GlobalMed recently announced that it is delivering FHIR-enabled integration to address interoperability limits between virtual care delivery solutions and other systems such as EHRs and practice management software. While others have dubbed FHIR a golden ticket, there are undoubtedly challenges associated with its use, deployment, and management that must be solved if it is to fulfill its role in the transformation of healthcare delivery. GlobalMed is proud to introduce Dynamic Integration Management Service (DIMS), a solution designed to dramatically reduce the integration management costs between FHIR-enabled systems. With FHIR-enabled integration powered by DIMS, data collected during a virtual care encounter is no longer siloed between healthcare delivery ecosystems.
The Perilous Dance of Integration Management
As the old saying goes, “it takes two to tango.” But when the rhythm changes, the dance partners may struggle to pick up the new beat.
This same effect applies to integration. When two or more systems link via a programming interface, the dynamic environments in which these systems operate can be the source of disruptive change. Over time, reacting to these changes can be costly. In the context of maintaining the operationality of an integrated system, the value of solutions that identify and proactively address state, configuration, or availability changes between interfaces cannot be understated.
When basing the interconnectivity between endpoints on a novel, standards-based protocol such as FHIR, the likelihood that the systems themselves will change over time increases significantly. For example, as new approaches to care delivery inspire changes to the FHIR standard, the parent system using the protocol (such as an EHR) must be updated to account for the new informatics paradigm. If the parent changes, what happens to the other systems that integrate, such as a practice management or virtual care platform? How do they account for the new interfaces that must be available as changes are introduced?
Often, there is manual intervention needed to account for changes to the parent system. Time and effort is invested to ensure that the two systems are in lockstep. This effort is typically realized through costly code changes or configuration updates – a central challenge associated with maintaining ongoing connectivity between systems. The problem is especially exacerbated in healthcare, where a lack of service line availability can impact patients. While the benefit of integrated solutions that combine value propositions is compelling, the business case erodes when servicing the integration itself becomes an ongoing cost center.
Slashing the Cost of Integration
Without DIMS, ongoing integration management expenses will be incurred by those who employ solutions that tout bi-directional communication utilizing the FHIR protocol. As its name suggests, DIMS is responsible for managing the integration of the GlobalMed’s eNcounter® healthcare delivery platform with other FHIR-enabled systems. Has your system changed its compatibility with FHIR versions and upgraded from STU2 to 3? Did it incorporate additional FHIR resources that allow it to ingest and share new categories of data that it couldn’t before? Rather than pay for development to align systems when changes like these are made, allow DIMS to fulfill its purpose and programmatically sync GlobalMed’s system with yours.
Adhering to a configurable schedule, DIMS creates a FHIR compatibility manifest by connecting with the target integration system (such as an EHR) and transmitting its compatibility state to the eNcounter platform. With the information in hand, eNcounter will configure itself so that it aligns with the unique FHIR implementation of its targeted host. In doing so, DIMS solves the headache of managing changing endpoints and provides a continuous flow of discrete, portable, and actionable health data.
The healthcare delivery landscape is sitting on the precipice of wholesale transformation that will fundamentally reshape our expectations about the care we receive as patients. The tailwind of favorable legislation and continuous innovation is driving organizations to adopt new care delivery models that feature technologies that require careful oversight to secure their cost-effectiveness. Organizations that form partnerships with experts in key innovation-driven knowledge domains will be better positioned to elevate the bar of care delivery and lead the rapid change currently underway. We at GlobalMed are honored to contribute to this evolution, and with solutions like DIMS, we aim to equip our partners with the resources they need to assume and retain their role as leaders in care delivery innovation.