Out of date or incomplete patient information. Disparate data sources. Duplicate patient information between providers.

When we talk about integration, we need to understand why exactly does it matter? What tangible benefits does it bring for healthcare workers on the ground? And why should it matter for your organization in particular?

Here, I’ll break down three areas where integration provides concrete benefits for hospitals and healthcare providers to demonstrate why integration must be a top priority for healthcare organizations.

Integration Impacts Finances

Many organizations don’t have the budget to take on a costly clinical information system procurement.

But, if you use an integration engine to connect legacy systems and extend the use of those systems, you can save that budget for other clinical purposes. This rationale – that it’s more efficient to use the investments you’ve already made than begin a whole new process – opens up new opportunities for organizations.

In one example, a large health sciences hospital used the Rhapsody Integration Engine to connect its existing systems, including departmental, surgical, and admit discharge transfer systems, and tie those together into a cohesive platform. This helped them build a clinical documentation system without having to procure an expensive new monolithic solution that would break their budget.

In another example, a medium-sized hospital was expanding and required a unified IT system. The construction company completing the project used our engine to meet their integration needs, tying together the existing hospital IT systems with the new tower systems, including building control, clinical systems and back office HR systems.

Beyond dollars and cents, when organizations can integrate data, they have control over the templates, forms and workflows they support in the delivery of patient care. In other words, hospitals don’t need to implement a one-size-fits-all solution – they can tailor their IT system to their own needs.

Integration Meets Clinicians’ Patient Information Needs

Clinicians aren’t typically involved in the deployment of an integration engine. But the effects of an integration engine directly impact their care for patients.

An integration engine enables the right data to be delivered at the right time, at the point of care, so they can make the most informed decisions for their patients. Having the right information at clinicians’ disposal helps them do their jobs more effectively. For example, if a specialist in a hospital has information from a patient’s general physician or ER nurse all in one place, she can make clinical decisions using the most-up-to-date and accurate information.  

Clinicians want it to work without manual intervention. And that means more clinicians are starting to demand a clinical integration engine that is reliable and efficient.

Integration Can Fast-Track Public Policy

In Canada, there are pan-Canadian organizations that have data feeds from several disparate hospitals, regional or governmental organizations. As such, they must find a way to aggregate this data in simple and straightforward ways, so they can provide reporting to policy analysts and legislators. This lets them drive new legislation and drive policy decisions based on up to date and relevant data.

With proper integration tools, data can be excavated from those organizations in a structured, reliable and auditable way. When this happens, the data is of the highest quality, meaning policy makers have a better foundation to make important healthcare decisions. 

For more information about Orion Health’s integration leadership, head to: https://vimeo.com/orionhealth.