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.
There has been a lot of ink spilled in the last few years about the problem of interoperability in healthcare. Put simply, we struggle to connect various Health IT systems to each other in effective and user-friendly ways. This struggle with healthcare interoperability has become particularly apparent (and painful) when it comes to electronic medical records (EMRs). For the most part, EMR software does not play well with others.