Reducing Manual Work through HL7 Interface Lifecycle Management

Caristix was selected to present at Interconnected Health 2012 recently, and we focused on a new concept, HL7 Interface Lifecycle Management.

Up till now, there’s been a sort of unspoken assumption in the industry: interfacing is a linear event based on simple drag-and-drop configuration within an interface engine. However, if you look at all of the tasks that are involved in interfacing, it is far more helpful to model interfacing as a lifecycle.

Here’s why.

HL7 provides a framework to support the process of mapping and exchanging disparate data. However, while the standard provides needed guidance, every provider organization and vendor takes advantage of HL7’s flexibility to adapt data syntax to different clinical workflows. As a basic example, even when two hospitals are using the same version of an ADT system from the same vendor, they will most likely configure systems and interfaces differently. As a result of the many variances and adaptations of the HL7 standard, there’s no truly standard way that systems are implemented and data is handled. In response, analysts and interface engineers are forced to undertake manual, tedious work as part of implementation process — even if they’re using state-of-the-art interface engines.

When interfacing is modeled as a lifecycle process, you have an opportunity to reduce that manual, tedious work, and make better use of your interface engine investment.

Browse the presentation to learn more about Interface Lifecycle Management. You’ll see the 7 key stages that every healthcare organization goes through when implementing interfaces: scoping, configuration, validation, go-live, monitoring, maintenance and support, and finally, an upgrade decision when sending systems change. There are examples drawn from providers and HIT vendors, and we’ve covered best practices and automation strategies that leadership can implement during each step regardless of interface engine or integration technology in use. From a project management and delivery point of view, these strategies can help to standardize implementation processes and support vendor-provider collaboration.