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The Pain of All Health Tech Vendors – Interoperability

Published June 25, 2019.

Interoperability has long been a challenge throughout the healthcare industry. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s 2018 Report to Congress identified six reasons why interoperability still plagues health organizations and health IT providers:

  1. Technical barriers stemming from a lack of data quality and development standards
  2. Financial hurdles encompassing IT development and implementation
  3. Trust issues restricting patient data from moving across different networks
  4. Administrative and billing requirements that lead to outdated IT guidelines
  5. Federal reporting requirements for irrelevant and unnecessary quality measures
  6. Lack of alignment between clinical workflows and user-interface designs

With healthcare providers backing up their Brinks trucks to invest in new IT systems and services, interoperability between different platforms will be even more important in the years ahead. A MarketsandMarkets report projects the global healthcare IT industry to experience rapid growth in the near future, with investments in IT solutions and services increasing from approximately $188 billion in 2019 to nearly $391 billion by 2024.

Healthcare providers will contribute to the fastest-growing healthcare IT market segment during this timeframe, and these organizations will increase their IT product and services spending to:

  • Establish integrated healthcare systems
  • Keep pace with evolving and strict regulations
  • Improve both patients’ safety and overall care

Although technology infused into the healthcare ecosystem has driven innovation and transformed providers’ continuity of care across their networks, the implementation of new solutions and services has also resulted in various challenges that vendors must address in what’s becoming a more complicated healthcare environment.

Multi-Layered Problems

Large health networks with different hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities may be operating numerous data-driven systems to manage patient care. Given that technology’s place within the healthcare industry is only intensifying, vendors can’t just help health organizations solve a single problem; this is only the first step in supporting customers’ robust ecosystems. The real challenge ahead will be helping health providers scale to incorporate all of these different solutions across all of their locations.

When health systems evaluate new vendors, the first question they ask is whether the solution integrates with the likes of Epic, Cerner, and other electronic medical records (EMRs), which are the base requirements for any healthcare applications that deal with patient data in today’s healthcare industry.

If you’re a health technology vendor, you likely offered standard HL7 and application programming interfaces (APIs) to your first batch of customers. But if you tried scaling to a large integrated delivery network, you likely witnessed multiple versions of the same EMRs, a mixed environment of different EMR providers, or even requests to map homegrown systems you’ve never seen before. And before you knew it, there was a pipeline of requests coming through that your team had to address one at a time, not only affecting current implementations, but impacting your line of customers in waiting.  

Interoperability in Healthcare Made Easier

If you’re a health technology vendor, interoperability will define the health spectrum for the foreseeable future, and your company will have to ensure your customers’ systems integrate seamlessly across a growing and more complex ecosystem. When done well, interoperability can quickly help your company meet your customers’ demands and accelerate your time to market, key factors that can lead to a competitive advantage in a lucrative industry set to more than double by 2024.

Scalability will be essential to your company’s success in this vertical, and there are platforms that available that are fully managed through the cloud and manage all systems integrations from one place to support this need. While most providers offer just a platform for integration, Accreon’s Health Cloud is a fully managed Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) that combines platform, services, and expertise to help your business build the bridge needed to integrate your solutions with customers’ diverse healthcare technologies, connecting data across the entire health-related spectrum.

The Accreon Health Cloud also delivers predictable costs and includes customized implementation, maintenance, and support services, freeing your teams from handling integrations on their own, so they can focus on your core business instead.

Learn how Accreon can help your business deliver interoperability across your customers’ health environments today.