The healthcare industry has seen some major technological advances in recent years, however, healthcare organizations and operations remain pretty archaic. Most organizations still operate in silos, one disconnected from one another and as a result creating a frustrating experience for patients. Healthcare organizations would benefit from technology that provides healthcare providers and payers with a holistic view of the patient. The following article discusses how APIs are the solution to the fragmented state of the healthcare industry. APIs allow systems and data to talk to one another without having a negative impact on data security and provides the patient with a seamless experience.
It’s astonishing to find technologically advanced industries still struggling with the age-old problem of paper records and disconnected systems. Take the healthcare industry, which has made robotic surgery possible and now is on the verge of releasing nanobots into our bloodstreams. Yet on the backend, healthcare professionals and patients still resubmit the same forms over and over because of a lack of integration across systems and devices. This increases the risk for errors and, in turn, can jeopardize the health of individuals.
Today, the biggest revolutions in healthcare technology aren’t just occurring on the frontend, but also in getting existing technology on the backend to open up and connect with new technologies. With the explosion of data from mobile and wearable devices, healthcare organizations now need to efficiently and accurately treat patients by connecting with external third-party applications, devices and services for a complete picture of the patient’s health.
In essence, connectivity is the new way forward in healthcare, and APIs are the invisible integrators making this possible.
The New Way Forward
Many organizations and hospitals are cautious of sharing private information that could contain personal, financial and medical data from consumers and patients. Technology innovation in the healthcare industry has historically been hindered by these proprietary concerns over data. In addition, Ponemon Institute estimates 91 percent of healthcare organizations have suffered at least one data breach in the last two years, creating heightened security concerns. Vendors that gather health data are often reluctant to integrate or share electronic health records (EHR) with others for this reason, locking valuable health data in silos and keeping it outside of hospitals.
However, when data isn’t shared with a patient’s care providers and isn’t integrated across systems within the healthcare organization, it fails to provide the full picture of a patient’s health, hindering overall care. For this reason, the industry is gravitating to APIs, which allow disparate systems and data to talk to one another without impacting the underlying data or compromising IT governance and security. This creates a seamless, reusable flow of information between internal systems and those belonging to third parties.
One of the biggest mistakes a healthcare organization can make is keeping data from mobile, wearable and cloud sources in silos.