Rhapsody Health Solutions Team

Constant Change: Health IT in Search for a Bridge Over Troubled Water

Flexibility interface
Change is a constant in health IT. Team members retire. Staff turns over. Hospital leadership decides to install a new EHR. Relationships with existing software application vendors sour. In the midst of all this, the integration platform must bind together several disparate systems and seamlessly propagate patient data throughout the care facility. That responsibility never changes!

For years the interface team has solved and maintained myriad integration challenges. Surrounded by institutional change, the interface engine has remained solid and reliable, but static. It is now apparent that it is time to modernize your interface engine. Operational costs are escalating due to changing vendor relationships. With retirements looming for long-term employees, interface engine specialists are becoming rare and expensive. You may be forced to recruit personnel from the ranks of consultants who market their specialized integration skills.

Just considering replacing an incumbent engine raises genuine concerns. The legacy platform has several man years invested in keeping interfaces and the engine running smoothly. Patient message workflow is defined and processed through various, and sometimes obscure, programming scripts. Complicating matters, many of these programming scripts are so laden with input parameters that interpreting the logic is no simple task. Any replacement engine has to provide at least the same level of runtime reliability, while providing the flexibility to solve all of the integration challenges encountered in healthcare.

Acknowledging the premise that updating the engine is a reasonable proposal, what can Corepoint Integration Engine promise that alleviates these concerns? Is there reason to be skeptical?

You can build interfaces without writing computer code, or writing programming script.

Flexibility interfaceThe challenge in maintaining legacy engines is buried in the programming code used to develop the interfaces. As staff changes and new team members are trained to oversee long-term existing interfaces, an immediate challenge is, “How do I learn how the previous person wrote these interfaces?” Experienced and talented programmers can bind interface logic in intricate or obscure code.

Now take those same talented programmers and provide them with an interface editor that clarifies interface logic. Regardless of who is maintaining or modifying interfaces, the develop environment and workflow process is standardized. Long-term maintenance is simplified, and reliance on specialized talent or consultants is reduced.

In addition to all of this, Corepoint Integration Engine will automatically generate interface documentation through a simple, one click user gesture. Guaranteed to be 100% accurate as the documentation is generated from the production engine which stores all of the interface definitions. Documentation improves communication between team members. Clear communication improves the maintenance tasks inherent in managing an interface engine.

You don’t give up flexibility by reducing reliance on programming code or scripts.

Not writing scripts or programming code does not impede the ability to develop really complex interfaces. All of the skills used and developed by programmers still apply directly to interface development in Corepoint Integration Engine, but the application of those skills is different.

Historically, changing interface engines meant learning a new programming language imposed by the vendor of the new product – Tcl to Monk, or Monk to Java. Learning new languages takes time! Developing that new language skill into mature talent takes longer still. Meanwhile you have interfaces to build. Corepoint Integration Engine changes the paradigm by providing a normalized editor offering strong programming features without using a programming language.

You can reduce the amount of time spent on interface development and deployment.

Corepoint Integration Engine users adopt a “develop, test, deploy, and monitor” workflow to interface development and deployment; an overlapping set of interface project steps that maximizes developer productivity and reduces time and effort spent in the project.

A central principle behind the interface development philosophy of Corepoint Health is test your work. Corepoint Integration Engine contains multiple layers of user-empowering unit testing. There are 52 interactive interface development test dialogs weaved seamlessly into the various configuration screens that define Corepoint Integration Engine interfaces. Each phase of interface development is supported by full graphical unit testing. Test dialogs are included as part of the user workflow during interface configuration. “Small steps” testing eases the effort behind interface debugging and significantly improves the speed of interface development.

You can build your interface team from a broader spectrum of people.

Corepoint Integration Engine is designed so that application analysts and programmers can effectively configure, test, deploy, and support interfaces quickly, completely, and productively. A knowledgeable healthcare analyst with a solid understanding of clinical workflow is an excellent candidate for the role of interface developer/analyst using Corepoint Integration Engine.

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