7 (version 2.x, 3.x, FHIR, and IHE)
- CDA (multiple versions)
5. Quality of Customer Support
After deploying your new interface engine, your team will encounter issues and errors from time to time. To resolve them, you need to have 24/7 support available. Interfaces play a critical role in healthcare, so you can’t afford extended downtime.
Find out all you can about the type of support the company provides. Do you have access to a representative through live chat? Will you have to send emails or raise a support ticket? How soon are issues typically resolved when they come up?
It’s essential to focus on critical factors that will enhance productivity, reduce costs, and improve the quality of patient care. Preparing adequately for a demo will help you to ask your vendor the right questions.
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