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Introduction

In healthcare, the outcome of a life-or-death decision can depend on the available information. To help deliver the right information at the right time and place, healthcare organizations traditionally have used HL7 interface engines to share data among clinical applications.

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But the world of healthcare information technology is changing so rapidly thatHL7 interface engines are no longer sufficient. The technology landscape now includes new protocols and architectures, and the business environment has changed as well. Health information is being shared across broader populations of users and organizational boundaries. Clinical and administrative staffs need more information, faster, to improve patient care and control costs. And real-time analysis of information flowing through a hospital’s applications is essential for improving care and the organization’s financial health.

To meet these needs, a new class of advanced integration platform is replacing legacy HL7 interface engines and enabling the creation of connected healthcare environments. The best products in this class provide a range of capabilities for connected healthcare in a single, coherent package. They enable interoperability of systems from the emergency department to the billing department, from the chief medical officer to the office of the chief executive, and out through the healthcare community.

This white paper provides a guideline for selecting a modern integration platform to replace a legacy interface engine. Through a series of 9 key questions it will help you to clearly determine your selection criteria and the important architectural components to consider. This clarity is especially important when it comes to integration software. Far from being isolated applications whose strengths or weaknesses will have little effect on others, integration platforms will seamlessly connect applications, people, processes, and information across your organization. Asking these questions up front will help your organization identify the appropriate integration solution for its needs, save time and money, and reduce risk.