If you happened to miss the tweets from @GalenHealthcare, InterSystems Global Summit took place March 8th-11th in Orlando, FL. As an implementation partner of InterSystems, members of Galen have attended this conference before, but this was a first for a colleague and myself. For those of you who don’t know, InterSystems is a global technology company that offers products like Caché®, Ensemble®, and HealthShare®. They are the main technology provider for companies like Epic, HIXNYSM, HIETexas, as well as many non-healthcare companies.
The Global Summit was a chance for InterSystems, along with its technology partners, to strategize for the new year, share methodologies, educate one another, and celebrate the past year’s successes. One theme that particularly resonated with me was Interoperability, which has been my main focus for the last five years while working at Galen. Over time I have gained skills and experiences that help streamline an integration project, but because standards are never strictly followed, or consumers and senders observe different versions of the same standard, an integration does not progress without a few bumps in the road. While at the conference I picked up a great saying that I hadn’t heard before, “Once you’ve developed one HL7 interface, you’ve developed one HL7 interface”.
Interoperability is my third favorite buzz word phrase behind Big Data and Game-Changing Deep Dive. Everyone talks about it and everyone claims their solutions are viable. I believe the true key to interoperability is not to follow the latest and greatest standard but to have the flexibility to support a variety of standards within your product. InterSystems has been able to accomplish this with C-CDA. InterSystem’s HealthShare® provides an effective methodology to facilitate version agnostic document exchange. All documents received into HealthShare® are converted to Structured Document Architecture (SDA) which enables the transformation to any of the 20+ recognized Document Standards. SDA is also considered future proof because you have the ability to create new file formats as the standards change. This was extremely interesting to me after having dealt first hand with limitations of generating specific document standards to comply with a multitude of receiving systems.
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