EHR Integration Supercharges eCommerce for Health Care

Two industry innovators team up to deliver new value

EHR Integration Supercharges eCommerce for Health Care

Two industry innovators team up to deliver new value

Sansoro is like the Rosetta Stone for software apps…any company looking to interface with EHRs won’t find a more competent and reliable partner than Sansoro Health.

— Gary Paquin, Executive VP, iRemedy

Case Study Overview

When iRemedy was hired to build an e-commerce system for a large health care network, they knew they were in for an integration challenge.

iRemedy’s unique technology enables them to build turnkey, patient-facing e-commerce and supply demand systems for hospitals and medical practices. Patient medical records and other clinical information can be harnessed to drive the selection, purchase and delivery of medical supplies.

eCommerce for health care promises many benefits. Patients gain convenient access to well-priced, over-the-counter health care products and services recommended by their providers. Providers benefit too: in addition to the potential for improved patient outcomes, health systems can reduce their costs and create new revenue streams.

Recently, a large, non-profit health care network in the Midwest engaged iRemedy to provide an automated e-commerce platform. The network relies primarily on a single EHR system and had grown to include more than 100 locations in the region including acute care hospitals, physician practices, long-term care, and outpatient facilities and home health services.

As the network grew, so did its data system linking computer systems, as acquired entities were incorporated into the network over the years. The result was a complex legacy EHR system that was functional, but only supported limited data exchange with applications like iRemedy’s e-commerce platform.

EMR Integration: 

 

The Integration Challenge

With its platform installed, iRemedy faced the challenge of interoperating with the health system’s EHR. “The problem was really quite significant,” says Gary Paquin, co-founder and Executive VP of iRemedy. “A stand-alone app may run perfectly but when you want to interface with a third-party system, particularly a highly complicated one like an EHR, it’s not easy to access the data you need.”

To be effective, the iRemedy platform would need to communicate with the EHR in real-time. “Physicians are busy people,” Paquin explains. “We can’t expect them to leave an EHR workflow and log into another software to find what they’re looking for or go to the trouble of re-entering patient data. If the user experience isn’t seamless and simple, we’ll lose them.”

Paquin knew that building and deploying a legacy interface for integration using traditional custom HL7 technology would take months. And ultimately, it would not provide state-of-the-art data exchange. “That’s why we decided to partner with Sansoro Health,” Paquin explains. “API integration of health care data is Sansoro’s core expertise, and we knew they could deploy very quickly.” iRemedy relies on having a rich profile of patients and their current health needs. “We avoid offering the wrong kinds of EHR data, which could impact clinical care or otherwise be inappropriate for specific patients.”

The Solution

Emissary®, Sansoro’s API integration solution, allows health care information to be exchanged securely across EHR platforms. Emissary’s universal API provides a “one and done” approach to EHR integration that deploys and scales rapidly with minimal impact on busy health IT staff. This is precisely the integration iRemedy needed to interoperate with a complex EHR system.

“Sansoro is like the Rosetta Stone for software apps,” Paquin says. “It gives us the ability to communicate with all kinds of different systems. This is a critically important partnership, a skill set that’s absolutely required for any third-party software company or app to work with EHR data.”

“Two-way communication with our client’s EHR will open up thousands of new ways for iRemedy to use the data,” Paquin continues, “elaborating on the next planned stage of this project which will include putting information back into the EHR as well.” For example, suppose we want to access all patients who have been advised to purchase a CPAP machine for sleep disorders. We need to find the patients’ records that include CPAP recommendations, suggest equipment their physicians will approve and report purchases back into the EHR system. This can have a very positive impact on patient health.”

“Emissary required minimal time from our IT staff and was delivered without any need to build an HL7 interface,”

— Gary Paquin, Executive VP, iRemedy

Results

Before collaborating with Sansoro Health to deploy robust integration, iRemedy end-users dealt with two systems running in parallel that were unable to exchange information in a meaningful way. iRemedy leveraged Emissary to integrate its existing e-commerce platform into its client’s EHR, creating an automatic exchange of data and a seamless user experience.

“Sansoro Health made the process of converting and deploying our platform very straightforward and easy,” Paquin reports. “Emissary required minimal time from our IT staff and was delivered without any need to build an HL7 interface,” Paquin points out. “Their deployment was done in a single phase; they had the API integration up and running in about 3 weeks.”

Paquin has high praise for Emissary. “Not once in the installation process did Sansoro report a single glitch or holdup. Any company looking to interface with EHRs won’t find a more competent and reliable partner than Sansoro,” he says.

 

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