Your EMR Needs Integration Capabilities

Stage 2 is coming, and the focus of the electronic medical record (EMR) community is shifting from the capture, to the exchange of health information. According to one industry insider, when it comes to true interoperability, here are 10 things your EMR may need:

  1. Single sign-on (SSO). Applications tend to proliferate, and if you don’t allow people to switch between these applications using a common login and password, users will get frustrated and give up.
  2. Context transitions. As applications grow, and you need to integrate them into an EMR, SSO won’t be enough, because you’ll still lose the “active patient or task” being performed. You’ll also need to provide for the transition of context between applications.
  3. Widget publishing. EHRs often have hundreds of functions, and if some are exportable or publishable as widgets, they become much easier to integrate into new user interfaces in the future.
  4. Widget consumption. EMRs will become more like containers of cross-application functionality than innate functionality, so consuming widgets will be a basic requirement.
  5. Mash-ups. EMRs should allow access to their content through the content management interoperability services (CMIS) standard, thereby allowing users to unlock content they have in various health records.
  6. Customizable dashboards. EMRs should provide dashboards that can be tailored by organization, user role, or even user.
  7. Interactive Voice Response (IVR). IVR, which allows an EMR to interact with users through phones and other voice systems, such as Skype, will improve collaboration with patients and other physicians who aren’t at a computer.
  8. Voice recognition. This will help users conduct EMR tasks more efficiently.
  9. Natural language understanding. Because most EMR data is entered by humans, an EMR must integrate with systems that can convert the spoken word or typed text to structured data.
  10. Customizable data import and export. A good EMR must allow customizable importing and exporting of simple lists in common formats, such as Excel, CSV and XML.

Details about these tips, and an additional two not discussed above, can be found here.

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