The role of a modern interface engine in healthcare
Table of Contents
In today’s connected healthcare environment, the role of an interface engine should be to enable faster deployment cycle times of high quality interfaces using people who have analyst-level, workflow-based skill sets. With healthcare data flowing through it, an interface engine should ease connections to remote care facilities (e.g., physician practices, labs, radiology centers, etc.) and leverage the data to improve operations and workflows.
In these two sentences, the role of an interface engine is clearly defined.
Exploring each facet of this definition is essential to gaining the most value from your healthcare integration infrastructure and ensuring your infrastructure has the right fit for the demands upon us today, and those we will be facing in the years ahead.
Key roles of a modern interface engine
- Deploy quickly with confidence. Deliver tested, ready-to-deploy interfaces in minutes or hours rather than days, weeks or months.
- Seamlessly promote new interfaces. Move tested interface mapping and processing logic into production with a few clicks. Revert to an earlier version of the interface, if needed.
- Migrate EHRs efficiently. Whether moving to or integrating with Epic, Cerner, or other EHRs, an integration engine should help meet critical implementation milestones.
- Exchange data externally. Securely and efficiently exchange data with the external healthcare community.
- Center workflows on patient care. Create logical workflows that alert the right people when bottlenecks arise.
- Grant access to people closest to the data. Empower analysts, managers or executives with access to customized views of workflows.
- Failover strategies and solutions: native high availability and disaster recovery. Ensure the constant flow of patient data.
- Bring joy to interface work. Improve work satisfaction and productivity with powerful features and ease of use.
- Excel in a hybrid integration environment. Integrate data between cloud and on-premise systems natively.
- Lower total cost of ownership. Efficient monitoring and managing interfaces after initial development.
Cost Savings, Workflow Improvements, and Solving Issues Between Vendors
Deploy quickly with confidence
Waiting days, weeks, or months for a new interface is no longer acceptable. This affects critical workflows and the ability to deliver efficient, high quality care in a timely manner.
An interface engine’s role is to streamline the process of building, testing, and deploying new patient data exchanges. An engine is the catalyst in implementing new healthcare interfaces. Interface cycle time is reduced significantly by using a menu-driven approach to develop interfaces, without the need for time-consuming scripting.
An interface engine should also provide leverage within the interfacing environment. For example, on quality ADT interface should be used in more than one application. This directly improves cycle time and can dramatically decrease interfacing costs.
Related to the skill sets, cycle time is reduced significantly with a different approach. Rather than developing interfaces in a programming language – part or whole – the approach should be menu-driven. It comes down to not only the skills required, but also the time it takes to implement a quality interface. The role of an effective interface engine is to reduce the cycle time to deploy a robust, well-tested interface.
Another relation to cycle time and interface engines is leverage. An interface engine’s role is to create leverage within your interfacing environment. For example, one Admit-Discharge-Transfer (ADT) interface should be leveraged to more than one application. The interface engine leverages one application interface to multiple applications as needed. This directly impacts cycle time in a positive manner, and can dramatically decreases the interfacing costs for a healthcare organization. Both are vital attributes.
“One of the things that really stood out to us was the derivative builder. It was mind-blowing how easy it was to create a derivative.”
Seamlessly promote new interfaces
After an interface has been developed and tested, it should take only minutes to place into production—all without re-creating objects or components. An intuitive interface engine automatically includes needed elements as a new interface is transferred into production.
This versatility should work in reverse, as well. If the user needs to revert to a previous version of the interface, it should be possible with only a few clicks.
This versatility gives users complete control over their interfacing environment, allowing them to properly manage change.
“The speed of development has been a big improvement. In eGate it might have taken me half a day to write an ADT interface. Now, I can write a basic ADT interface in 3–5 minutes.”
Migrate EHRs efficiently
Migrating EHRs takes detailed planning, and for most health systems, re-writing nearly half of existing interfaces. A Modern Interface Engine will speed up EHR migrations and empower the connectivity required to update existing interfaces and create new workflows. Migrating EHRs is the perfect time to shop the market and upgrade the interface engine.
Corepoint Integration Engine has many features that help facilitate an efficient EHR Migrations. Additionally, Corepoint Health has experience helping customers migrate to and from every major EHR in healthcare. Please contact us for customer references or specific questions, or visit our Epic, Cerner, MEDITECH, or Paragon pages for information on interfacing with those vendors.
Features our customers have told us were impactful in their EHR migration include:
- Ability to build interfaces quickly and accurately. Corepoint Health offers a develop-and-test IDE characterized by drag-and-drop interface diagramming, configuration wizards, and point-and-click mapping.
- Intuitive troubleshooting tools ease testing and speed development of interfaces. You can quickly find problem messages, experiment with them, and use them to test your logic.
- Visual interface monitoring that communicates engine status at a glance.
- Seamless High-Availability and Disaster Recovery options
- Meaningful Use Certified and FDA Registered
The role of Corepoint Integration Engine in supporting a migration to Epic at Southcoast Health
Exchange data externally
What happens within the four walls does not stay within the four walls any longer. Physician practices want to receive patient, lab or report results electronically. Hospitals want to receive patient demographic information electronically. Radiology practices need to send patient reports to referring physicians electronically. Although there is a strong need for internal application integration, the boundaries have expanded and will continue to expand as new Federal and State guidelines and incentives coming into reality.
The role of an interface engine is to productively and securely facilitate the expanding exchange of patient data. TCP/IP connections through VPNs cannot be the only means of communication today. Secure web services through a remotely-deployed software agent provides more manageable exchanges. An interface engine needs to be a platform in which new integration requirements can be met effectively while providing the intended results.
Health Information Exchanges are increasing in numbers as providers seek to prove they can securely exchange electronic patient data outside the four walls of their organization. An interface engine can facilitate the growing demand for patient data exchange via secure Web Services, without the need for VPN.
“Corepoint Integration Engine was critical in our success. It enabled us to quickly meet their specification and send data to the HIE. Having a robust interface engine that we could leverage was the number one factor for us.”
Center workflows on patient care
The process orientation of healthcare is crucial. Six Sigma and Total Quality Management approaches within healthcare are showing great results in achieving efficiency and enhancing quality of care. Data flow plays a fundamental role in this new process view within healthcare. It is no longer “good enough” to just re-work a date format and send it on to the next application. Logic needs to be applied to the data not only in the transformation but also in where it needs to be routed. Likewise, alerts need to be fired out to the correct people when certain triggers occur, such as missing data elements or a particular event occurring. Data flow is not flat or uneventful. It is robust, ever-changing, and an interface engine needs to adapt to these changes.
The role of an interface engine is to ease the workflow while providing the flexibility to change direction based on configurable events and deliver alerts when an abnormal condition arises. Streamlined healthcare workflows and interface engines are intertwined together, each supporting one another in order to support the productive, timely delivery of care to patients.
Integrating with Vocera Nurse Call Badges at Halifax Health
Grant access to people closest to the data
Think about it. What part of your data flow goes through an interface engine? The answer is probably “most of it.” If the interface engine is the conductor of the data flow within your organization, then it would be beneficial if it provided useful operational metrics.
Another role for an interface engine is to capture the data, store it, and, with an added layer, present it graphically to decision makers. The information is timely, and operational decision makers require this type of insight in order to make changes to address current trends. Access to current information will facilitate more decisions that are informed with the added ability to address potentially adverse issues in a timely manner before they have negative effects. It has been many decades since the Information Age was proclaimed. Now the time to leverage the information age with better access to key operational data.
An interface engine’s role is clear – Provide the data, which can be organized and presented in a way to facilitate timelier, more effective workflow and operational decisions.
Moving Millions of Messages a Day in an Epic EHR Environment
Failover Strategies and Solutions: Native high availability and disaster recovery
In order to ensure the constant flow of patient data, high availability and disaster recovery have become prominent in any IT Strategy. Modern interface engines maintain as close to 100% uptime as possible, and offer solutions to solve for unscheduled interruptions, including:
- Network problems such as switch or router failures
- Operating system problems such as viruses or blue screens
- Hardware failures such as network cards and hard drives
- Application failures such as the inability to process messages
- Natural disasters, catastrophic events, and long-term power outages
How quickly the backup system is able to take over and resume processing messages directly affects the availability of the software. More importantly, it directly impacts how quickly a caregiver receives the patient information they require to perform their critical responsibilities.
Corepoint Health has native solutions for the above scenarios. Follow the links below for more information.
|Assured Availability (A2)||Assured Availability removes the uncertainties of planned and unplanned system outages by automatically processing patient data on designated backup servers. View Datasheet.|
|Disaster Recovery||Disaster Recovery protects against disasters by replicating the production repository at a co-location, allowing patient data to continue flowing. View Datasheet.|
Bring joy to interface work
In previous generations of interface engines, extensive programming was required. Building interfaces required deep skills in Java, TCL, Python, or other programming languages. In today’s healthcare environment, there are at least three disadvantages to this approach. First, these skill sets can be difficult to locate and afford. Second, too much time is spent focusing on a development language, not on healthcare workflows. Third, the cycle time to build interfaces is long, with development queues quickly building for new interfaces.
Today’s healthcare environment has expanded outside the four walls of a healthcare organization. Understanding healthcare workflow is more essential in building the interface, since greater logic is required in the routing and mapping of patient data. Equally important is that the demand for new healthcare interfaces has increased exponentially as IT departments strive to deliver more with less in today’s cost-sensitive environment.
The role of an interface engine in modern healthcare is to address these changes in a productive and proactive manner. How interfaces are built should be intuitive so that analyst-level skills can be utilized. Included in this skill set should be a greater understanding of healthcare workflow so that the interfaces can better match operational or system requirements.
Utilization of people skills should be greater with today’s interface engine technology to not only match new cost structures but also better meet new interfacing demands.
A modern engine offers ease-of-use, allowing IT departments to improve resource allocation and accomplish larger projects more efficiently.
Excel in a hybrid integration environment
Increased cloud and API adoption has encouraged the development of standards such as FHIR. Healthcare is expanding the use of service-based architecture, specifically SOAP and RESTful web services, through a variety of use cases. Mixing on-premise systems with cloud solutions is part of a modern workflow, however many legacy integration engines struggle to process these service based workflows effectively.
Corepoint Integration Engine facilitates a hybrid integration environment, where data from any source can be exchanged. With full support of JSON, XML, SOAP, REST, and FHIR, developers can weave together the benefits of the cloud with on-premise systems.
Utilizing Web Services and DICOM Functionality to Solve Workflow Challenges
Lower total cost of ownership
While developing and migrating interfaces can be time intensive, managing interfaces is where the hidden costs often rack up. Legacy integration engines are primarily designed to get interfaces set up, and often lack the needed functionality necessary to efficiently maintain and manage interfaces in production. Eventually technical debt compounds, which results in a high total cost of ownership. Even though the initial interface development or migration may have seemed a reasonable cost, the nature of interfacing can be fluid. Departments change requirements, vendor’s change specs, and new applications get thrown into the mix of existing workflows. A modern integration engines has robust features facilitating the building, managing, and maintaining of interfaces to accommodate today’s workflows and operational challenges.
Corepoint Integration Engine has numerous features that make monitoring and managing interfaces simple, resulting in a lower total cost of ownership:
- Tailored alerts provide warning before workflow is disrupted, allowing root-cause analysis to occur quickly, saving time researching what went wrong.
- Customizable data triggers and events allow interface developers to improve workflow after interfaces are built. Features such as a modern GUI and test-as-you develop approach, make improving production interfaces seamless.
- Google-like log search and native storage of message history makes finding and resending messages simple, and provides quick insights into the impact of production-inhibiting events, for example, when a vendor changes requirements without notification.
- Corepoint Integration Engine stays on top of industry needs through its software updates each year, providing new product features often with a seamless update process.
Healthcare’s top integration engine
An interface engine is not just an interface engine any longer—it is a healthcare integration platform that supports the operations of a care delivery organization. From interfaces to workflow to operational decisions, interface engines assist in modernizing the healthcare system.
- Resource utilization is a key consideration in determining the value of your interface engine and future healthcare integration initiatives.
- It needs to be both faster and higher quality. Cycle times coupled with quality are key attributes for an interface engine. If you are evaluating new integration platforms, use a stop watch test for an interface and then test the quality of what was built. Using a stopwatch provides an interesting, useful wrinkle in evaluating a proof of concept.
- It’s the community of care. Integration requirements have expanded outside the four walls of a healthcare organization. The interface engine needs to support a larger initiative and extend into the community in a productive, secure manner.
- The process matters. Facilitating workflow is a critical role for interface engines today. Think logic, think alerts. Support processes and act on process flow information.
- Better access to critical data will set you free to make more informed, timely decisions. Capturing data, storing it, and presenting it is a new role for interface engines – one that enables key healthcare decision makers to make complex decisions faster and better. It’s not only IT anymore; it is IT enabling the operations with insights.
KLAS Comparison: Corepoint Health vs. Industry Average
“We love Corepoint Health. We feel like we can come up with a lot of very creative solutions using their integration engine. We use a web-based front end, so the physicians can choose what they want to have interfaced. The front end is connected to Corepoint Integration Engine, so the physicians are able to make interface changes without human intervention. We have used Corepoint Integration Engine a lot to fine-tune the documents going back and forth from our other systems. My interface programmers love Corepoint Integration Engine, and they love the support that they get when they need help. Our relationship with Corepoint Health is very positive.”
*(Collected about Corepoint Integration Engine in March 2017 by KLAS. ©KLAS Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved. www.KLASresearch.com)
“Corepoint Health was simple and straight forward. I love that you can test so easily. The ease of use and ability to do testing with anything— log files or any files sent from a vendor—was really impressive. I was pretty much blown away by the look and feel, especially coming off eGate.”
“Corepoint Health’s products and services are the gold standard. I would work for Corepoint Health if I could. The quality they put into their products in addition to the superior technical support is unmatched in my 30 years of experience. The products are fully functional, scalable, and adaptable to any needs. When we need support, we speak directly to a highly trained interface engineer. We don’t have to speak with a gatekeeper and beg to have our issue escalated. Corepoint Health continually improves their product, and they are careful to run QA testing on every release so that their customers have virtually no problems.”
*(Collected about Corepoint Integration Engine in Feb 2016 by KLAS. ©KLAS Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved. www.KLASresearch.com)
Corepoint Health Development Philosophy
About Corepoint Health
Corepoint Integration Engine is the standard for interface engines in meeting today’s healthcare integration demands. The Corepoint Health interface engine is meeting the demand for new interfaces with lower costs, higher efficiency, and greater productivity.
* Collected about Corepoint Integration Engine by KLAS in 2016, 2017, respectively. ©KLAS Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved. www.KLASresearch.com © KLAS Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved. www.KLASresearch.com
©2017 KLAS Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved. www.KLASresearch.com