Rhapsody works with 47 of the 50 state health departments. During a recent webinar, we asked attendees (our public health customers) to rank their top three pain points related to interoperability:
- Lack of resources to implement required integrations. Customers ranked this issue above lack of budget, which didn’t even make the top three. Staff are overextended and time is in short supply — especially if staff need to acquire new skills to complete interoperability work.
- Rapidly changing priorities and organizational objectives. With the pandemic, the need to pivot quickly is more important than ever — and having flexible partners and technology helps.
- Lack of consistent exchange formats from trading partners. Many providers and labs accurately perceive public health reporting as an unfunded mandate. As a result, they submit their data in many different formats. Some smaller organizations still prefer to fax paper-based reports.
APIs are top of mind
In a separate poll, three-quarters of attendees responded that they were integrating with external or internal APIs. Heathcare API work can be time-consuming, especially since FHIR APIs aren’t a silver bullet for interoperability. Many healthcare IT systems rely on versions of HL7 that predate FHIR, so it remains important to interconnect across a variety of standards. We empathize with this, and we’re committed to ensuring our solutions continue to help simplify these types of transformations.
More and better interoperability
As public health agencies navigate interoperability complexities, we are here to help. We’re investing in new capabilities for Rhapsody Integration Engine and strengthening partnerships that benefit public health data initiatives. Our approach to interoperability is to make the hard things easy and the easy things automated.
We collaborate with our customers so they can overcome interoperability pain points, using the following strategies:
1. Stay ahead of FHIR
We hear you, public health agencies! We know many of you are integrating data in HL7 v2 and FHIR JSON. We’ve made it turnkey to map back and forth between both standards.
If you want to learn even more about using FHIR APIs with Rhapsody, our training enables you to pursue new FHIR use cases. Look for a packaged offering soon — or reach out to your Account Manager now if you’d like to learn more, and we’ll get you going.
2. Deploy APIs to capture EHR data
Many organizations would like to surface data directly out of electronic health record systems via APIs. We’re bringing this functionality to Rhapsody through our recent acquisition of Datica’s Emissary® product. This seamless, API-based exchange will enable providers to share data more easily with public health organizations.
3. Pivot quickly with small teams
Finding time to upgrade Rhapsody in the middle of a pandemic is a challenge. We hear you and are introducing new automated tools within Rhapsody that halve the time needed for upgrades. Expect more continuous product enhancements from us. Our Health Check service also helps developers review their existing engine configuration and make improvements before upgrading. When teams work remotely, new UX features will make it easier to work across staging and production environments.
4. Solve quality issues with incoming data
While increasing data exchange, many public health teams have been challenged by the quality of data they’re receiving — such as missing contact information from lab tests. Rhapsody health solutions users can improve person data quality through a pre-built connector to Rhapsody EMPI.
5. Tap interoperability expertise
Given the demands on public health during the pandemic, some public health customers turned to Rhapsody health solutions for additional value-added services. To help them be even more agile, we are managing Rhapsody as a service for them. We handle the incoming interoperability projects and urgent requests, freeing up your teams for other priorities.
Better data intelligence and metrics
The next step beyond better data exchange is greater insight across health data. We’re inviting you, our public health customers, to partner with us on new data intelligence initiatives. Our goal is to analyze data that’s already stored within information systems, so organizations can measure success, promote health equity, and improve community health.