How Are You Handling Healthcare Data Integration
Data is the backbone of any industry, including healthcare, but the sensitivity of data collected, stored, accessed and shared by healthcare providers makes it a complex field to navigate.
The need to share sensitive patient data at a moment’s notice while keeping it fully protected makes the ability to secure this information vital to the entire care continuum.
Data in healthcare needs to be easily accessible to different professionals in the care network, but many barriers can get in the way of information transfer and access, and seriously impact the quality of patient care.
How can your organization keep data both safe and accessible for optimal patient outcomes? The answer is by implementing a data integration platform that provides a central location for data storage and accessibility.
Introducing Integration as a Service (IaaS)
Integrating health data from multiple sources and consolidating it in a centralized hub can make it easier for you and other healthcare providers to coordinate patient care, maximize revenues while protecting patient privacy, and maintain regulatory compliance.
You may already have an enterprise service bus (ESB) that you use to manage data vertically within your organization. While an ESB manages traffic inside your system, IaaS can help manage traffic between various SaaS applications, facilitating multiple integration scenarios and making it possible for your organization to access and share information with many other databases.
Regional Healthcare Systems
Integration as a Service provides you with a comprehensive data set. This puts your group or network in a stronger position when negotiating with payers and service providers, and allows you to make more informed decisions.
IaaS also facilitates smoother coordination of care between different providers, empowering them to achieve superior patient outcomes. Better patient experiences lead to higher levels of patient satisfaction, a critical factor in reimbursement rates.
Your integration solution is also the foundation that supports a successful Clinically Integrated Network (CIN). Incorrect, incomplete or mismanaged data can wreak havoc on population health management, business processes like analytics and decision making, as well as networking efforts such as referral systems.
Choosing the right IaaS vendor and implementing a robust cloud integration solution is key to creating a data management system that can support an enterprise-grade health network.
The Benefits of Integrated Healthcare Systems
Having the right integrated healthcare solutions can be critical for your overall operations. Today, patients are monitoring their own health with electronic devices, accessing data and inputting data from multiple places. Centralized management is increasingly vital as you process data from the office, online and through remote devices. You need the tools to securely manage information transfer and coordinate access to all involved parties.
With IaaS, you can streamline your data management processes and equip your organization to better support community-wide health. Take advantage of these key benefits of integrated healthcare systems:
- Comprehensive views of patient health: Using IaaS gives you a full view of your individual patient’s EHR. From medical history to end-of-life decisions, this solution helps you stay on track with unique needs and care plans.
- Rapid processing: When healthcare providers or emergency medical personnel need to make rapid decisions about patient care, the accessibility of medical information through integrated healthcare systems can save lives.
- Increased medical care access: Improving accessibility is an ongoing mission for many practices. IaaS provides access to resources and data analytics to patients who live in rural areas or cannot come to your practice in person.
- Optimized macro analysis: When medical professionals need to evaluate health data at a macro level — to identify trends and prevent the spread of disease, for example — IaaS is a vital tool. It facilitates a full view of patient data and supports timely, accurate analytics.
ETL Solutions in Healthcare
Extract, transform and load (ETL) is a three-phase data integration process wherein data is taken from multiple sources, combined into a single data store and loaded into a data warehouse. ETL solutions clean and organize data through the following steps:
- Extract: Raw data is extracted and copied or exported from its original source location to a staging area.
- Transform: Once the data reaches the staging area, it undergoes data processing, where the raw data is transformed to fit its intended use.
- Load: Finally, the formatted data moves from the staging area to a targeted data warehouse.
Healthcare data extraction tools are used to replace one electronic health record with another and transform and load health data into the target data model. This process helps organizations execute patient data migration and medical data conversions with optimal integrity, turning raw information into actionable intelligence.
Our Data Extraction Tool
As healthcare data extraction experts, we have created an advanced ETL solution that extracts, migrates and stores clinical data from systems across the healthcare continuum with optimal integrity, including financial, clinical, administrative, inpatient and outpatient data systems. Our innovative tool is ideal for performing EMR data extraction for everything from hospitals to health systems to medical practices.
Happe-Xchange is our fully managed, cloud-based ETL solution designed to improve clinical data quality by extracting, cleansing, loading and integrating data seamlessly from EHR systems to a common data model. This data extraction tool is equipped with multiprotocol processing for cross-platform interoperability, along with data-mapping capabilities that enable users to cross-convert data messages through automatic processing. Happe-Xchange is also a split-feed solution with multichannel data delivery functions, which allow it to send health data from a single interface to multiple destinations.
When you consolidate data through Happe-Xchange, you can also benefit from the XSight connection and message monitoring dashboard, which enables users to gain a comprehensive view of connection and message statuses, empowering healthcare officials to identify any potential issues before they become major problems. Because this ETL solution is fully secured with end-to-end encryption, it facilitates highly secure transactions, keeping your clinical data safe.
Streamline Data Management
Providers treat hundreds of patients every day, and patients often see multiple doctors and specialists every year. Each patient has a unique medical history, requiring custom treatment and a deliberate combination of medications. Most of this crucial information is stored on paper within stacks, folders and filing cabinets in medical offices or patient homes.
These documents must then be scanned, faxed or mailed when patients see different doctors. Physical paperwork takes valuable time out of a provider’s day and is cumbersome, leaving room for human error.
Happe-Xchange strives to restructure your data management process. Our system effortlessly consolidates information into a single accessible cloud-based location for easy and thorough access to patient data. Communication between private providers and state or federal health information exchanges is crucial. This interaction increases transparency and facilitates a safer and more informed patient experience.
Providers decrease time spent sharing and manually entering data for a more efficient process and reduce the risk of missing forms or documents. They will also be free to devote more energy to value-added activities, like face-to-face connections with their patients. Having a comprehensive EHR and additional time to investigate, allows doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to better analyze patient histories, offer accurate diagnoses and supply informed treatment strategies.
Accurately Manage Clinical Orders
Aside from effectively treating patients, healthcare organizations are responsible for managing, tracking and monitoring various orders, such as:
- Medication prescriptions
- Laboratory tests
- Treatment plans
Happe-Xchange enables medical professionals to oversee clinical orders across various providers with confidence. This healthcare data-sharing solution helps you ensure all orders are accurate and complete, leading to better care coordination between each patient’s provider. Clear oversight decreases the chance of duplicate orders or repeat testing, which wastes time and costs your group money. Blood tests or X-rays conducted within one facility can be received, viewed and analyzed by another, increasing service speed and preserving their budget.
The Steps to Complete Data Integration
Employer Health Networks, High-Value Networks and CINs all need to share data. If everyone participating in these networks used the same data management system, such as Electronic Health Records (EHR), then data delivery and sharing would be straightforward.
Of course, this is rarely the case. One region can have multiple systems in place across dozens of individual practices, facilities and networks. However, a multitude of data sources and systems does not mean system integration capability is out of reach. You simply need a plan and a supportive IaaS provider.
Choosing the right IaaS tool for healthcare starts with a good hard look at your current data integration and your long-term goals.
The current data integration status
Evaluate your existing data and the system you are using to manage it. Ask the following questions as your review and organize your data and select an IaaS:
- What data is available?
- What data is needed?
- Is your existing data complete?
- Do you have duplicate data?
- How is data utilized inside and outside your organization?
- Are you currently using a cloud application for data management?
- Where are the pain points in your current data integration flow?
A complete inventory of the data you are currently storing will allow you to identify where you are overloaded on irrelevant data (which can be deleted to free up space and reduce threat exposure.) It can also highlight where gaps exist in your datasets, which should be filled in to streamline workflows and deliver an optimized patient experience.
Enterprise Healthcare Integration as a Service Goals
Create a list of goals to be achieved with IaaS cloud integration. Common enterprise integration goals include:
- Lowering operational costs
- Reducing patient care costs
- Improving patient care
- Enhancing patient experiences
- Complying with regulatory demands
IaaS can help you mitigate resource costs across the board (time, money, people), provide the flexibility to add new connections and reduce the time it takes to get connected.
Items to Identify for Complete B2B Integration Solutions
For complete B2B integration between your practice, facility or group and anyone else with whom you will be sharing data, you will need to identify:
- All organizations that will be participating in the network
- The data collection system each participant currently uses
- Potential issues with existing network connections or cloud computing software
- Any API in use that could cause interference with application integration
Ideally, information requests and sharing will happen seamlessly between your practice, group or hospital and other providers in the area, including community health centers, laboratories, pharmacies and specialist practices, facilitating faster, more efficient processes across the board.
Developing a Data Strategy
Implement data monitoring to identify what information needs to be collected, and highlight any key value pairs. Your enterprise integration platform should be designed to standardize all data entering your system, whether it comes from a cloud app or a directly transmitted patient file from a referrer.
Eliminating incorrect or duplicated data is a critical aspect of any integrated data management system. Your IaaS solution should make it easy to develop and maintain a single point of truth when it comes to patient information.
Your IaaS vendor should be able to take the lead on how to design an efficient strategy for achieving your goals in compliance with HL7 — the international standards for the transfer of clinical and administrative data between the software used by healthcare professionals.
Even if you do not need a new integration system, you may be required to upgrade prebuilt connectors to conform to changing rules. Cloud-based applications for healthcare must support compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH).
The Best Time for Data Integration Is Now
A lack of technology integration could be harming your CIN. Unengaged patients, wasted resources and an overwhelming amount of useless data can negatively impact your bottom line. Having a modern integration service running can help with data security, monitoring and delivery through encryption and standardization.
At Tangible Solutions, we use Integration as a Service to do more than just transport data from point A to point B. We help you identify gaps in data and recommend or develop a solution to collect the missing information you need to improve internal processes. We also ensure that the data collected is accurate and secure so your patients are protected. Some common areas where IaaS can make major improvements include:
Lab Orders and Results
Between seeing a primary care physician, consulting a radiologist and going back to a specialist, there are often gaps in data from the EHR platform regarding lab results. Happe-Orders was developed to make sure data can be added to an order so that it is complete and can be processed by the reference lab. The same methods can be applied to medical equipment ordering and radiology interfacing to streamline the process and deliver the results in the way most convenient to providers and their patients.
Employer Sponsored Health Networks
More and more large employers are looking for ways to lower their expenses related to healthcare coverage for their employees. By adopting a self-sponsored network model made possible by IaaS, companies can exert greater control over their healthcare spend by building their own provider network.
Most medical practices lack the technical resources needed to set up a connection to a state registry. That is why we developed an IaaS solution where we handle the process of connecting to the registry and the file transfer validation, limiting the amount of technical expertise you need in order to achieve your objectives and improving time synchronization.
IaaS Solutions from Tangible Solutions
To build a geographically dispersed Clinically Integrated Network, one needs a technology partner that can not only provide guidance, but also design and install the necessary connections. Pushing incomplete data between systems is a detriment to all CINs no matter how large or small.
Integration as a Service from Tangible Solutions builds solutions to find and leverage the right data. Our IaaS offering is a complete solution to data integration and is the foundation for the clinically integrated networks we serve.