CHALLENGES INTEGRATION SYSTEMS AND MANUAL PROCESSES
With many disparate systems and data format requirements, integration can pose a huge challenge for healthcare organizations. This can be a deterrent in adopting new systems or integrating existing systems. Lack of integration leads to slow manual processes that cost the business money through resource inefficiency.
Beyond the difficulty around integration within an organization, integration between organizations can be even more cumbersome. In its annual report on the top issues in healthcare, PricewaterhouseCoopers called 2016 the year of “merger mania.” 2015 broke records for mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare industry, with 1,460 transactions worth approximately $563 billion, and 2016 is gearing up to match – if not exceed – those numbers. These partnerships may create stronger offerings but also come fraught with issues. This explosion of mergers and acquisitions, especially those creating unconventional partnerships, leads to duplicate systems and inefficient processes in the web of resultant technologies.
It is critical for organizations involved in M&A activity to keep consumer experience a priority. Leveraging shared data and services will be a key to delivering a cutting-edge digital experience for existing and newly attained consumers. Lost data and integration can mean lost business.
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APIs ENABLE INTEGRATION AND AUTOMATION
Exposed APIs create better products and services. APIs can solve connectivity challenges between systems without significant infrastructure investment by allowing data communication and sharing. APIs have the capability to run analytics over live data and answer questions like:
- What kind of applications are most used by consumers and for what services?
- What is the age group of patient segments and what kind of services do they seek? This will help design better health plans based on demographics, regions, etc. and better serve the community.
APIs also enable data to be shared with partners, allowing healthcare companies to benefit from data from external resources. The data for any healthcare company does not sit in just one place, system, location, or region. With millions of records, data needs to be integrated and sought based upon different domains such as claims, benefits, etc. This disparate data also holds the key to countless meaningful insights. Through APIs, individual data providers could easily share their data via API calls and expose that data to build new applications that consume one or more of these APIs from different systems to build some meaningful results.
With the redundancy and incompatibility of systems caused by the huge rise of mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare industry, these giants end up with a complex web of applications and infrastructure. APIs can be built on top of this to ease integration without significant infrastructure investment and provide excellent services to all stakeholders.
Cumbersome systems integration is just one of the healthcare challenges solved by API management explored in our guide, Digitally Transforming Healthcare with APIs. Download the guide for the other ways APIs are changing healthcare and get real-world success stories from industry leaders.