PODCAST #12. The Product Manager’s Path to Health Tech Innovation: Product Strategy, Leadership & OKRs

We were thrilled to have a distinguished product strategist, team leader, and customer support specialist from the post-acute and long-term care sector join us for today’s episode. 

Our guest, BJ Boyle, holds the position of Chief Product Officer at PointClickCare, a top healthcare technology platform dedicated to improving patient outcomes by fostering collaboration and offering real-time insights. 

In this discussion, we delve into the following: product strategy formulation, effective team leadership, and expert viewpoints on OKRs.

BJ’s Journey into Product Management

BJ has over 20 years of experience in product management, strategy, and development, witnessing the growth of product management as a career path in digital transformation companies within the healthcare sector. BJ didn’t initially plan to pursue a career in product management; instead, they began as an implementation specialist, traveling to skilled nursing facilities to install and train people on software.


I found great satisfaction in refining processes and collaborating with customers to ensure the delivery of their required solutions.

During an early experience with a client that decided not to move forward with a deal due to dissatisfaction with the software’s reporting features, BJ learned the importance of improving products based on customer feedback. This realization led BJ to work closely with engineering teams and customers to enhance products and ensure they met customer needs. Eventually, BJ’s passion for making things better and working with customers to deliver the best solutions evolved into a successful product management career.

The Transition to Electronic Health Records & Overcoming the Challenges 

As a director of social strategy development at Cerner, the transition from traditional pen-and-paper methods to electronic health records (EHRs) in healthcare organizations was a fascinating experience.

Initially, there was considerable resistance to transitioning to digital systems. However, over time, people began recognizing the benefits and efficiencies of digitization. 

While that’s true, BJ pointed out that: 

There is still much work to be done in utilizing the data from electronic health records and other digital systems to significantly enhance patient care and outcomes.

In the healthcare and technology space, challenges persist due to the complexity of the healthcare system and the involvement of numerous stakeholders. Implementing technology solutions requires not only the technology itself but also integration with existing systems and processes. Ensuring seamless operation remains a challenge. Moreover, effectively leveraging the vast data collected from electronic health records and digital systems to improve patient care and outcomes is still a work in progress. The focus is on using data to make better decisions and achieve better patient outcomes.

The Role of Product Management in Healthcare Integration

In the coming years, the healthcare system will focus on interoperability and seamless integration of new technologies and processes, with collaboration between organizations being crucial. Product management will play a critical role in understanding the challenges faced by healthcare organizations and identifying technological solutions to address them. By working closely with customers, partners, and internal teams, product managers can drive innovation and develop solutions that improve healthcare delivery and experience.

Entering a new industry with fresh perspectives allows product managers to ask better questions and listen more effectively to users and potential buyers. Instead of seeking affirmation for preconceived answers, focusing on genuinely understanding the customers’ needs helps in identifying the right problems to solve, ultimately leading to better solutions.

PointClickCare’s Success Pillars

At Point Click Care, which holds a leadership position in long-term post-acute care with a 70% market share, the focus is on being the engine that helps customers and future customers thrive in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape. 

Point Click Care recognizes that healthcare is not limited to a physical location and seeks to connect senior care customers to the broader healthcare ecosystem, ensuring a seamless journey for patients from emergency departments to rehab centers, senior living facilities, and beyond.

BJ adds: 

Healthcare is centered around individuals; it was vital for us to integrate our senior care customers into the larger healthcare ecosystem.

How to Reduce Silos and Unnecessary Work in Health Tech Systems

The primary goal is to provide the best possible care and achieve the highest outcomes for patients, while ensuring healthcare providers get paid for their services. As healthcare becomes increasingly complex, especially with value-based care models and multiple stakeholders, it is important to identify and remove friction points in the processes. 

One example is streamlining the flow of information between hospitals and long-term care facilities to avoid medication errors and readmissions. 

By leveraging technology and adopting electronic data transfer, Point Click Care successfully eliminated double documentation and significantly improved the accuracy and efficiency of the process, demonstrating the critical role of product management in healthcare innovation.

Regarding effective approaches, healthcare teams can focus on the following key aspects:

Meaningful Transitions

Improve data flow and validation during patient transfers from hospitals to skilled nursing facilities

Medication Reconciliation

Nurses and admissions coordinators should perform real-time medication reconciliation to reduce readmissions.

Focus on Impact

Product leaders should prioritize making a meaningful impact and measuring it rather than just completing tasks.

Translating Strategy

Understand the art and science of product management to convert solution strategies into tangible actions.

Adapting to Organizational Growth

Recognize that methods used at lower levels may not be as effective as one moves up in the organization.

Aligning Team Mindsets

Communicate the right mindset to different teams with varying goals, using appropriate frameworks and processes.

Enhancing Transparency in Post-Care Facilities Feedback

We have to grasp the personas, roles, and titles of those involved to help create a better connection to their workflow processes. First-hand experiences, such as shadowing staff or observing daily routines, reveal the importance of these interactions in real-life situations.

According to Mr. Boyle: 

Engaging with our customers, partners, and end-users is essential for understanding the personas, roles, and titles of our target audience, particularly in healthcare and health tech product management.

For instance, witnessing a medication nurse being frequently interrupted while administering medications highlights the need for better solutions. Early career experiences with point-of-care kiosks in skilled nursing facilities emphasize the importance of efficiency and user experience. Observing and learning from these situations helps improve health tech products and the overall user experience.


As product management continues to evolve alongside the rapid advancements in technology, there are still untapped opportunities awaiting exploration. To ensure ongoing progress and success, product managers must remain mindful of key considerations and best practices in their field.

Here are the key take homes:

  • Utilizing electronic health records and digital systems data can enhance patient care and outcomes but requires further development.
  • Product management is crucial for healthcare integration, driving innovation, and creating solutions that address challenges faced by healthcare organizations.
  • Streamlining information flow between healthcare providers and adopting electronic data transfer can reduce silos and improve efficiency.
  • Engaging with customers, partners, and end-users helps understand target audience personas, roles, and titles, enhancing transparency in post-care facilities feedback.
  • Observing real-life situations helps improve health tech products and user experiences by understanding users’ needs and experiences.








The APP Solutions launched a podcast, CareMinds, where you can hear from respected experts in healthcare and Health Tech.

Who is a successful product manager in the healthcare domain? Which skills and qualities are crucial? How important is this role in moving a successful business to new achievements? Responsibilities and KPIs?

Please find out about all this and more in our podcast. Stay tuned for updates and subscribe to channels.

Listen to our podcast to get some useful tips on your next startup.

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Health Data Integration: Why It’s Good and How to Do It Right

When we talk about healthcare data integration, emphasis is often placed on  components, such as EHR systems.

Sometimes, the problem isn’t about collecting data, but how to manage and use it easily. Imagine if everyone in healthcare used the same system for their data – that would make things a lot simpler, right? But, unfortunately, that’s not the case. 

Different companies use different systems and ways to store their data. Even within the same company, information can be fragmented across various systems. Mishandling of this data can lead to repeated information, inconsistent care for patients, or issues when trying to share it.

For everyone to be able to access it, we need to bring all that information in one place. This is what we call “health data integration.” But how do we go about it? Should we use systems like Redox or InterSystems, or just combine everything directly? Also, what issues might a clinic face while putting all this data together? Let’s dive deeper to answer these questions.

What Is Health Data and Why Integrate It?

Health data is information about an individual’s or population’s health. It includes aspects such as medical history, diagnostic results, and beyond. It also extends to environmental and behavioral factors that might influence medical outcomes.

In the past, doctors used to gather all the health information they needed when a patient came to see them. They would use this data to decide on the best treatments based on evidence.

But now, things have changed thanks to digital health technology. Doctors can now get important information much faster. Plus, they can use these new technologies to keep the information safe and make sure patients can access it easily. We have fitness trackers and health apps that help us collect facts outside of a doctor’s office.

In short, the main goal of health data is to make care better and less expensive. This is helpful to the patients and hospitals alike.

For instance, by predicting which patients are at risk of certain diseases, we can intervene earlier and prevent expensive treatments later on. It can also help avoid unnecessary or duplicate tests and procedures. Patients and healthcare providers thus save money.

According to Statista, the amount of global health data grew a lot in 2020. To give you an idea, in 2013, there were 153 exabytes of data (that’s a lot!) created. But in 2020, there were about 2,314 exabytes of new ones created. Now, think about how much more data we’ll have in the future, especially with big data technologies like AI and ML revolutionizing medicine.

Thus, it’s fair to say that combining all these different sets of information isn’t always easy. Before hospitals can use any of this data, they need to clean it up and make it standardized. This means making sure all the different bits of data fit together well.

Nonetheless, cleaning and standardizing data are only one facet of the problem. Let’s look at other challenges medical groups might face when they try to put all their information in one place.

Health Data Integration Challenges in Hospitals 

Research by Techcrunch shows that 44% of healthcare firms avoid data integration due to inherent risks and obstacles. Here are some of these challenges.

Healthcare data comes in many forms. This variety makes it hard to combine it from different sources. With no universal format, researchers often struggle to access valuable information.

Handling hospital records lacks a standard method, leading to potential data loss. Unclear data ownership rules compound this issue. Hence, strict protocols to standardize data handling and clarify ownership are a must.

Often, medical teams don’t fully understand the rules about keeping patient information private when they have to share it. This is why health companies in the US are making more efforts to follow privacy rules. Statista reported that more than half of the C-level execs said they are either updating privacy rules or training their workers as part of their plan.

Healthcare firms use many apps that hold similar data. But this asset isn’t always accessible across platforms. Even small discrepancies can hurt data-driven insights. Uniformity across apps, through compliance standards, is crucial.

New medical devices and wearables are increasing the number of data sources. But integrating information from wearables can be tough due to its format and privacy issues.

Another Statista survey revealed that in 2022, there were over 340 cases of health data breaches in the US. To give you a perspective, back in 2005, there were only 16 cases.

So what does this mean?

As technology and healthcare systems get more advanced, we also need to do a better job at keeping data safe. It’s super important for medical companies to protect their records from hackers. They have to follow the rules that are already in place.

For example, HIPAA gives guidelines on how to protect data. Differently, HL7 standards direct the sharing information between different healthcare providers’ apps. But how many of our medical institutions are really following these rules all the way? Are they really using the best ways to bring all their facts together? If you’re unsure, contact us to audit these questions.

Need more data?Keep reading. We’ll look at the best ways to integrate data, and you can see how this compares to what you’re doing now and figure out what you might need to add or get better at.

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What Is the Best Way to Integrate Data? Redox vs. InterSystems vs. Direct Integration

At our company, The APP Solutions, we use Redox, Intersystems, as well as direct integration with systems like Epic and Cerner. At the end of this article, we’ll share a real-life example where we used this expertise to help a client.

But before we get to that, let’s compare Redox, Intersystems, and direct integration so you can understand what each one involves.

Redox stands out as a leading name in healthcare integration in the US. It ensures secure, real-time data sharing between over 400 software vendors and more than 4500 healthcare organizations across 90+ Electronic Health Records (EHRs), health information networks like Carequality, and more.

The Redox platform is a cutting-edge, standardized API that minimizes integration challenges, allowing health tech innovators to concentrate on building unique workflows and experiences.

  • User-friendly: Redox provides a single endpoint. So, you write the code once and use it across any health system. All integrations, regardless of the EHR provider, will have the same appearance and functionality.
  • Speedy: The design of Redox encourages reuse. It lets you benefit from the technical mapping and connectivity already established with over 4,000 organizations.
  • Scalable: Hosted on AWS, Redox caters to the demands of its entire network. It processes over 750 million messages every month. In other words, you’re assured of dependable and scalable deployments.
  • Tech supported: A dedicated team of specialists handles healthcare integration and data management. They work as an extension of your team. Everything from product design to implementation planning and long-term support are managed. 
  • Secure: Redox holds HITRUST certification and is SOC II compliant.

Redox is available in the US and Canada and follows an annual licensing structure. It additionally includes a base platform fee and a cost per transaction. The cost depends on the expected total message volume and the complexity of transforming to JSON/FHIR. Early-stage digital health companies can avail of discounts.

Redox offers different subscription durations at varied costs. Please note that extra taxes or fees might apply. In case you need assistance with this question, schedule a call, and we’ll help you find the best solution for you.

All Redox plans come with developer tools and sandboxes. You get a centralized dashboard and transmission logs, and more alongside those.

Redox is available as Software as a Service (SaaS). The application is hosted and operated over the Internet by the vendor. Customers are billed for usage through their AWS account.

InterSystems runs on four main solutions. These are Health Connect, InterSystems Iris, InterSystems Caché, and InterSystems Ensemble. 

Health Connect is a versatile healthcare integration engine that supports high-volume transactions. It engineers process management and monitoring for crucial applications. You can use it as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) or for on-premises/private cloud.

Health Connect brings along benefits like 

  • swift scalability;
  • zero-downtime stability;
  • faster interface development, 

They all translate to cost savings. Health Connect caters to healthcare delivery systems of all sizes, from small clinics to large, complex networks.

At the heart of Health Connect is an efficient, multi-model data engine. This smoothly manages different types of information at high speeds. Other functionalities are:

InterSystems Ensemble consolidates all the data you need to capture, share, understand, and use within your organization. There’s no need to invest time and money in assembling multiple tools to gain a comprehensive integration environment. Ensemble has everything covered.

Every component of your integrated solution is stored as an object in Ensemble’s efficient, multi-model data repository. This provides a unified and consistent view of the systems, applications, and services that make up your solution, significantly reducing the complexity often associated with integration projects. This makes solution development faster and management easier.

InterSystems IRIS represents the latest evolution of the InterSystems data management suite. It includes all the features of InterSystems Caché and Ensemble tools, and adds a number of exciting new abilities. This makes it easier to create and launch applications for businesses that are based in the cloud, are analytics-focused, and require superior performance and scalability.

InterSystems Caché makes it easier to design and launch applications. It offers multiple options for high-availability, including a sophisticated mirroring approach, giving your applications a high level of reliability. You would require less hardware than solutions from other vendors.

Caché comes with a flexible security model that’s easy to adapt. It includes simple provisioning features, making it effortless to control who can access your resources.

The general framework of Caché is simple, and its powerful system management tools mean that you need fewer database administrators (DBAs) than with other databases. In many cases, you might not even need a dedicated DBA at all.

Epic and Cerner l are major companies that provide technology for health information. These systems help big hospitals and health services in the U.S. to save and share electronic medical records easily.

Integrating a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) into the Epic Electronic Health Records (EHR) system necessitates a detailed process. It involves six key steps and typically takes about a year and a half. This task needs a clinical expert or health data integration company who can lead the process.

Cerner, on the other hand, focuses on making data accessible everywhere. Their Interoperability service ensures that healthcare professionals can get the information they need, no matter where it comes from. This aids in sharing data across different health services.

The specifics of integrating either Epic or Cerner are quite complex. If you’d like to understand more about them and see how they compare, we recommend reading this article where we discuss their differences.

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Action Plans for Tackling Data Integration

If you’re looking to weave together health information from various sources, it’s essential to have the right approach. Here’s what you can to effectively merge information at your healthcare practice.

To consolidate health data from various sources, make sure your technology can handle different data formats. Use integration tools (ESB or iPaaS) that can standardize this information, ensuring it’s accurate and easy to read.

Before merging data, review and update all information. This helps avoid integrating incorrect or outdated data. Back up all vital data to prevent any loss during the process.

Creating a structure for your data simplifies integration. Set up workflows for gathering, processing, cleaning, and sharing data from various systems.

These are storage solutions for data. They allow for data searching and analysis, although they work differently. Data warehouses are great for storing structured data, while data lakes can handle a mix of unstructured and structured data.

Data integration is an ongoing process. Determine which information needs to be integrated first and which can be done later to avoid disruptions.

Traditional IT systems in many organizations can’t exchange data with modern systems. In contrast, using cloud-based solutions can provide a unified view of data from different systems.

Consider how the end-user will see the data. This will help you present your findings in a meaningful way, making it easier for users to access and utilize the data effectively.

Health Data Integration with The APP Solutions: Orb Health Case

Orb Health provides a service that makes healthcare easier to manage for health centers, systems, hospitals, and unions. It helps improve patient results and makes the transition from traditional fee-for-service to value-based care smoother, without needing to add more staff or infrastructure.

The APP Solutions helped Orb Health to extend their service to more patients. We set up remote contact centers that are connected to electronic medical records (EMR), helping to provide a seamless healthcare service. 

Here are the solutions we delivered:

Redox Integration

Redox integration simplifies the process of connecting digital health products to different electronic health records (EHRs) systems, saving time and avoiding complications.

Genesys Integration

This solution allows existing workforce management software to easily integrate with other systems, which makes setting up a contact center quicker and easier.

Power BI Integration

We opted for Power BI integration so that the company could take data from various sources and turn it into clear and interactive insights. By doing so, they would better visualize and understand important data.

Data Security (HIPAA Standard)

Ensuring that sensitive patient data is stored securely was a top priority, and necessary to meet HIPAA standards.

As a result of these solutions, Orb Health saw significant improvements, such as:

54% | 22% ED / Hospitalization Decrease

  • 70% Care Gap Measure Closure
  • $6 MM Annually Medicare Savings Per 1k Patient
  • 26% Overall Patient Savings


Connecting health information is a special task for every company. If you’re thinking about using Redox, InterSystems, or direct integration, we suggest you engage an experienced team. At The APP Solutions, we assist health groups to surmont their integration woes and build interconnected systems for improved patient results.

Do you need help connecting health data or EMR/EHR integration?

Contact us


PODCAST #3. How Technology Can Help Improve Healthcare Outcomes

The guest of this episode was Nick McKenzie, Group Product Manager at Redox, an orchestra conductor who always finds common ground with investors, techies, and marketers alike to create an amazing workable product: “I just naturally gravitate toward solving hard problems with large folks of smart people and still try to do that.” Nick began multitasking in college, playing sports, editing the school newspaper, studying economics and political science to become a great lawyer, and eventually realizing he wanted to combine healthcare with technology.

Embrace Action and Market Feedback

That led him to Walgreens, and it was an opportunity to see the interplay between the commercial and human aspects of healthcare delivery.


“I operate under the idea that it’s better to release something from a product and have to tweak it than to over-design and never get feedback on a thing. So I am generally biased toward action and implementing feedback, and sharing decision-making along those lines in a reasonably fast time frame.” 





Nick is a person who doesn’t get hung up on things for long but tries to make MVPs, tests, and upgrades according to what the market dictates. 

From App Knowledge to EHR Integration Architecture

The next step in his career was working at the famous company Cerner. Nick says the following about his work there: “You learn your app, and then you become the solution architect of that app. So you gain more knowledge than the subject matter expert of that given application. That was my intended path, and my path was exposed to 16 or 17 of Cerner’s applications in my first year.”

Nick went on to work with the EHR integration architecture, which he compares to building a house, where an entire team of contractors, roofers, electricians, and plumbers work cohesively under an architect. 

“I was always fascinated with this idea of being the translator helping clinicians translate their requirements into what they wanted the system to be designed and then translating back to the technical teams how to execute and interestingly enough. It’s all that product management really is.”


Simplifying Healthcare Data with a Personal Touch

The next step in Nick’s career was Redox – a single API for providers and products. Mission – making the world’s healthcare data frictionless for adoption. The mantra for every large team meeting is that we are all patients. We might not be patients today, but at some point, all of us will become. What is Redox doing now? Expanding buyer personas, changing the focus on the product. 

There was also talk about how Nick sees the difference between a startup with 250 people in series D and a Fortune 500 company with 25,000 people. It’s the mechanics of running a business, like HR management, annual reviews, and culture… These things are handled more centrally in a big company, and they’re very personal at Redox. You have a much deeper ability to influence people directly. Nick explains in quite some detail and fascinatingly what he thinks the difference is between product development and the KPI system at a big company and a not-so-big one. 

How to build the right product team? Focus on a diversity of skills to avoid tunnel vision. You need people who can offer different solutions to problems so that you can gather the best of those perspectives and assemble them into a workable strategy for the future. 


The Multifaceted Chameleon Approach

“Product is a complex field. You have to understand the dynamics of the business; you have to work directly with engineers, and you have to interact with customers. You kind of play different roles.” 

Product management as a professional discipline that attracts people who used to write code, do business, and do architecture. Nick thinks of product management as a chameleon. Some days you have to be blue and interact with investors and customers; other days, you have to be green head down and solve engineering team problems; and some days, you have to be a completely different color in market research, interviewing people, and doing podcasts. And it’s all proportionate based on business needs. 

Nick talked about interoperability in healthcare and where it’s headed. We spent the last 10 to 15 years digitizing the U.S., but the problem was they were in different systems that spoke different languages. Now we’re in the throes of unifying into just one language. And we have to get to the point where we can universally translate from one language to another language to provide computational algorithms to provide new clinical therapies.



The APP Solutions launched a podcast, CareMinds, where you can hear from respected experts in healthcare and Health Tech.

Who is a successful product manager in the healthcare domain? Which skills and qualities are crucial? How important is this role in moving a successful business to new achievements? Responsibilities and KPIs?

Please find out about all this and more in our podcast. Stay tuned for updates and subscribe to channels –

Spotify: https://spotifyanchor-web.app.link/e/abvcQJFW3tb

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SL9CfKy5ZqM

HL7 Integration: A Reference for Its Benefits, Implementations, and Applications

Tons of healthcare data are produced and analyzed for important insights every second. Currently, around 30% of the world’s data is being created from healthcare industries. And the estimated compound annual growth rate is set to hit 36% by 2025. Hospitals and healthcare institutions have various computer systems for various activities, such as billing and patient tracking. These ecosystems need to connect when new information is sent or pulled. Yet, not all of them can do that.

HL7 International provides a range of standards, guidelines, and methods for healthcare systems to connect. These data standards ensure information is shared and processed in a uniform and consistent way. The ultimate goal is to lower the geographic barriers and variability that can come from medical care. Despite its importance in today’s interconnected world, healthcare providers may need to know the advantages of integrating HL7. This post discusses the core relevance of HL7 integration, its benefits, and various cases where it can be used in medical practice.


hl7 fhir

What is HL7?

HL7 (Health Level Seven) is a set of standards formulated to enable sharing of healthcare-related information between different systems, such as EHRs (Electronic Health Records), healthcare providers, and insurers. Created in 1989 to tackle the interoperability issue among healthcare systems, this standard provides guidelines to facilitate data sharing and bridge the gap between healthcare applications. 

Currently, two versions are being used: HL7 v2, which is still most widely employed and uses a delimited format to transfer data, and HL7 v3, which utilizes eXtensible Markup Language (XML) to represent self-describing data.


The seven-step communication process used by HL7 to ensure compatibility between systems is as follows:

  1. The physical connection to a transmission medium.
  2. Data linking to control errors between adjacent nodes.
  3. Network routing of information.
  4. Control of end-to-end communication.
  5. Non-communication problem-solving.
  6. Conversion of information.
  7. Provision of services to applications

An interface engine uses all the layers mentioned above to collect and distribute HL7 data, with layers 1 through 4 handling communication and 5 through 7 handling functionality.


hl7 fhir integration

What is the Difference between API and HL7?

APIs and HL7 facilitate communication and data sharing between differing programs. However, a firm grasp of health level seven and application programming interfaces is required to appreciate the distinctions between the two.

Health Level 7 (HL7) was the initial standardized data interchange format utilized in healthcare. It supplied a uniform structure that applications could use for transmitting data about patients to each other. Despite this, encryption and strong integrity checking were not incorporated when the format was first introduced. Nevertheless, many applications are still relying on it.


The Final Rule of the 21st Century CURES Act is a significant development in healthcare data transfer. It allows patients to use Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to access their health data via their preferred application, thereby fulfilling the original purpose of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The Security Rule requires organizations to secure data transmission, imposing additional controls to protect the integrity and detect any tampering in real-time. APIs offer a modernized alternative to HLA, using a uniform authentication format for applications to identify users correctly. Many websites and applications are currently employing this format.

If you want to know more about HL7 FHIR integration, you should definitely listen to our CareMinds podcast, particularly the episode with Redox specialist Nick McKenzie.

Nick went on to work with the EHR integration architecture, which he compares to building a house, where an entire team of contractors, roofers, electricians, and plumbers work cohesively under an architect. 

“I was always fascinated with this idea of being the translator helping clinicians translate their requirements into what they wanted the system to be designed and then translating back to the technical teams how to execute and interestingly enough. It’s all that product management really is.”

Watch other episodes as well!






Application Programming Interface

Human Level 7


APIs, including SMART and FHIR, can support standard medical portals

Does not provide comprehensive support for technologies

Patient outcome

Due to the convenience of “on-demand” data retrieval, APIs are favored over HL7

Data is provided by HL7 on a subscription basis, implying that it will be obtained regardless of whether or not it is immediately required


More precise definitions of security rules are provided by APIs, further facilitating interoperability between systems

HL7 can secure data but with limitations in encryption and robust integrity checking


Benefits of HL7 for Medical Facilities 

The following are reasons why using HL7 is so important in the healthcare industry.

Healthcare professionals can utilize HL7 to quickly and conveniently access patient data from multiple sources, making savvy decisions promptly. 

HL7 provides a standardized language for data and information exchange, thus promoting unification in the healthcare system by ensuring that all data is registered, stored, and exchanged in the same way.

By taking advantage of HL7, medical facilities can better administer their patients’ care by providing an encompassing view of their medical history; thereby allowing caregivers to readily access patient information and make the best decisions for their treatment. 

Hospitals can establish a standard data-sharing methodology between various systems, guaranteeing that data is accurately and securely shared and enabling healthcare providers to make informed decisions concerning patient care.


data interoperability

HL7 Applications in Healthcare

Here are some examples of its application in the healthcare industry.

Integrating their existing patient records system with an HL7-compatible system allows a medical center to access patient records and information stored in multiple departments swiftly and effortlessly. This facilitates a hospital’s ability to identify and treat patients quickly and reduces expenditure and time on needless paperwork.

Implementing HL7 integration allows laboratories to rapidly and accurately process patient data and results. It promotes the rapid detection of potential issues and addresses them instantly, resulting in enhanced accuracy and effectiveness in testing results.

Linking their existing patient records and billing systems to an HL7-compatible system helps a healthcare provider quickly and easily process patient claims. This enabled the healthcare provider to save time and money on manual data entry while ensuring a higher accuracy rate.

HL7 integration allows for interoperability between providers, making it possible to share clinical and administrative data. For instance, physicians can conveniently send laboratory results to specialists for a second opinion.


hospital information systems

HL7 integration enables EMR systems  to communicate with one another and share patient data. This helps reduce the time spent inputting information manually and eliminates the possibility of data entry errors.

What Does It Mean to Integrate HL7 and FHIR?

As already discussed, HL7 are standards used to define how healthcare information is collected, interpreted, and shared, making data integration more efficient and free of errors. Running a healthcare organization requires using multiple systems and technologies by doctors, administrative staff, accounting, and pharmacy staff. Most of these platforms are isolated and written in different programming languages, resulting in communication hiccups that can negatively affect patient care. Implementing HL7 integration allows 80% of the interface to be defined, leaving 20% of the interface available for customization.


FHIR (fast health interoperability resources), developed in 2011 by HL7, is the latest development in HL7 standards. Its integration allows improved security measures and larger data formats. FHIR incorporates functionalities of previous HL7 standards and additional features to make interoperability among healthcare applications even more efficient. Using web standards, communication across all systems can be achieved irrespective of system languages and specifics while removing the need to connect interfaces manually. Some technologies known to run using this standard include:

  • REST
  • XML
  • JSON
  • ATOM
  • OAuth
health information systems

HL7 Interfaces, Engines, and Strategies

With different technologies used in various areas of a healthcare facility, a need for a standard approach to the handling of medical data resulting in substantial productivity delays and increased patient risks. With the segregation of data resulting in several inefficiencies, the need for a healthcare industry-accepted standard way of sharing healthcare data among several departments was apparent, resulting in the creation of HL7.

An interface defined in healthcare IT structures refers to programs implemented to facilitate seamless data transfer between systems using different messaging protocols. A typical example of an interface will be one connecting systems in the lab, pharmacy, registration, and an electrocardiogram machine.

Interface engines (integration engines) act as the guide to the exchange of data across systems from which it gets its nickname as the “traffic cop.” These engines act as the hub of a healthcare data exchange in a health facility. They are responsible for receiving, routing, and translating messages into the right formats to be understood by the recipient system, simplifying health integration processes. 

Other ways interface engines communicate include; File transfer protocols (FTP), Direct database updates, and XML.

Examples of highly rated interface engines include;

  • Datagate
  • Rhapsody
  • Corepoint
  • Cloverleaf
manual interface coding


Several strategies are employed in the integration of HL7.

  • The development of a method of interoperability standards from a reference information model
  • Creation of awareness on the benefits of information standardization to the healthcare providers and the public
  • Creation of clear standards in health information sharing between systems
  • Encourage HL7 interoperability use through affiliation with establishments
  • Ensure HL7 standards are up to standard through collaboration with healthcare IT users
  • Foster the participation of healthcare industry experts in HL7 to develop healthcare data standards in their various areas of expertise
    duplicate paper records

    FHIR Integration: Elevating Healthcare Information Exchange

    Instead of rushing to implement the latest phase of your HL7 data integration, you should assess your health system and design a custom interface solution that meets your specific needs while still being affordable and scalable as your organization grows. Successfully integrate HL7 calls for a specialized interface team and coordinated testing from industry professionals.

    Integration of FHIR entails three main steps:

    • Interface planning
    • Developing an interface
    • Final testing and validation


    Data entry duplication can be reduced, while user workflow is enhanced by employing application interoperability if HL7 interfaces are properly integrated. In a healthcare setting, HL7 interfaces can be found everywhere. Among these are “Admission, Discharge, and Transfer” (ADT), “Detailed Financial Transaction” (DFT), “Observation Results,” “Orders,” “Medical Document Management” [MDM]), “Master Files Notification” [MFN] and “Billing Account Record” [BAR] and so on.

    Your business model and the features of each interface should be carefully evaluated before you settle on an integration strategy. This procedure will help you determine what features your ideal interface must have. Proper project execution also necessitates identifying and including the appropriate staff and clinicians.

    After these have been discovered, a thorough examination of the procedure is necessary to detect data errors.

    This step is further subdivided into:

    • Execution phase during which interface engineers are hard at work developing and specifying each port and its associated data
    • Interface building entails creating and incorporating necessary interface specifications, data types to be processed by the interface, and record numbering schemes
    • Testing: as the name suggests, testing is where flaws in the flow of information from its originator to its intended recipient are discovered
    seamless integration fhir

    The complete HL7 integration is examined in this stage, from its structure to its content. To put it simply, this is the most crucial stage. It is also sub-divided into:

    • Unit testing: The goal is to catch mistakes the interface engineer may have missed, resulting in more precise data.
    • Integrated testing: During this testing stage, data is examined both from the upstream and the downstream perspectives.

    Final Thoughts 

    In conclusion, HL7 integration is an important process for the healthcare industry, enabling hospitals to access and share patient data in a secure and efficient manner. With the right tools and expertise, organizations can easily implement HL7 integration and benefit from its many advantages. We recommend you start by assessing your needs and resources for the project. The team at The APP Solutions has years of experience in the healthcare IT industry and is highly knowledgeable in the complexities of data integration. We work with you every step of the way to ensure that the process goes smoothly and that all of your needs are met.

    Mirth Connect: What Is Mirth Used For & How Does It Work For Health Data?

    With the ongoing advancements in healthcare technology, the need for seamless integration and communication between various healthcare systems has become more crucial than ever. In the United States, where healthcare is a $4.3 trillion industry that makes up almost 18.3% of the country’s GDP, the need for efficient and effective data exchange is of the utmost importance.

    This is where Mirth comes in—a powerful and flexible integration engine that healthcare organizations widely use to connect health information systems and improve data exchange. A survey found that almost 3,000 healthcare organizations in the US use Mirth as their main integration engine.

    mirth center monitor interface activity

    This article will examine how Mirth can be used in healthcare. So, whether you are a healthcare provider, an IT professional, or just someone interested in learning more about healthcare technology, stay tuned to discover how Mirth is changing the healthcare industry for the better. But if you want to skip the read and jump into implementing Mirth into your healthcare organization and revolutionize your data exchange and integration systems,  reach out to The APP Solutions.

    What is Mirth Connect by NextGen Healthcare?

    At the core of Next Gen Health, Mirth Connect is a powerful healthcare data integration engine that allows different systems to communicate. In other words, it is software that helps facilitate and translate data between computers. It is run on a web-based platform that can be easily customized to meet the specific needs of healthcare organizations.

    It is a cross-platform system designed to work with a wide range of health information systems, including electronic health record (EHR) systems, laboratory information systems (LIS), and radiology information systems (RIS). By linking these systems, Mirth Connect lets healthcare organizations improve their workflows, reduce mistakes, and give better care to their patients.

    Mirth has steadily increased in the United States, with over 80% of hospitals using an electronic health record (EHR) system. As the use of EHR systems grows, so does the need for different approaches to be able to talk to each other. Mirth has become a popular way to solve this problem.

    Mirth Connect Interface

    The Mirth interface is made up of three parts that can be accessed after logging in through the Mirth Connect administrator:

    • Central dashboard: Visitors can view the status of the channels currently deployed and the number of messages received since the last deployment on the dashboard
    • The left-hand side menu is for navigation
    • The bottom log panel
    command line too

    You can use the Mirth Connect command line interface (also via the Mirth Connect administrator) to deploy channels, configure interfaces, export channels, import channels, and do other administrative operations. The Mirth Connect command line interface is a tool that connects to the Mirth Connect server.

    The Mirth Connect server management interface can be controlled through a Graphical User Interface (the mirth connection server manager). On the GUI, log files are shown, and there are a number of configuration settings and options for setting up the Mirth Connect server.

    Mirth Connect is compatible with various industry protocols and standards, including TCP/MLLP HTTPS JDBC File (local file system and network shares), Microsoft SQL Server, TCP/MLLP JMS SMTP SOAP (via HTTP), and more. HL7 is used more with the Mirth Connect interface than any other interface engine.

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    What are the Features of Mirth Connect?

    One of the critical features of Mirth Connect is its ability to transform data from one format to another. For example, it can take clinical and administrative data from an EHR system and convert it into a form that a laboratory information system can use.

    Another vital feature of Mirth Connect is its ability to route messages between systems. It can be configured to send messages to specific systems based on rules, ensuring that the right information is sent to the right strategy at the right time.

    message data

    Mirth Connect also offers a wide range of other features that can be valuable for healthcare organizations. These include:

    • Message filtering and validation: to ensure that only valid messages are sent between systems
    • Message monitoring and tracking: to help healthcare organizations troubleshoot any issues
    • Integration with third-party systems: to extend Mirth Connect’s capabilities even further

    What is Mirth used for?

    Mirth connects different healthcare systems and enables them to communicate more effectively. They can include everything from EHRs to laboratory information systems and billing systems.

    But that’s not all Mirth is good for. Many manual tasks in healthcare communication, like sending lab results or processing insurance claims, can be done automatically by Mirth. Doing this saves time and money.

    How does Mirth Benefit Healthcare Organizations and Patients?

    Mirth offers lots of benefits to organizations. Let’s see some of them below.

    cloud based setups

    Improved Patient Safety

    Mirth can help improve patient safety by reducing the risk of medical errors. It can be integrated into electronic prescribing and medication administration software, for example, and healthcare providers can accurately track a patient’s medication history, and ensure that they receive the right medication, at the right dose, and at the right time. This can help prevent harmful drug interactions or medication errors that can lead to adverse reactions or other complications.

    Increased Data Security and Management

    The software can also enhance data security in the healthcare industry by implementing various security measures. For example, access controls can limit who can access patient information, and encryption can protect sensitive data in transit or at rest. Through data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities, Mirth evades data loss or theft by alerting administrators when certain activities are detected, such as attempts to copy, modify, or delete data.

    Compliance with Regulations

    Using Mirth to secure health data can assist healthcare providers in complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). By implementing secure data storage, access controls, and other security measures, hospitals can ensure that they are following the guidelines set out in these regulations and avoid potential fines or penalties.

    Platform Adaptability

    But what about the technical side of things? Mirth is also highly customizable, so healthcare organizations can tailor it to their needs. These needs can be anything from changing how data is formatted to connecting to certain third-party systems.

    Improved Quality of Care through Interoperability

    Interoperability in healthcare data allows for seamless sharing and communication of patient health information among healthcare providers, leading to improved quality of care. With Mirth, medical professionals can access complete and accurate patient data in real time, regardless of their location or electronic health record (EHR) system. This leads to better-informed decision-making, more coordinated care, and better patient outcomes. 

    Seamless Data Integration

    According to a study published in the Journal of Healthcare Information Management, the use of interface engines improved data integration and reduced the number of manual errors by 75%. With a cross-platform interface engine like Mirth, healthcare organizations can easily integrate data from various sources into a single, unified system. This means that doctors and other healthcare providers can access a patient’s entire medical history in one place, regardless of where the data was generated. This results in more accurate diagnoses, better treatment decisions, and improved patient outcomes.

    Time and Cost Efficiency

    In addition to improving patient outcomes, using the cross-platform interface engine abilities of Mirth Center also saves time and reduces costs. By automating data integration and reducing the need for manual data entry, healthcare organizations can operate more efficiently and allocate resources more effectively. 

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    Is Mirth Connect Free?

    One question that many people ask is whether Mirth Connect is free. The answer to this question is both yes and no. Mirth Connect is open-source software, meaning the basic version of the software is free to download and use. 

    The basic version of the Mirth Connect integration engine is called the Community Edition, and it is available for free download on the Mirth website. Many of Mirth Connect’s core features are included in the Community Edition, such as message routing, transformation, and filtering. It also includes a web-based interface that allows users to manage their integration workflows.

    But the Community Edition doesn’t have some of Mirth Connect’s more advanced features, like support for clusters, training, high availability, enterprise-level security, and other software modules. It also has a web-based interface allowing users to manage their integration workflows.

    mirth free

    What does this Mean for Healthcare Organizations?

    Many healthcare organizations can get by with just the basic version of Mirth Connect. The Mirth Connect Community Edition has many core features needed for integrating healthcare, and it can be customized to meet specific organizational needs.

    But bigger organizations or those with more complex integration needs may require a commercial license. With a commercial license, the extra features and professional services can help organizations be more efficient, safe, and reliable.

    Before deciding whether or not to buy a commercial license for Mirth Connect, organizations should carefully look at what they need and how much money they have. Even though the basic version of the software is free, training, support, and custom development may come with extra costs.

    Is Mirth Connect Open Source?

    Simply put, yes, Mirth Connect is a leading open-source healthcare integration engine. This means the source code is freely available for anyone to use, modify, and distribute. It can be a big plus for healthcare organizations that want a low-cost solution that they can customize to their specific needs.

    But what exactly does “open source” mean, and why does it matter for healthcare organizations? Open-source software has been developed collaboratively and is freely available for anyone to use, modify, and distribute. Therefore leading to faster innovation, more robust solutions, and lower costs.

    open source cross platform interface engine

    For healthcare organizations, open-source software like Mirth Connect can offer several benefits. 

    • First, it can be a cost-effective solution that organizations can customize to their needs. Because the source code is freely available, healthcare organizations can modify it to meet their unique requirements without paying for expensive licenses or proprietary software.
    • Second, open-source software can be more secure. Because the source code is freely available, it can be reviewed by a large community of developers, leading to faster identification and patching of security vulnerabilities. This feature is a huge plus in healthcare, where patient data security is paramount.
    • Finally, open-source software can be more reliable. Because the software is developed collaboratively, it can be more thoroughly tested and vetted than proprietary software, leading to more robust and reliable solutions.

    What is the alternative to Mirth Connect?

    The Redox Platform is a modern healthcare interoperability platform that can be used as an alternative to Mirth Connect. It connects healthcare organizations with technology vendors and other healthcare organizations. 

    The Redox Platform has several features that make it a good alternative to Mirth Connect for healthcare organizations. Let’s look at some of these features below:

    • The Redox Platform is highly scalable. It can handle millions of messages per day and can be used to connect multiple systems across multiple organizations. It is an ideal choice for large healthcare organizations that must integrate multiple systems.
    • Second, the Redox Platform is highly secure. It uses state-of-the-art encryption and other security features to protect patient data and ensure compliance with healthcare regulations. 
    • Third, the Redox Platform is highly customizable. It can be tailored to meet the unique needs of each healthcare organization, with a wide range of customization options available.
    • The Redox Platform is easy to use. It offers a user-friendly interface that healthcare organizations can use to manage their integrations, monitor their data, and troubleshoot any issues.
    alternative healthcare development company

    On our podcast CareMinds we had the pleasure of speaking with Nick McKenzie, Group Product Manager at Redox. Watch for lots of interesting insights.


    Mirth is a game-changer for the healthcare industry because it makes it easy for different systems to share data and work together. Since almost half of all healthcare organizations in the US use Mirth as their main integration engine, it is clear that this software tool is a key part of improving patient outcomes and streamlining healthcare workflows.

    The healthcare industry constantly evolves, and technology is at the forefront of this change. With Mirth, healthcare organizations can stay ahead of the curve and ensure that their data integration and exchange systems are efficient, effective, and reliable.

    At The APP Solutions, we understand the importance of efficient and reliable healthcare data exchange and integration. That is why we offer top-of-the-line health data systems and integration services to healthcare organizations looking to streamline their workflow and improve how they care for patients.

    Our experienced team of developers and healthcare experts can easily incorporate Mirth into your existing healthcare systems, ensuring a seamless data exchange between various systems. 

    Contact us today to learn more about our services and start your integration journey.

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    EMR Integration in 2023: What You Need to Know

    EMR integration’s significance is undeniable; it enables better decision-making, reduces medical errors, and boosts patient engagement. Electronic Medical Systems function independently, but for optimal results, they need to interact. Regrettably, many hospitals don’t practice this.

    Our experience with Bueno clarified the issue. Bueno applies machine learning to analyze user’s EHR data, ensuring timely preventive care. The app shares this data with the healthcare team to advise patients on check-ups, lab tests, or symptom watch.

    But there was a hurdle. Healthcare providers could see the data, but accessing records from different platforms was a struggle. To solve this, we merged various solutions, consolidating all data in one spot. We used platforms like Orb Health, Validic, and Mayo Clinic.

    Today, we’re aware that EMR integration issues still persist in many medical firms. In this article, we’ll guide you on connecting different EMRs, explain its necessity, and discuss potential challenges.

    What is the EMR system?

    An EMR system is a digital platform stored in the cloud, holding patient medical data. In the not-so-distant past, medical data was etched on paper, stored in bulky folders, and piled high on shelves. Clinicians had to leaf through these volumes, laboriously seeking the information they needed to make swift diagnoses. However, with EMR systems, this relic of a practice is no longer a necessity.

    Imagine no longer battling with ink and paper, but rather smoothly navigating a sleek digital platform. This digital library, or EMR, neatly organizes and securely stores patient data. It’s a resource for medical history, diagnostic data, lab test results, appointments, billing details, and more.

    It’s not only doctors who have access to this knowledge. Patients, too, can step into this library. Through a digital door known as a patient portal, they can glance at their health story unfolded.

    Every prescribed medicine, every immunization, every treatment plan is at their fingertips, as well as the doctors’. Informed decisions can then be made, not only based on a single page of information but the entire medical narrative of the patient. The EMR system, hence, is a potent tool empowering both the healthcare provider and the recipient, and typically includes:

    • Medical history
    • Diagnostic information
    • Lab test results
    • Appointments
    • Billing details
    • Prescription and refill data from pharmacies
    • Patient portals
    • Treatment plans
    • Immunization records

    What Are Examples of EMR Platforms?

    There are over 600 EMR vendors according to review sites. However, we’ll focus on discussing those we’ve successfully integrated at The APP Solutions. We’ll share our experiences with CernerAmbulatory, Epic EMR, DrChrono, and eClinicalWorks.


    Cerner, a US medical software titan, delivers digital health data solutions. It caters to multispeciality and smaller practices. Key offerings include Cerner Powerchart, Caretracker, and Cerner Millenium.

    Key Features: population health, revenue cycle, medical reporting, lab information, and patient portal.

    Cerner Pros:

    • Strong interoperability promotes collaboration.
    • Cost-effective for small practices.
    • Advanced patient portal for health information.
    • Software can mimic practice’s branding.

    Cerner Cons:

    • Fewer integrations, such as CRM.
    • Regular updates can pose learning challenges.

    Epic EMR

    Epic EMR is a hospital favorite, holding medical records for over 253 million Americans. It shines in large settings. Notable features are telemedicine, billing, e-prescription, templates, and analytics.

    Epic EMR Pros:

    • Detailed patient information reports.
    • Telehealth for remote consultations.
    • AI and analytics to enhance decision-making.

    Epic EMR Cons:


    DrChrono provides web and app-based EMR systems. It assists with appointments, reminders, and billing, automating routine tasks.

    Key Features: patient charting, telehealth, appointment scheduling, and reminders.

    DrChrono Pros:

    • Affordability benefits small or new practices.
    • Comprehensive training for software admins.
    • Secure direct messaging for patients and doctors.

    DrChrono Cons:

    • No Android app for doctors.
    • Limitation on appointment reminder methods.


    eClinicalWorks supplies digital health records, patient management, and population health solutions. It caters to over 4000 US clients. Key features are revenue cycle management, patient portal, wellness tracking, activity dashboard, and telehealth.

    eClinicalWorks Pros:

    • Operates on multiple platforms like Mac and Windows.
    • User-friendly interface.
    • Interoperability connects with other systems.

    eClinicalWorks Cons:

    • Pricey for small practices.
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    Why Is EMR Integration Important for Healthcare Companies?

    The healthcare sector is one of the world’s top data generators. It is critical that the data generated is collected and accessible from a single point. The main reasons why integrating EMR is important will be discussed below.

    Securing Sensitive Information 

    Healthcare, a prime target for cyberattacks, experienced 5.8% of total cyber-attacks in 2022. They focused on health records. EMR systems, HIPAA-compliant, strengthen data security. They safeguard patient records against cyber threats and natural disasters.

    Streamlining Data Access

    EMR integration offers a solution for data fragmentation. It consolidates patient records, making them easily accessible. So, doctors can view complete patient histories at a glance. This aids in accurate diagnoses.

    Enhancing Workflow

    Consider the effect of a unified report system. It would compile laboratory, pharmaceutical, and dental department data. This results in efficiency. Doctors make quicker decisions. They don’t wait for paper-based results. Automated record collection lightens staff workload too.

    Safeguarding Patient Safety

    Keeping patient data in different systems can cause errors. In fact, medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. EMR integration helps. It detects errors in record keeping, thereby promoting patient safety.

    Improving Healthcare Outcomes

    Access to complete patient information benefits healthcare providers. It leads to better understanding of patients’ conditions and helps doctors diagnose accurately. Also, timely access to records informs the design of preventive measures.

    Boosting Patient Engagement

    EMR systems do not just serve healthcare professionals. Patients also access their information. This breeds interest and empowerment. Patients become proactive in managing their health. Plus, easy doctor access via telehealth lessens the stress of physical consultations.

    Are There Any Challenges?

    Healthcare providers often hesitate to integrate Electronic Medical Records due to its complexity. Let’s explore the most common issues.

    Cost Barrier: How Affordable Are EMR Solutions?

    Deploying an EMR system can burn a hole in your pocket. Initial implementation may require you to shell out around $100,000. Small-sized practices might find this cost daunting. But, don’t worry. More wallet-friendly options like pre-built systems exist. Take Dchrono for instance. With a monthly fee of just $19, it’s a suitable pick for growing establishments.

    However, be mindful if you’re eyeing free EHRs. In fact, we don’t recommend open source systems. They usually come with restrictions – lack of customization and a ceiling on patient data storage. Moreover, the choices for free EHR systems are slim. Due to their vital role in healthcare – with lives at stake – most prefer not to risk relying on a totally free, open-source EMR.

    Compatibility with Legacy Systems 

    Facilities already having EMR systems might wish to unite them through a single solution. However, finding one that fits all systems like a glove is a considerable challenge. The different systems might store data in diverse formats, complicating the integration process.

    Transitioning Data

    Migrating data from paper to digital, while linking it all, demands considerable effort. It might take weeks or months to transfer all health information completely. During this phase, potential information loss could shake patient trust. Careful planning and adequate time allocation can help manage this issue effectively.

    Data Protection 

    A tough nut to crack in EMR integration is securing private data. With medical records susceptible to breaches, it’s crucial to ensure watertight security. As an illustration, in 2021 alone, cyber-attacks exposed over 45 million records. To combat this, opt for a HIPAA-compliant vendor with a strong security framework.

    Human Errors (Training and Adaptation)

    Human-related challenges could put a spoke in the wheel of EMR integration. Resistance from staff towards the new system, incorrect data entry, and lack of training are common obstacles. Implementing a thorough training regimen can help staff adjust to the EMR software, ensuring accurate health record entry.

    Navigating Interoperability

    Interoperability lets healthcare providers share patient data. For interoperability to be comprehensive, FHIR and HL7, and other interoperability standards come into play.  

    If you want to know more about them, check out our post on the differences between HL7 and FHIR

    That said, achieving smooth data exchange isn’t that simple.

    Firstly, not all systems speak the same ‘language’. We’ve got multiple data formats to deal with. Translating them so they align is a Herculean task.

    Additionally, ensuring data safety while exchanging it between systems is tough. Security has to be top-notch. A single leak can breach patient privacy.

    It’s also about change – old habits die hard. Many healthcare providers are still adjusting to new protocols. It takes time to shift from traditional methods.

    Step-By-Step Guide to EMR Implementation 

    Here’s a roadmap to help you through integrating your EMR.

    Phase 1: Blueprint of Preparation

    Begin your EMR integration journey with meticulous planning. Identify the needs of your practice, devise your strategy, set goals, and allocate time for staff training and the overall implementation process. The size of your practice and the volume of data to handle are crucial to your planning.

    Phase 2: Structuring the Design

    The next stage is design. You’ll need to consider the features you want in your EMR system. Focus on developing a tailor-made solution that connects all your EMRs and ensures an easy-to-navigate interface for your staff.

    Should you desire a patient portal and telehealth functionalities, incorporate a mobile-friendly design. Consider engaging a development team to help with coding architecture at this stage.

    Phase 3: Building the Infrastructure

    Next, transform your design into functional software. This phase entails converting data from diverse formats across various EMRs. Given the potential risk of errors, which could compromise patient safety, it’s paramount to ensure accurate conversion of data. Always double-check to mitigate mistakes.

    Phase 4: Testing the Functionality

    Post-construction, the system needs to be rigorously tested. This step aims to identify any bugs, gauge user interactions, and evaluate the system’s reliability, data precision, and impact on your operations.

    Phase 5: Activation and Launch

    Finally, you’re ready to go live. Ensure your system complies with HIPAA regulations for health data security. Be open to feedback from users to facilitate continuous improvement.

    Upon successful implementation, your new system should improve operational efficiency for your staff and enhance patient health outcomes.

    Phase 6: Empowering through Training

    Staff training is a critical aspect of EMR integration. Compile a comprehensive training manual to guide your staff through the new system. As not all employees may be tech-savvy, split the training into manageable segments for ease of comprehension.

    EHR Vs. EMR Integration: Which Is Right for Your Practice?

    Before going digital, you must pick. Is EHR or EMR right for you? Here’s how they compare. 



    Data Scope

    Records patient data in one practice.

    Stores patient data from all providers.


    Shares data within one practice.

    Shares data with multiple health professionals.

    Data Transfer

    Transferring data is difficult.

    Transferring data is easier.

    Data Focus

    Focuses on diagnosis and treatment.

    Gives a broad view of patient’s care.

    Patient Access

    Mainly for providers’ use.

    Patients can also access their records.

    Care Continuity

    Good for tracking data in one practice.

    Better for sharing updates with other caregivers.

    Your choice between an EHR and an EMR depends on the needs of your practice and your patients. If you value a comprehensive, shareable, and patient-involved approach, an EHR might be a better fit. On the other hand, if you’re a single practice focusing on diagnosis and treatment, an EMR may suit you best.

    Choosing a Healthcare Integration Service

    Healthcare integration services, like EMR, ERP, and EHR, manage health information. When selecting one, you need to consider several key factors:

    Growth Capability

    When setting up an integration system, think long-term. Partner with an experienced vendor. They can help you grow your operations without losing data.

    Data Safety

    You will handle private data. So, your vendor must prioritize security. They should have proper industry certification. Also, they must understand HIPAA and other compliance needs.


    Don’t entrust data management to an inexperienced vendor. Read reviews of different vendors. Talk to their current or past clients to judge their skills.


    Avoid vendors with slow, inflexible systems. Choose a vendor that can adapt to your specific needs. This prevents unnecessary additions and keeps costs down.

    Customer Service

    Your vendor should provide excellent support. Fast responses to issues can prevent major downtime. This keeps your patients satisfied.


    Implementing an EMR system brings great benefits to healthcare providers. Despite challenges like costs, the rewards are greater. To implement the steps we discussed, you need a skilled software development company.

    The APP Solutions is that company. We’re qualified to build your EMR integration system. We support you through every development stage, from defining business goals to selecting the best vendor for your practice.

    Connect with us to discuss your project

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