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How Interface Engines Drive Interoperability in Healthcare

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Using the correct technology to achieve interoperability

Interoperability in healthcare is a topic that has a lot of people frustrated and skeptical. The reality is that the debate over interoperability isn’t going away, and for good reason too, despite the fact that most of it are justified.

Interoperability can transform healthcare when done properly by:

  • achieving improved clinical results
  • boosting patient involvement and developing quicker, 
  • boosting patient involvement and developing quicker, 
  • promoting healthcare reform ideas and improving financial performance

Nowadays, “doing it correctly” means utilizing the appropriate technology since Healthcare IT must be able to accomplish more with significantly fewer resources. For data sharing across clinical applications, HL7 interface engines have been utilized for many years by vendors and healthcare providers.

But as the requirements for interoperability continue to grow to incorporate an increasing variety of software programs and hardware gadgets intended to modernize healthcare, these old interface engines are already beginning to show their limitations.

The technology is available to advance healthcare. It’s not surprising to see many healthcare organizations switching to a more sophisticated current integration engine when it comes to delivering relevant, actionable data into the hands of decision-makers.

To determine whether it’s time for your business to change, take into account the following five factors.

1. Information sharing is more important than ever.

The amount of information sources available in the field of healthcare is remarkable and will only increase.

The list includes EMRs, HIEs, PACS, billing systems, medical equipment, wearables, and much more.

They ALL need integration, that’s the key thing.

The more information sources available, the better for population health management and collaborative treatment. Additionally, it means that your IT staff or implementation team will have to manage new data standards and transport protocols.

Even while HL7 v2 interfaces still handle the vast majority of information exchange in the healthcare industry, things are evolving. Today’s varied spectrum of systems and devices, from complicated documents like CCD to web service resources like FHIR, demand a strategy and architecture built on adaptability.

Assume your company currently exclusively performs HL7 to HL7 integration. Building a typical HL7 interface takes a few days on average. What happens if your state’s public health department mandates that immunization reports be sent using a web interface based on SOAP? How much time will you need to build? Weeks? Months?

It is simple to understand how anchoring your strategy to one standard might be a costly error given the regular market shifts and regulatory demands.

All standards can be treated equally with the aid of a contemporary integration engine. The value is in the data itself, not in the format in which it is sent or received, after all.

2. You only need one integration solution.

Organizations frequently use various integration solutions, especially in the provider area.

It varies how or why these companies come up with numerous solutions to address a single issue. Sometimes it’s just a function, where they use one solution for all of their HL7 integration and a whole separate application for all of their web service integration. In other instances, it’s the outcome of organizational structure, when various departments each apply their own approaches, frequently in larger hospital settings. Clinical, financial, and operational sectors frequently use different programs.

These kinds of circumstances are far from ideal. They are blatantly wasteful, in fact. You must pay more for staff training expenses, license fees, updates, maintenance, and support agreements.

By ensuring that you can manage all integration requirements throughout your whole organization with just one solution, a contemporary integration engine that is data format agnostic will help you stop this kind of needless investment.

3. When it comes to cost management, speed counts.

Cost is one of the most frequently mentioned obstacles to interoperability, which makes sense. Building and maintaining interfaces comes at a hefty price that can easily get out of hand.

You can best control these expenses by building your interfaces more quickly. That’s obviously easier said than done.

A modern integration engine, in contrast to legacy interface engines, offers you a single, standardized development environment to standardize how you create any form of interface. There is no doubt that you will construct interfaces faster if you use the same process for all of your interfaces and reuse modules from interfaces that have already been tested.

While graphical user interface (GUI)-based legacy interface engines are useful for simple data translations, we all know that most integration work isn’t that simple. Healthcare real-world integration entails complicated processing logic, version translations, and data transformations. Scripting is the only effective method for managing these complications.

In order to manage these complications, a sophisticated integration engine is created. They have user-friendly scripting environments as a result, allowing for quick yet reliable interface creation.

4. Interoperability is impossible without reliability.

Even while this seems like a no-brainer, it still surprises me how frequently reliability is overlooked. It is impossible to have a conversation on interoperability without bringing up reliability.

Unplanned downtime in any healthcare setting is, at best, unacceptable, regardless of whether the information flow is clinical, financial, or operational in nature. Modern integration engines are used by businesses, so they can honestly state that there has been no unplanned downtime for years.

Of course, there will be instances where downtime is caused by circumstances beyond your control. To reduce downtime and avoid data loss or corruption, it is imperative that you can react quickly to these situations.

By offering high availability and failover solutions that may be tailored to your existing IT infrastructure, a contemporary integration engine reduces downtime. All messages are saved and logged to ensure message delivery and prevent data loss, allowing you to quickly and easily resend any communications that were missed while the system was down.

5. You must constantly be on guard. Always.

Errors do occur, and they often appear to occur at the worst possible times. You cannot effectively monitor and manage your interfaces without alerts and notifications.

Think about the following example:

An interface crashes as a result of an error. Your integration engineer should be notified through email or SMS so they can start troubleshooting. With most older interface engines, you should be able to put up simple inactivity notifications, but shouldn’t your solution actually help hasten error resolution by identifying the exact location of the error?

More than only inactivity notifications are involved in interface upkeep. You should be able to effectively generate an alert for any condition you desire. Let’s say that for the past 30 minutes, no orders have been placed through your lab ordering portal. You should be able to tell your IT team that no orders have been received over a certain period of time, rather than waiting until the lab notices there is a problem.

The reality of where and how people work has evolved, and monitoring interfaces must adapt as well. It is essential to have a central dashboard that can be viewed from any web-enabled device that can monitor all interfaces, regardless of where they are located.

When it comes to cost containment, interface management is just as crucial as interface construction. A In order to ensure that you can rapidly discover and fix any mistakes, regardless of when or where they occur, the contemporary integration engine equips you with the necessary tools for monitoring and creating alerts.


For the purpose of integrating healthcare systems and synthesizing data using HL7 and other standards, KPi-Tech’s skilled developers offer Interface Development services. To identify the best custom or proprietary interfacing solutions, we combine extensive examinations of older healthcare networks with HL7 technology. Among the interface engines we integrate with are Corepoint, Rhapsody, Cloverleaf, Mirth Connect, and others.