Demand drives integration. Products do not integrate until there is a substantial amount of demand. Integration seamlessly occurs when the two products speak the same language.
Before I share discussion points, I'd like to give a quick lesson about what integration means. FOTO has a precise program to program interface which specifies what functionality is available, how it must be used, and the exact formats allowed for interaction. Any system interested in plugging into FOTO's Outcomes Manager must speak in the specific language outlined by FOTO in order to push information into Outcomes Manager or pull information from Outcomes Manager. FOTO has high specifications in order to maintain the integrity of its data.
FOTO initiated integration capability back in 2012. FOTO users were requesting the outcome measurement system to talk to their electronic medical record (EMR). To do such a thing, FOTO created an Application Programming Interface (API). The EMR determines the level of integration available for its documentation software and for its customers. With regard to FOTO's integration capability, you can see it's very successful.
When you begin assessing outcomes measurement systems and their ability to integrate, you have 3 important discussion points to help you determine the reliability of the integration.
How many products are currently integrated? This question is highly important. The more products currently integrated indicates the level of demand for the outcomes measurement system to be integrated. The higher the number of currently integrated products reflects the value of the outcome measurement system.
What functionality is available?Since the EMR determines the amount of integration for its documentation software, you need to ask about the level of integration. A basic type of integration will have significant limitations to your workflow. Basic integration is more of a one-sided kind of integration. One product pushes or pulls information from the other. Yes, it will be more efficient than no integration, but there are higher levels of integration. The highest level of integration has both products pushing and pulling information so workflow has more automation. The slickest form of integration has single sign on. What this means to you: the products feel like they are merged with each other. Most clinicians spend their day in their EMR. With single sign on, the clinician can be signed in their EMR AND signed into the outcomes measurement system. The outcomes measurement system is readily available to use within the EMR.
How many messages have flowed between the integrated products? Just because an outcomes measurement system states integration and defines functionality, this shouldn't be considered good enough when it comes to integration. You need to know the amount of talking actually occurring between the integrated products. Obviously, the more interchanges occurring between products indicate the products really are being used clinically.
This week FOTO Team will be excited to see many of you at the American Physical Therapy Association's Combined Sections Meeting in Anaheim, California. Stop by Booth #259 to better understand why FOTO is the standard in outcomes measurement. In the event you are really curious, no worries, I can share a bit here for you. Just click and learn more.
Are there more than 3 discussion points when it comes to integration? Let me know if I'm missing something!