Friday, June 06, 2014

Yet Again We See Pursuit Of the Prefect Get in The Way Of Major Good in E-Health.

This article appeared a little while ago.

Quit Dreaming About Interoperability and Focus on Enterprise Systems Integration

by Shahid N. Shah Wednesday, May 14, 2014
No health IT system or solution can stand alone; for an innovation to be truly useful in a modern clinical or medical environment it must be able to connect to enterprise systems such as electronic health record systems, hospital information systems, practice management systems or numerous other "legacy" environments. On Wednesday, May 14, I will be in Brooklyn, N.Y., at HxRefactored presenting a deep, practical and actionable lecture about what the challenges are to legacy systems integration and how to overcome them without going into the full-time services business. This Perspective is a preview of that presentation.
The need for and attention to interoperability in health care is palpable -- more and more vendors talk about, and even more customers complain about, how it's missing from products. Service vendors are struggling to make it happen and even the government is joining the chorus to help. However, interoperability is too grand a vision in a fragmented and enormous industry the size of health care. What we need to focus more on is basic blocking and tackling around systems integration, not the nirvana of full interoperability.

Health Care Systems Enterprise Integration Patterns

The bad news is that fluid health care data interoperability -- the simple, easy, self-service (by users of EHRs) movement of structured or unstructured from one system to another -- is almost non-existent today. The good news is that the lack of fluid data interoperability doesn't need to hold us back because we can start with basic principles of enterprise integration by reviewing and implementing the patterns in CommonWell and Carequality as good starting points. Notice I said patterns and principles of integration because that is what these two interoperability initiatives are – and that's a good thing.
When we move away from one-size-fits-all bloviating marketing documents to patterns of engineering and real specifications, we're making real progress that creates lasting value. Right now CommonWell has a specification that you can read and follow, but Carequality does not (which means Carequality isn't actually a real option). But, to be fair, Carequality is a new initiative and should be coming out with something -- even CommonWell took about a year to create their specs. If you can't wait, though, start with CommonWell – it's a very good start and should improve over time.
Much, much more here:
There is a great deal of sense in this and it is good the basic ideas of keeping it simple and getting on with the doable are well and truly catching on!

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