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.