Develop Your Long-Term Integration Roadmap In our fourth and final step of our blog series, “4 Steps to Evaluating Your Interoperability Readiness”, we will explore what it takes to create a dynamic technology roadmap. At this point in our process, we’ve taken a pragmatic and fluid approach to preparing your organization for interoperability. There’s little question that developing a long-term integration roadmap is a process that requires juggling many moving parts. But it’s a process with a high-payoff for healthcare organizations. West Health Institute estimates that the benefit of interoperability and integration could be as much as $30 billion in healthcare savings. With that in mind, let’s review a few guiding principles that will help you build your long-term integration roadmap. Use Gained Insights to Your Advantage If you’ve already optimized API integrations within your system, you’ve likely acquired some insight into early successes and setbacks associated with integration. As you build your roadmap, these insights can serve as an initial guide to planning for the long-term success of interoperability. Analyze harvested data to create short-term and long-term goals for your technology roadmap. As we mentioned in our original post, you’ll want to ensure that your system integrations are all performing correctly. This proactive measure includes failure-testing and reporting, and on-going code updates to correct any issues. If you don’t have an existing outline to build your technology roadmap from, consider the one offered in this blog post by Perficient a great starting point. Remain Flexible and Forward-Thinking “Plan for roadblocks and detours by identifying all actionable alternatives and giving due consideration to each,” advises the authors of ‘5 Steps for Health System Integration’. Interoperability will be best-achieved if you consider it as a dynamic process, one that requires flexibility and foresight. While you may not anticipate every “detour,” you can indeed plan alternate routes. Organizations should update their roadmap regularly, taking into consideration the quickly changing healthcare landscape and updating their plan accordingly. Compliance issues and technology standards are ever-evolving. Pursue an Integration Platform Partnership Your organization may very well have the capability of developing an integration platform in-house, but with so many demands on IT departments (such as data security and data management), you may find it worth your time to seek out an iPaaS provider. You’ll want to be sure that the integration platform you invest in offers API technology that meets FHIR guidelines. You’ll also realize greater value from an integration platform provider that continues to manage the platform after integration and who will contribute to your fluid interoperability roadmap. This creates a more collaborative and well-rounded approach to system interoperability, opening up your organization to outside innovation-driven insights. If you do decide to write proprietary API code in-house, we suggest working in updated formats only. Spending time to write code for older, message-based formats is just a band-aid. As standards develop and technology improves, you’ll want your system to remain responsive to updated standards. Know Your Key Objectives It’s helpful to understand what you’re striving for when building a technology roadmap for IT integration. Key objectives can be summarized into three points. These are:
- Aiming for synergy as quickly as possible (to realize greater cost savings, swiftness is key)
- Plan ahead to eliminate errors so that your launch day does not interrupt business flow
- Adequately prepare and train key stakeholders so that the impact on workflow and experience is minimal
Seth Hobgood is CTO at Interoptex.