Community Manager · Oct 21, 2015 2m read

Addressing the Healthcare Connectivity Challenge: Selecting a Health Service Bus


In healthcare, information accessibility can impact the outcome of a medical decision, or the success of a bundled payment initiative. To ensure that the right information is available at the right place and time, healthcare organizations typically have used HL7® interface engines to share data among clinical applications. But the demands on healthcare information technology are changing so rapidly that these simple engines are no longer sufficient.

  • New data sharing and interoperability standards and protocols arise and evolve continuously
  • The volume, variety, and velocity of data — including images, genomic data, and other outputs from new diagnostics, therapeutics, and monitoring devices — are constantly growing
  • Business models are evolving from fee-for-service to pay-for-value, creating demand for greater care coordination across care teams that include the patient and health plans

To keep pace with these demands and reduce the burden they place on in-house software development, many healthcare organizations have turned to enterprise service bus (ESB) products and their support for service-oriented architecture (SOA). Specifically, they have been looking to:

  • Make the organization’s data easier to capture and use
  • Deliver information into existing applications and clinician workflows for better care coordination
  • Keep up with re-orderapidly changing healthcare communication and interoperability standards by leaving that task to the ESB vendor

The utility of ESBs and SOA is not limited to a specific industry. It is important to remember, however, that these technologies were developed to address the needs of e-commerce and online retail. They were not built with the special challenges of the healthcare environment in mind.

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