Calculate Your ROI with APIs

Calculate Your ROI with APIs

Every day we hear stories of rising healthcare costs. What if a solution could drive cost savings and add value? Following my previous Black Friday blog post and continuing the trend of holiday deals and specials, we’re excited to announce the release of our new ROI calculator. This calculator estimates the total cost savings innovative digital health companies can realize for both themselves and their customers when switching from legacy integration solutions (such as HL7 and extracts) to Emissary®, our proven application programming interface (API) solution.

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This Black Friday: Skip the Long Lines & Start Saving Now

This Black Friday: Skip the Long Lines & Start Saving Now

Black Friday is an exciting time of year, as we look forward to saving money on the newest technology. Chances are the new toys you’re buying – smart TVs, wireless headphones and Amazon Echos, to name a few— are on your list because they are easy to use. We expect these devices to seamlessly integrate with one another without having to worry about frustrating connectivity issues. In a few steps, I can configure my Echo to turn off and on lights, order a pizza or even water the garden. 

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MIPS & The Prevention of Information Blocking

MIPS & The Prevention of Information Blocking

The title may not be very sexy, but the content and direction of CMS’s latest fact sheet on information blocking should grab everyone’s attention. As the fact sheet makes clear, in order to qualify for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), eligible clinicians must attest that they have not knowingly and willfully limited or restricted the compatibility or interoperability of their certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. The fact sheet specifically calls out technical, policy and workflow decisions as the keys to meeting the requirement and, by implication, the ways that providers and EMR vendors might fail to show “good faith efforts” to meet these requirements.

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Securely Transfer Data and Simplify Interoperability With APIs

Securely Transfer Data and Simplify Interoperability With APIs

As discussed by my colleague, Dave Levin MD, in his recent blog post, Liberate Applications with API-Based EMR Integration, application programming interfaces (APIs) allow seamless data exchange and integration into clinical workflows. APIs provide robust, EMR-agnostic integration that rapidly deploy and can quickly evolve. While APIs have many benefits, they also provide additional security for health systems and protection of patient privacy.

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No (Useful) Innovation without EMR Integration

No (Useful) Innovation without EMR Integration

A recent Healthcare IT News article highlighted John Halamka, MD, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and his discussion of the need for personalized treatment plans. Halamka suggests we must integrate care planning and clinical pathways tools with EHRs, and that FHIR services can enable connections with these third-party applications. He notes this will "reduce errors and cost, include appropriate peer-rated evidence and result in clear action for the care team."

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Referral Management - New Solutions for a Perennial Challenge

Referral Management - New Solutions for a Perennial Challenge

Work in healthcare long enough and you start see certain issues as perennial favorites. There are two factors that contribute to the “popularity” of these kinds of “favorites.” First, they are important clinically or financially, or both. Second, they include stubborn problems that are resistant to change. Ask a seasoned healthcare veteran and they can probably reel off a series of them.

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Liberate Applications with API-based EMR Integration

Liberate Applications with API-based EMR Integration

My journey into the world of API-based EMR integration began while serving as the CMIO for the Cleveland Clinic. One of our crazy-smart clinicians had developed a terrific little application to help doctors manage the dosing of heparin, a widely-used, powerful and dangerous blood thinner. Managing heparin can be a real challenge since each patient responds in different and changing ways over time. Give too much and you can seriously injure or kill a patient. Give too little and the drug won’t work – which can also lead to injury or death. This heparin dosing calculator was just what the doctor ordered.

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Leveraging APIs to Make Health IT Disappear (Edge of CIN - Part 3)

Leveraging APIs to Make Health IT Disappear (Edge of CIN - Part 3)

The transition from fee-for-service to value-based care (VBC) continues to accelerate. Some studies predict that VBC will represent 50% of all reimbursement to providers by 2018. Linking medical outcomes to payment aligns incentives in ways that reward providers for pursuing higher levels of efficiency, clinical efficacy and patient satisfaction. 

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Interoperability Hits Home

Interoperability Hits Home

I didn’t know it at the time, but just this year a family member of mine faced serious health complications because of an interoperability challenge. Fortunately, Julie (not her real name), faced no serious consequences. She’s doing well, back into her typical active routine. But, Julie endured a frustrating experience while in the hospital for two days following a routine procedure. While she was hospitalized, a basic information gap impeded high quality patient care. This makes our work at Sansoro Health hit even closer to home.

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Why Single EMR Platform Strategies Fail

Why Single EMR Platform Strategies Fail

Over the last decade, U.S. health care providers made enormous investments in electronic medical records (EMRs). Given the scale of this investment and the ever-increasing pressure to do more with less, many have pursued a strategy of widely deploying a single, uniform EMR and leveraging it for as many uses as possible. It’s a logical and sound strategy as far as it goes, but it only goes so far.

It turns out there are significant limitations to the “One Platform” EMR strategy that often result in major gaps in IT performance and coverage. The good news is that, while these gaps are inevitable, application programming interfaces (APIs) go a long way towards closing them.

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APIs: An Essential Element of VA-DoD Innovation

APIs: An Essential Element of VA-DoD Innovation

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs selection of the same EMR used by the Department of Defense has the potential to reduce fragmentation and enhance care. But, simply picking the same EMR will not be enough. Part I of this series looked at EMR-to-EMR data exchange and health records portability. In Part II, we look at the need for specialized, advanced digital health applications, how robust integration can unleash the real value of EMRs and why both are essential to building the military health and civilian health systems of the future.

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APIs: A Key Weapon in Winning VA-DoD Interoperability

APIs: A Key Weapon in Winning VA-DoD Interoperability

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs selection of the same EMR used by the Department of Defense has the potential to reduce fragmentation of patient records and enhance care. But, simply picking the same EMR will not be enough. In this multi-part series, we examine the role that robust interoperability must play in unleashing the value of EMRs and fulfilling the promise of better health for our military service members and their dependents. We also look at how these same lessons apply to civilian health systems.

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A Tale of Two (Future) Hospitals

A Tale of Two (Future) Hospitals

Recently, I was asked, “What will the hospital of the future look like?” I believe we will see two types, that they are already beginning to take shape, and that these changes are being driven by the shift to value-based care, an increased emphasis on patients as consumers and the emergence of the next generation of information technology.

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PAX East: Thoughts on Gamification for Healthcare

PAX East: Thoughts on Gamification for Healthcare

I’m not a gamer myself but I have spawned a few. Recently my oldest son invited me to go with him to PAX East, one of the largest gaming conventions in the world. Thus, I came to find myself standing in line on a bitterly cold Saturday morning in Boston with tens of thousands of others waiting to enter the Boston Convention and Expo Center.

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AI Now? Really?

AI Now? Really?

Once again, I am failing Fitzgerald’s test of first-rate intelligence.  It happens frequently. This week the cause is Artificial Intelligence (AI) for healthcare. I blame HIMSS 2017.

HIMSS always has three types of topics: Perennial Favorites, Freak-outs and the Next Big Thing. Perennial favorites are the usual suspects like population health, interoperability, analytics, telehealth and rev-cycle optimization. Freak-outs are the annual “big scary thing we all need to freak out about immediately.” This year it was cybersecurity and the freak out seems mostly justified and a bit overdue. Lastly, we have the coveted “Next Big Thing” or NBT. NBT is always transformational and will “change everything.” It’s bright and shiny and it’s coming “real soon.” NBT often involves a black box that most of us can’t really understand and requires a high degree of trust in the domain experts. For 2017, it’s AI for healthcare – specifically the near-term application of AI as an independent actor when it comes to diagnosis and treatment.

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The Industrialization of Health IT

The Industrialization of Health IT

I was talking with a colleague recently about interoperability when he casually remarked that healthcare IT (HIT) is emerging from the preindustrial age and that Application Program Interfaces (APIs) and web services will industrialize data exchange. He made the case that APIs are revolutionizing healthcare in the same way that the adoption of interchangeable parts transformed manufacturing, economies and the world. It’s a brilliant analogy.

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Sacred Spaces

Sacred Spaces

My former Cleveland Clinic colleague Mikkael Sekeres, M.D. is both an outstanding oncologist and an exceptional writer. He recently penned this piece in the New York times. It’s a moving description of an encounter he had with a young oncology patient and his pregnant wifeIt’s a terrific read that gives one a deeper appreciation of the clinical and personal meaning of this episode of care. Perhaps you have had similar experiences as a patient or, like me, as both a patient and in the role of caring health professional.  

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Tired of hearing “NO!” When Trying to Access Healthcare Data

Tired of hearing “NO!” When Trying to Access Healthcare Data? 4 Questions You Must Ask Before Your Next EMR Integration

We’ve been told that we cannot have real-time EMR integration in healthcare. And to sit tight and wait for FHIR or the promise of future technology to mature. We are here to tell you that you can have access to all of your data and you can have it now.

Ask your integration partner these four questions and then call us to learn how we are doing it today. 

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The Return of Best of Breed in Healthcare. A CTO’s Perspective.

The Return of Best of Breed in Healthcare. A CTO’s Perspective.

We have the ability to improve healthcare interoperability through the use of existing technology. But we are not using it, why?  

When I started my healthcare IT career in 1998, most healthcare organizations selected vendor applications based on which one provided the best workflow solution for their staff at the best price and value. This “best of breed” approach gave very little consideration to EMR integration or the challenge of sharing information between the vendor solution and the core EMR. Then, in a rapid shift, the healthcare industry swung the pendulum to selecting a “vendor of choice” for not only the core EMR but for all related applications. But in this current environment, we find ourselves with the inability to easily integrate 3rd party vendor solutions with the EMR and therefore data is trapped and innovation is stifled.

Did we swing the pendulum too far?

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