Posted on behalf of Tori Buck, Director of Product Management
There are a number of possible arguments for the value of an integration engine in your healthcare environment. Some of those that I come across regularly are:

  • The return on investment (ROI) available by being able to reproduce data feeds to other downstream disparate systems
  • Faster implementations between disparate systems because of the added control over mappings to meet specifications
  • The ease of conversion for datatypes and messaging between legacy and newer systems such as HL7v2 and FHIR

This list could go on to include many other benefits, but in looking at industry trends with regards to data reporting and accessibility, it seems the real power is having total control of the data flowing between systems in the healthcare environment. Having an engine in place gives access to the data for feeding analytics to improve patient care, allows parsing of data for sending alerts on critical indicators, improving measures for identifying trends, and it allows the reporting of key indicators for the health of your systems.
While data collection can be done without engine placement, your implementation times and costs would be expected to go up. This is where the bullet points come back into play. Having the ability to utilize all data that is flowing through your care environment by having the accessibility through an engine capable of parsing that data is essential to the next generation of healthcare solutions.
The age of point-to-point connections is no longer a cost effective, long term solution for making decisions that need to be quantified since there simply is no control over that information being shared. For example, one of our clients manages 50 different vendors receiving one data feed. Consider the costs that would be involved if these were not managed through an engine. This includes providing data for making important decisions on patient safety, communicable diseases, and other measures that affect the flow of payments to keep your doors open.
If your environment makes it painful to pull reports due to disparate systems that house different data sets, you can solve this by utilizing an engine to feed the needed data to a location that makes this easier. That location could be another system that parses the data for you, or by setting up a way to parse it yourself. There are countless data points that could be of interest in the HL7 messaging that is flowing through your system, and that is probably only a subset of the total amount of data being transmitted. The goal is to find the points you wish to measure and start doing it.
With Summit Healthcare’s integration platform, Summit Exchange, gaining control of your data has never been easier. With support for all major connection protocols, and extensibility built in for developers, data can be transformed to meet the reporting needs of any system. Integration doesn’t need to be the only goal in today’s data driven world. Make the gathering of good data a driver for ensuring quality of care and increasing value to the communities that support your operations.