Lynn Stoltz, Senior Product Manager

Outgrown IBM Initiate or another legacy EMPI? Time for a next-generation solution.

by Lynn Stoltz

Senior Product Manager in Strategy & Business Development, Rhapsody

The symptoms can be subtle and gradual:  

Growing maintenance and update costs with rigid deployment options 

✔ Difficulty connecting to new systems or increasing the number of records being processed 

✔ Limited ability to search patient records 

✔ Unresolved support issues 

✔ Growing costs for data stewardship resources 

The challenge of ensuring the accuracy of person data across your organization is only getting more complicated. While your current EMPI solution may have served you well initially, EMPI technology has advanced considerably over the last few years, and there are many benefits to considering more advanced solutions that can deliver immediate value to your organization and position you well for future growth.  

The state of identity data management: how are you performing? 

Interest in EMPI technology amongst providers is growing, and the need has never been clearer as organizations data sharing requirements have evolved to include entities like HIEs and public health. According to a recent survey1

  • On average, organizations spend 109.6 hours per week resolving patient identity issues.  
  • The average patient record duplication rate is 5.5%; 60% of organizations face duplication rates up to 8%.  
  • 70% of respondents agree or strongly agree that patients undergo or receive duplicative or unnecessary testing or services due to difficulties in managing patient identities. 
  • And a recent report2 by Kaufman Hall indicates that M&A activity has reached pre-pandemic levels, with 20 transactions occurring in Q2 2023. With these transactions comes the need to integrate patient rosters to achieve the desired ROI.  

How does this compare to your situation?  

Understand direct and indirect costs associated with an IBM Initiate or other outdated EMPI  

There are many reasons to explore what additional value next-generation EMPI solution can offer your organization. Some of this value is straightforward, while some is more difficult to measure—yet no less impactful. Consider the following areas when evaluating the value you’re getting from your EMPI solution. 

Reducing costs: manual data stewardship 

The limited capabilities and identity data resolution tools offered by some legacy (or application centered) solutions can not only result in an ever-growing data stewardship queue, but also significant costs.  

According to the same survey, over a third of organizations spend $1M+ on patient resolution annually—only 18% spend less than $250 thousand a year. And with a greater reliance on manual data stewardship than you would have with a next-generation EMPI, you will also have to consider hiring, training, and retention costs for your data stewards. 

Reducing costs: deployment flexibility 

Most next-generation EMPI solutions offer a variety of deployment options, including SaaS and managed service, that can reduce maintenance and infrastructure costs while better aligning with your overall infrastructure plans. As your organization adopts cloud data warehousing, cloud-based analytics, and moves data centers off premises, a cloud-based EMPI to replace your on-prem solution helps meet organizational goals for reducing operational complexity. 

Indirect costs: patient care and reimbursement  

Inaccurate records and persistently high duplicate patient rates can result in downstream cost to the organization, including the administration of duplicate tests and denied claims. 

According to a study by the Ponemon Institute, each duplicate record costs healthcare organizations over $1,950 per inpatient stay due to redundant medical tests and procedures. The same survey found that 33% of all denied claims were a result of poor patient matching, costing the average hospital $1.5m annually. On top of that, 50% to 65% of denied claims are never reworked.  

Indirect costs: patient attrition  

Competing for customers is more challenging than ever, and a poor experience with the organization—such as an incomplete online patient record or inaccurate bill—can lead to patient attrition.   

According to Accenture, 50% of consumers report that one bad digital experience with a healthcare provider ruins that entire experience. 63% of patients say they’ll switch healthcare providers if their payment experience doesn’t meet their expectations. And in 2020, 28% of patients switched providers because of a poor digital health experience.  

Indirect costs: IT and business inefficiency 

Churn and wasted time in IT are real when it comes to dealing with a vendor who doesn’t provide the solution or services you require. This extends past front-line product support by extends to maintenance, keeping pace with security requirements, and delivery of critical improvements to the product.  At the end of the day, you should not be spending more time patching and firefighting than you do delivering improvements to your stakeholders. 

Indirect costs: (many) others 

The potential financial impact doesn’t stop with care delivery, billing, and attrition. Poor identity data can impact initiatives across the organization, including:  

  • Data warehousing and analytics, including AI and ML initiatives  
  • Value-based care (VBC) contract execution  
  • Population health management  
  • Health equity programs  

IBM Initiate alternative: Why consider making the move to a next-generation EMPI 

Rhapsody EMPI was just given the top rank in a recent survey by Black Book of more than 900 hospitals and 4,000 physician practices. Rhapsody EMPI not only delivers the most powerful and comprehensive identity data resolution solution today, but also the experience and partnership required to ensure a successful transition. 

Reliable, proven, global support and services 

How responsive is your vendor? And if your solution has been developed in-house, how well does it keep pace with the needs of your organization? An inability to deliver the enhancements you need and support your team effectively is probably holding you back. With a #1 Black Book ranking, high NPS score, and best-in-KLAS culture, you can count on a partner dedicated to your success from the beginning. Rhapsody support and services use proven methodologies to ensure smooth migrations and maintain tight relationships to deliver the best outcomes. 

A purpose-built data stewardship workspace 

Next-generation EMPI solutions have been innovating to make the data stewardship process more efficient. You may be missing out—and spending unnecessarily in the process. Features like workflow automation and clear visibility to data lineage for better decision making comes standard with Rhapsody EMPI, all designed to reduce your burden. Without reliable data lineage, you can’t confidently know where you’ve shared data and with whom, creating risk. 

More data accuracy including SDOH integration, address verification technology 

New innovations have improved patient matching capabilities considerably— such as the use of machine learning, reference data, integrated address verification, integration with SDOH, even knowledge-based verification.  

Powerful, built-in best-of-breed integration 

Moving all integrations to your EMPI to a new EMPI is a daunting task. Adopting an EMPI that is accelerated by the inclusion of a best of breed integration engine, brings confidence to this task and accelerates time to value. Data reconciliation is only part of the challenge—you’ve got to ensure downstream systems have that information. Legacy EMPI solutions were not designed to operate in complex data ecosystems—and if accurate results don’t get delivered, what have you accomplished. This is where Rhapsody shines, with KLAS-leading integration and a more holistic approach to data quality and data exchange. Get up and running quickly by data onboarding via web services and get connected with ease to any data format you or your source system require. 

Scalability for growth and security for peace of mind 

Inflexible architecture may be holding back your ability to scale effectively, and your vendor’s attempts to meet your needs may be causing product instability. Next-generation solutions were designed to support multi-million record sets and support growth. And a next-generation solution will help ensure the security of your data with certifications such as HITRUST and ISO 27001. 

Operational deployment options 

It may make sense to move to the cloud, on-premises, or a managed model. Is that possible with your current solution? And is this costing you? Nobody offers the deployment flexibility of Rhapsody. 

Taking the next step in your next-generation EMPI journey  

Taking the time to learn more about next-generation EMPI solutions is a good investment. We encourage you to learn more about how Geisinger Health has made Rhapsody EMPI the keystone to bringing their “digital front door” to life. 

We work with many organizations who have upgraded or are thinking about upgrading from solutions like IBM Initiate and moving to a next-generation EMPI solution. 

When you’re ready to take the next step, we work with you to put together a business case for your organization that reflects our experience working with more than 1,700 healthcare organizations across the globe. 

For Further Reading: 

Related Blogs

NHS Scotland

Rhapsody Health Solutions Team

NHS Scotland, in Partnership with Wipro UK Limited, Successfully Implements Rhapsody Enterprise Master Person Index

Cloud-based Solution Enables a Complete View of an Individual's Health Journey

Read more
Accelerate digital health adoption with Rhapsody Integration Engine 7.3

Shelley Wehmeyer

Accelerate digital health adoption with Rhapsody Integration Engine 7.3

The latest release of Rhapsody Integration Engine offers an efficient and simplified approach to achieving a high quality and useful data foundation.

Read more
Unmatched API capabilities within Rhapsody EMPI

Lynn Stoltz, Senior Product Manager

Unmatched API capabilities within Rhapsody EMPI solution

Understanding a person’s full health journey is critical to making the best possible decisions for their health and wellbeing. Yet, inherent in knowing the person’s journey is ensuring you have the right person's information.

Read more