Develop Your Winning, Goal-Based EHR Integration Strategies

It’s important to remember that there is no single solution for healthcare data integration. Even as FHIR grows in adoption and promise, it’s not a magic cure-all. Healthcare lives in a hybrid world today, needing to enable data integration among a new and old mix of FHIR, HL7, EDI, and flat files as it transitions to greater API-based connectivity. This drives complexity and requires a combination of healthcare and technology development expertise that is extremely difficult to find, even for sophisticated healthcare software companies.

Let’s look a little closer at a few of the key technologies providers and healthcare technology companies need to understand to advance successful hybrid strategies.

Where to Start

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Healthcare data integration planning starts with some common steps:

  1. Set your high-level scope and goals for EHR and system integration. Is this a system-wide health data integration effort? Is it meant to solve a single integration objective (for example, make data from your EHR available to patients using a specific app)? What end results do you expect? Are you satisfying compliance requirements, improving care quality and delivery, and ultimately getting a return on improved efficiency? It’s a big endeavor; make sure everyone understands and agrees to why you are doing it.
  1. Draw your ideal data integration map: Which systems need to share what data and how? Which connections are one-way vs. two-way? If done right, you will also document and understand the functionality, data models, compatibility, and integration endpoints for every system in your data universe. This effort varies significantly depending on the overall integration scope. 
  1. Develop your hybrid integration strategy to determine which APIs, data formats, and other methods of data exchange you will need to implement and manage for comprehensive interoperability.
  1. Establish guidelines for data privacy and protection as you open access to EHRs and other health systems with sensitive information. You should communicate this well and often and make sure you are building data security into every part of your integration plans.
  1. Develop detailed technical and project plans for integration across your systems. 
  1. Create an integration timeline, with incremental milestones for connecting with various systems in your health data universe. 

Easy, right? 

Clearly, each of these steps can become complex and take time and energy. Things like “draw your integration map,” “develop your hybrid strategy,” and “develop detailed technical and project plans” take a lot of knowledge and effort. For a single, one-way data pass from an EHR to another system, the scope might be a straightforward project to write to the EHR’s existing APIs. It gets dizzying for broader integration across multiple technologies (HL7, HL7vX, JSON, FHIR, RESTful APIs) and data types (clinical, pharmacy, financial, claims).

All of this can be frustratingly difficult to complete doing it yourself with limited resources. This brings us to the most important recommendation: Find the right interoperability partner.

How KMS Can Help With Your EHR Integration Strategies

Chart depicting how KMC Connect enables EHR integration

KMS Connect provides a ready, smart plug-in platform that does most of the heavy lifting for building interfaces for you and your customers. This FHIR “engine” immediately delivers 80 percent or more of the FHIR infrastructure you need for every API you develop. Start FHIR API projects with the finish line in sight:

  • Plug in prebuilt connectors to other EHRs and health data systems.
  • Swiftly enable data sharing via HL7v2, EDI, and flat files—every way that healthcare continues to exchange data for real-world interoperability needs.

Consider KMS Healthcare as your expert guide to establish winning interoperability strategies and deliver exceptional technology solutions for Cerner, FHIR, EDI, HL7v2, and every healthcare data system and interface option. Realize substantial benefits:

  • Build Healthcare Data Interfaces Faster and Easier
  • Save Money
  • Build Better FHIR APIs 
  • Accelerate Returns from M&A and Other Vendor Partners
  • Be ready for SMART on FHIR 

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