Top Healthcare Software Developer Creates Interoperable Portal to Help Physicians Make Timely, Informed Decisions for Patient Care
The client is a provider of the healthcare industry’s most comprehensive suite of consumer experience platforms. Its integrated software is used by payers and providers to positively impact consumer decision-making and health behaviors beyond the care setting through personalized, interactive engagement across multiple channels. Its products include a healthcare customer relationship management system, an enterprise health content management system, an enterprise patient portal and comprehensive care management technology. The company has helped more than 1,100 provider organizations influence consumers in a way that transforms financial and quality of care outcomes.
One of the client’s signature products is a web-based clinical portal used by physicians to access vital patient information stored across disparate, federated health information systems. Timely access to this data provides physicians with the insight they need to make faster, more informed decisions about how to diagnose and treat individual patients.
One of the selling points of the platform is its single sign-in that allows physicians to log into the portal and obtain a secure, comprehensive and real-time view of a patient’s health records, including information on allergies, medications, past hospitalizations, blood banks and more.
To retrieve this data, which is geographically dispersed between multiple electronic health records (EHRs), laboratory systems and other backend systems, and provide physicians with a unified view of the disparate information, the client needed to integrate patient records in the portal with more than 30 HIS systems. The multiple integration points and EHRs vendors that existed across these systems complicated this process, hampering the free flow of information and resulting in inconsistencies in the data exchanged. This caused patient records to be marred by missing data, duplicate records, gaps in treatment plans and inaccuracies—all of which had the potential to put patients at even greater risk if not corrected.
In 2015, the client enlisted emids’ help to solve these integration-related challenges. We brought broad clinical and technical expertise to the engagement, including knowledge in:
- Clinical systems and applications architecture
- Data quality and governance
- Master data management
- Interface architecture, including standards-based frameworks such as HL7 and FHIR
- Semantic interoperability
We conducted an in-depth study of the databases, schemas and data semantics used by the two primary EHR systems used—to deepen our understanding how to extract data from these systems. Then we built customized connectivity adapters for each HIS system, which included lab, pharmacy, radiology, transcription, imaging and admissions systems, to aggregate, normalize and harmonize clinical and patient data flowing between each source system and the portal. Adapters were both batch and real-time as well as bi-directional, sending out data as JSON and XML.
Interface engines, built on a Java/Spring/Hibernate framework that could be quickly configured and extended, provided secure exchange points between adapters, routing data back and forth between each HIS system and the portal as indicated in Figure 1.
- Mirth Connect 3.2
While our work with both of these engagements are ongoing, we have helped the client meet their initial deadlines for bringing these projects to fruition and transforming them from concepts into viable technologies ready for the first phase of internal testing. Our team of healthcare experience technologists, which included 50 people at peak, jumped into both projects quickly and have added value uniformly and quickly.
We understood what needed to be built to execute the projects and assembled teams with deep healthcare knowledge to help drive their development. With the population health project, we worked closely with the client to flesh out the engineering for the product and set its direction. We helped anticipate and resolve issues before they became problems, even taking the initiative to collaborate with the third-party analytics provider that came on board to keep the engagement proceeding smoothly. The client still raves about how the initial prototype of the product matched their vision and met their needs right out of the gate.
We have continued to deliver new functionality for these projects, overseeing production releases every two weeks. The NLP tool we are developing for the client has enabled them to quickly explore the impact of different scenarios for coding by changing the rules for the automatic capture of clinical data. This process used to take days, but we have helped the client shorten the turnaround to few hours.