Debi Frederick

The role of ‘citizen integrators’ in healthcare

October 25, 2021

From October 19-21, 2021, hundreds of Rhapsody health solutions customers gathered for our annual user group conference, Connect/21. We’re offering an inside look at several sessions from the event through a series of blog posts, all written by Rhapsody employees. In this post, Debi Frederick, Account Manager, shares her perspective on a session from Day 1, Bringing Interoperability to the Edge 

We welcomed Adam Smeal, AVP of Product Engineering and Integration Services at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, to the conversation Bringing Interoperability to the Edge. Jim Sdoia, Vice President of Product Management, who helped steer the Q&A-style discussion with Adam, like the thesis of a master’s paper defined the phrase “bringing interoperability to the edge.” Bringing interoperability to the edge means bringing health data to the innovators, business users, and consumers faster.  

Sorry. I had to Google it to see what others were saying, and Jay Compton, Managing Director – Chief Technology & Product Officer, Deloitte Healthcare & Converge HEALTH was right there with us indicating if we — healthcare stakeholders — do this right, care delivery and patient empowerment improve drasticallyMaybe Jim and Jay should meet for lunch? 

New buzz words—like citizen integration—were introduced during the session. Hmmm…anything like a citizen’s arrest? Maybe.  

Put yourself in the seat of a data integrator. Why not take control and empower those teams around you for the greater good? Teach others how to do for themselves. Give them tools. Govern the process and create efficiencies within and around the organization.  

Jim then raised a good question: How does an organization know when they’re ready for citizen integration? 

I loved the way Adam reflected internally and said, “We had to clean up our own front yard.” True statement — curb appeal sells! Evaluation of the integration stakeholders revealed that decentralization had returned to CTCA. I get it. Sometimes it’s just faster to do it yourself but the silos had to be torn down. Adam shared more about the lessons learned throughout the journey and admitted that it’s hard to herd the cats and change the paradigm, but totally worth it.  

With this push to the edge of interoperability, how do we as the partakers in this effort help protect the data? Adam shared that a big take away for CTCA was to take a historical look at other industries — such as retail and hospitality — that have gone before healthcare.  

Let’s learn from them, gather best practices, and apply what is logical for the healthcare space. There are advantages to not being first, but we need to be a quick study to protect our patients. We all have a professional and personal vested interest in this. 

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