Rhapsody Health Solutions Team

Reviewing Healthcare Integration Engines: Sources and Evaluation Checklists

December 5, 2017

Flexibility interface

When evaluating healthcare integration engines, finding trusted sources for reviews online can be extremely complicated. Health IT publications do not provide software reviews like industries outside of healthcare and there are no sources with Amazon-like rankings and reviews available.

The most trusted, and really only, source of customer reviews for health IT products is KLAS Research, which publishes an annual “Best in KLAS” list that ranks software based on key criteria. For the past eight consecutive years, Corepoint Integration Engine has been named the highest-rated integration engine in healthcare.

The KLAS Software and Services report, however, is not free or readily available online without registration. You can view a summary of the report’s evaluation of the integration engine segment – including scoring – here. You can also read a post by our CTO, titled Comparing interface engines.

Because the integration engine evaluation typically is an extensive process, OTB Solutions, a group of independent healthcare consultants, put together a helpful white paper to help organizations avoid a mistake in their engine selection.

Making an uninformed decision is not in the organization’s best interest. According to the paper, there are several reasons why engine selections fail:

  1. Biases: toward a vendor or toward a technology
  2. Rushed decision making
  3. Only a single vendor considered
  4. Replacing what is known instead of what could be
  5. Misjudging skill level of development team
  6. Misjudging the level of effort required to change interface engines
  7. Misunderstanding the role of the interface engine in the organization’s healthcare ecosystem
  8. Not identifying or understanding the stakeholders

OTB created a 13-step process to help prevent a failed engine selection. This process can make up to three months for large organizations and approximately 1 month for organizations with small or outsourced interface teams. Here is their process:

  1. Develop requirements
  2. Create RFI (request for information)
  3. Identify vendors and submit RFI
  4. Score RFI
  5. Invite vendors for sales demo
  6. Score sales demo
  7. Invite vendors for Proof of Concept
  8. Score Proof of Concept
  9. Send out RFP (request for purchase)
  10. Score RFP including financial component
  11. Select vendor
  12. Negotiate the final details and obtain final signatures
  13. Socialize the selection in your organization

As an integration engine vendor ourselves, we’ve found that some of the strongest indicators of success are what actual engine users think about the product. We always encourage prospects to call product users who are similar in size with similar EHR and health IT applications installed.

Some of the questions prospects are looking for include:

  1. Would you buy from the vendor again?
  2. Did the vendor do what they said they would do?
  3. How close was the expected level of complexity to the actual level of complexity?
  4. Have you ever been “boxed-in” with the software, not being able to solve a problem?
  5. How easy has the software been to maintain?

As the saying goes, if you fail to prepare you prepare to fail. Hopefully this information will help you make a decision that is right for your organization.

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