Product Management’s Perspective at HIMSS16

Posted on behalf of Tori Buck, Summit Healthcare, Director of Product Management

HIMSS16 was a great show, it’s always good to see so many people who work within the healthcare industry milling about and networking. Even though most seem slightly relieved that it is the final day of the show as they look forward to travelling back home to rest, you can tell they seem happy to be in their element and discussing all they have seen thus far.

This year, Summit Healthcare is bringing to market some exciting new software with the unveiling of the Summit Exchange Platform, and Provider Alert. We had great opportunities to have informative conversations with many of the attendees regarding these products and how our technology aims to keep pace with the evolving standards and demands of the industry. Everyone we talked with seem genuinely excited about the direction of the technology, and how we can help them achieve their goals for future initiatives including their needs to meet Meaningful Use requirements. Other conversations focused on discussing some of the educational sessions, and how the future of healthcare will be changing rapidly for the next few years. Additionally, we discussed how those changes will allow them to finally achieve many of the goals they have been trying to, but due to limiting technology, were yet unable. This seems to emphasize the number of healthcare problems that are still lacking a solution despite the number of years technology has been around.

During the week, some of our staff had the opportunity to attend sessions on FHIR. The sessions were highly informative and focused on the importance and benefits of the new standards. Many of these standards are already being implemented throughout the industry by vendors leading the charge in change. These are exciting times, where we are able to witness such a rapid shift in technologies that will enable better patient care beyond Meaningful Use. The improvement of data exchange is probably the most exciting by far. Despite the perceived risk of breaking down the barriers to this exchange, the improvements in care, price and overall health that are offered, far outweigh the potential risk. Overall, it’s a great time to be in healthcare where there are so many opportunities to develop on new initiatives that have the potential to make a difference in the quality of life for many communities, and provide the abilities to resolve more challenges.

In a short while we will be boarding planes to travel home with all of the information gained from meetings and conversations aided by the HIMSS gathering. It will be a focused couple of weeks while we digest all we can from the happenings. I look forward to follow-up with many of those I spoke with to see what is next in line for us to tackle with regards to assisting those looking for solutions to their interoperability problems.

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HIMSS16 is Here!

Posted on behalf of Jim McKinnon, Executive Vice President, Summit Healthcare

HIMSS is here!  This conference continues to be truly daunting!  We are hearing that this will be the most well-attended HIMSS ever…

It has been a significant year for us at Summit Healthcare.  We have been in the planning stages for HIMSS 2016 in Las Vegas for the past 6 months.  Product development efforts have been moving at a frenetic pace in order to hit our deadlines for product demonstration at the conference.  We are now in a great position to announce the release of  Summit Exchange (SE), our new platform for interoperability, along with demonstrating Provider Alert (PA), our application that addresses alerting and notification for both in-network and out-of–network caregivers.  Summit Exchange will set the standard for scalable integration.  Users will have the option of building their backbone via either a modular approach or investing in a total platform.  SE supports all standard interface protocols including FHIR.  We recently attended the 2016 IHE Connectathon in Cleveland and were pleased to announce that our team passed all of the test scenarios utilizing Summit Exchange.  We had the opportunity to work with over 30 companies at the Connectathon, and we appreciated everyone’s efforts during the week.  The event was a critical milestone in our release program and we passed with flying colors!

As we talk to our client and prospects, it is evident that interoperability continues to move outside of the walls of the acute care setting.  No longer are we focused on integration within the hospital.  We now have the challenge of integrating multiple applications across the enterprise and look to provide our broad range of providers with the latest information enabling them to provide the highest level of care in their day to day management of patients.  Mergers and acquisitions in the marketplace continue to present challenges for interoperability vendors.  The number of interfaces required to connect a healthcare network increase exponentially once additional care settings are added.  We now see not only hospitals, but specialty clinics, medical group practices, ancillary care settings, reference labs, imaging centers and sub-acute care centers all included in the foot print of today’s healthcare organization.  Our new product platform anchored by Summit Exchange is a perfect fit for the needs of the new healthcare and provider landscape!

Our vendor partners will also benefit from our new interoperability platform.  Since Summit Exchange can easily scale to accommodate either a few interfaces or hundreds, it makes it the perfect choice for healthcare software vendors who wish to have application integration functionality as part of their core offering.

We look forward to meeting a many of our clients, who have benefitted from the use of our technology, whether it is utilized for meeting their interoperability or business continuity needs.  From the simplest need of moving a few bits of data, to the most complex use cases of providing real time clinical data, we stand ready for the challenge!  Make sure you make time in your schedule to stop at Booth 3700 to see how can help you address your interoperability needs.  We look forward to seeing you!

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2016 IHE Connectathon in Full Swing!

Posted on Behalf of Tori Buck, Director of Product Management, Summit Healthcare

This past weekend our trip began with another fun adventure with regards to flights. This is the second year the east coast has been ravished with a large storm on the same week as the IHE Connectathon. Everyone tried to reach the Connectathon test floor on time, which proved to be difficult for most. Many groups were delayed which made finding test partners extra interesting!

Despite the challenges, the Summit team has made great headway in completing the required testing. We ended the day first day with 4 completed profiles, and a handful with only a couple of tests left to complete. Yesterday we completed the PIX and PDQ testing, while today most of our efforts are focused on XCPD and ATNA. We are continuously working on the XCA and XDS testing. A busy week for sure!  – Tori

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Cerner Domain Compare: Summit Team Brings InSync Awareness to Kansas City

Written by: Jim McKinnon
Executive Vice President
Summit Healthcare

There are often many challenges facing any EHR platform users. Conversations I’ve been having on the show floor have only solidified the need for the Summit InSync technology within many organizations. Faced with issues such as supporting data from growth and acquisition, mass updating across domain sets, the cost of manual processes, as well as maintaining corporate database standards; many organizations don’t realize the ease of automating these processes.

Conversations continue to focus around Summit InSync and how it addresses all of these challenges:

  • The ability to reduce the burden of manual Regression, System, & Integration Testing
  • Decrease work effort, timeline, and errors in the Migration of Reference and Activity Data between Systems
  • Reduce work effort and build errors with automated Synchronization of Reference Data between/across Cerner Domains
  • Bridge the resource gap by automating Routine Tasks  giving FTE’s the Ability to Concentrate on Higher Level Projects

Of course as you bring automated solutions to your Cerner environment, it’s incredibly important to be aware of how to best align these technologies with each individual client needs. During our implementation process our partners, S&P Consultants, give our clients work with our clients to step back and look at their existing domain strategy and project portfolio. They work to align all of the opportunities for automation, ultimately leading to maximizing their return on investment. They also provide clients with a stable baseline before the automation process begins, as well as configuration and training on the system. This ensures the system is integrated into your Cerner footprint effectively, as well as it’s alignment with your internal policies.

We’ve had a great start to Cerner Health Conference 2015. I’m looking forward to the rest of the show!

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HIMSS 2015 Did Not Disappoint!

Posted on behalf of Kevin Field, Summit Healthcare, Regional Sales Manager

What a week! Summit Healthcare entered Chicago with anticipation and excitement for the conversations, opportunities, networking, and fun that lay ahead. HIMSS 2015 did not disappoint!!

Summit Healthcare continues to grow as an organization, expanding our market footprint. On the same ascent, 2015 was the largest HIMSS conference to date; well over forty thousand attendees. The conference was fast paced; Summit Healthcare had more requested demonstrations and “drop-ins” than any past HIMSS. My thanks to all of our clients and prospects that sought out the Summit Healthcare booths to check in on the latest products and services including Provider Alert, Express Connect Interface Engine, Downtime Reporting, Dictionary InSync, Scripting, Provider Office Integration, and more!

Summit Healthcare has over 500 existing clients. We had a chance to connect with almost all of them that attended the conference. A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all. It’s good to know we are on the right track and their feedback continues to prove invaluable. Attendees left the booth very excited—seeing the future of our interoperability platform. It’s also worth noting that we unveiled Summit’s Provider Alert tool—geared towards proactive alerting and notifications for your patient’s care team outside the hospital. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

While the days were focused on working the tradeshow floor, the nights were dedicated to networking and fun. The weight scale will not be kind after leaving Chicago. We started the week with a slam dunk steak—needless to say Summit Healthcare recommends Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse. On Monday, we hosted an event for clients at Eno’s Wine Bar within the InterContinental Hotel. We followed that with prospect and vendor dinners later in the evening. Tuesday was spent at various networking events culminating in seeing many old cohorts at Meditech’s Customer Appreciation Event. The event was very well done, with great attendance and a festive live band. On Wednesday, we had a “family night” and saw the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds. While we still prefer Fenway Park, everyone enjoyed the Wrigley Field experience.

This year Summit Healthcare also participated in the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase. Teamed with two other vendors, Summit participated in the fictional path of Jada Strong’s home healthcare journey. Jada is a 14 year old who has been diagnosed with diabetes and is now tasked with monitoring her health through home care. The integration scenario and product demonstration were well received with many attendees subsequently stopping by the booth. A common statement was “we just saw Summit Healthcare at the interoperability showcase and had to stop by”. Both Summit booth locations were heavily engaged in discussions around FHIR, potential MU3 regulations, and the next wave of interoperability.

Finally, our growing partnership with S&P Consultants continues to take shape. S&P are specialists in a range of professional services, primarily to the Cerner client base. There was a lot Cerner clients stopping by the booth to see Summit’s Downtime Reporting Tool. Feedback was strong, largely because of its simplicity to implement, use, and maintain across a healthcare enterprise. Keeping domains & tables synchronized is a challenge for virtually every healthcare organization—large or small. So Cerner clients were very excited to see Summit InSync , a domain comparison solution. This is a place where Summit will be looking to combine our respective strengths with S&P to initially provide a joint offering.

It was an exhilarating week, just as it’s an exciting time in healthcare. As we return to Boston, we have a lot of work to do and with it our future continues to brighten. A special thanks to our customers, industry counterparts, and fellow Summit Healthcare colleagues. See you next year!

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HIMSS Interoperability Showcase: Day 1 a Success!

Posted on behalf of Tori Buck, Director, Product Management

As the first day of the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase winds down we can begin to reflect.
We started out with setup on Saturday and Sunday by configuring connections and running through our vignette scripts. Summit Healthcare is part of the vignette explaining Jada Strong’s home healthcare journey. Jada is a fictional, 14 year old who has been diagnosed with diabetes and is now tasked with monitoring her health through home care.
The Summit Exchange Platform assists in the transactional sharing of Jada’s health events with the other vendors within our story. These vendors include inContact, YourCareUniverse, X-Link, and Health Catalyst.
The story takes Jada through the events of being diagnosed with diabetes, and requiring the assistance of a visiting nurse. Jada’s mother, Isabel Strong, places a call with the physicians call center that is powered by inContact. Its system is able to quickly pull up Jada’s information and enables the scheduling for her nurse’s visit.
Once Jada has an appointment scheduled the nurse find the need for additional testing to be done at the local hospital. The nurse also requests an insulin pump to assist in controlling Jada’s diabetes.
The data from the nurses visit is sent over to the Summit Exchange Platform that resides within the Hospital Network. This information includes demographic data that updates all of the hospital’s integrated systems, an order for her outpatient procedures that gets transmitted electronically to the lab, and a Summary of Care that is shared to the patient portal and an HIE for keeping her care team up to date with her latest health events.
The Patient Portal, YourCareUniverse, receives Jada’s information and allows her to log in for viewing her health information. It also allows her to send updated information to assist her care team in managing her healthcare.
X-Link is able to collect all of the transactions for the Strong family from the community, which is then aggregated to Health Catalyst for analysis. Health Catalyst is able to provide the analytics for this data which is used by the ACO for assisting in the healthcare needs within the community.
After a long, successful day, of running through presentations, we are relieved to have the first day under our belt. We are looking forward to the next couple of days of displaying Summit Healthcare’s latest integration technology, and our integration platform, Summit Exchange. ​​
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Connectathon 2015 Recap

Posted on behalf of Hollis Marek, Director of Software Development, Summit Healthcare

Now that the Connectathon is over it’s time to reflect a bit on the event. This year was the first time that Summit Healthcare participated in the testing, and it was an impressive conference. From the numbers I saw there were over 500 software engineers representing more than 100 companies, most of whom were competitors for the other 51 weeks of the year. At the Connectathon, however, we all worked toward the same goal without a hint of competition (well, maybe just a little showing off and grandstanding, but we are engineers after all).

Summit Healthcare brought the latest incarnation of our Healthcare Integration platform to the testing floor; I won’t tell you too much about it here so as not to spoil the surprise but you’re going to be impressed when you see it.

After we registered at the Cleveland Convention Center on Monday we found our seats and set up our servers. In our case that meant plugging in a couple of laptops but for others this process was a little more involved. Once the servers were all set up we started looking for testing partners, and they started looking for us. Since this was our first time we started small with the easier client profiles that we knew we could test quickly and get some small accomplishments to share with the folks back home.

From that point on for about 10 hours each day through Thursday we worked on testing and retesting the software. We found that many vendors were willing to help out even if they had finished their own testing, in fact around midweek an email was sent out with a list of “Good Samaritans” who were available for just that reason. Our own testing wrapped up late Friday morning, but with the lessons we learned we expect to be on that list very early in the week next time.

Despite being several months from complete our new product was able to pass all of the profiles we attempted including XDS, PIX and PDQ testing for both HL7 versions 2 and 3, along with the ATNA security profiles. We’re pretty proud of the accomplishment to be honest.

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Summit Healthcare is Synonymous with Interoperability

Posted on behalf of Paul Actis, Vice President of Research & Development, Summit Healthcare

From our start in 1999 our mission has been to make it easier for hospitals to integrate within their infrastructure in order for them to concentrate on what they do best: patient care. Our initial product was a workflow automation tool , however,  it was soon evident that quicker and more efficient ways to distribute data were needed.

Our first messaging product was the HL7 Adapter which provided integration for systems that used HL7 version 2.x. This quickly matured into the Summit Connect application which allows for all message structures to be transmitted. As the market changed , and Meaningful Use regulations required more advanced methods of moving data, Summit continued to be the market leader in helping our clients achieve certification with suite of integration products.

Summit is about to embark on its next generation of messaging integration with its Exchange platform. As Summit has always been at the forefront of conforming to industry standards, we felt it only a natural progression of our company to participate in the IHE Connecathon. The Connectathon’s focus on interoperability, its ability to bring in other industry leaders and the chance to also participate in the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase in April is very exciting for us, and we look forward to the challenge.

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Leveraging technology in a meaningful way

Healthcare IT News published a profile on seven trends we are likely to see in 2015 and number seven peaked my interest; “Leveraging technology in a meaningful way”.

I started thinking what does this mean to the clinical community? Healthcare organizations are being faced with providing tighter integration models, driven by multiple industry drivers and stakeholders asking these specific questions.  How can we continue to be a connected healthcare leader?  How can we provide a path for interoperability to our end user population at all touch points in the continuum of care?

Leveraging technology at the foundation and expanding the footprint to include all areas of focus will be crucial.  The integration pathways within the walls of your hospital EMR must interact with all touch points in the community.  Enabling the interaction with your physician community to support order and result integration, as well as ensuring CCD data exchange continues on for all points of clinical care will be critical.

Is your organization positioned to leverage your technology investments in a meaningful way?

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Pre-Connectathon Testing is in Full Swing!

Posted on behalf of Hollis Marek, Director of Software Development, Summit Healthcare

As the Pre-Connectathon testing period comes to a close Summit Healthcare is checking in the last of our changes and wrapping up our testing checklists.  On January 26th we’ll be taking the new Summit Exchange platform to Cleveland for the main event, the 2015 IHE Connectathon.  At this venue we’ll have the opportunity to put our newest product through its paces with several real vendor systems.

For our first Connectathon we’ve chosen a fairly ambitious set of tests:

Integration Profile


Audit Trail and Node Authentication Secure Application
Consistent Time Time Client
Patient Demographics Query Patient Demographics Consumer
Patient Demographics Query Patient Demographics Supplier
Patient Demographic Query HL7 V3 Patient Demographics Consumer
Patient Demographic Query HL7 V3 Patient Demographics Supplier
Patient Identifier Cross-referencing forMPI Patient Identifier Cross-referenceConsumer
Patient Identifier Cross-referencing forMPI Patient Identity Source
Patient Identifier Cross-referencing forMPI Patient Identity Cross-referenceManager
Patient Identifier Cross-ReferenceHL7 V3 Patient Identifier Cross-referenceConsumer
Patient Identifier Cross-ReferenceHL7 V3 Patient Identity Source
Patient Identifier Cross-ReferenceHL7 V3 Patient Identity Cross-referenceManager


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