[To skip the prelude and go directly to the report sales page, please click here: 2015 Platforms in Healthcare: EHR Vendors’ Capabilities for Interoperability]
Demand for interoperable technologies and platforms is increasing and enterprise technology vendors are responding. Cloud computing, composite applications, and open-source software with publicly available application programming interfaces (APIs) are liberating data to catalyze rapid innovation in nearly every sector of the economy. Vendors such as Amazon, Cisco, EMC, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce and VMWare have adopted this Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) approach to help their customers increase their pace of development and deployment, take advantage of more widely available development skills, broaden product and service portfolios, and achieve greater customer satisfaction.
But healthcare is stubbornly resistant. All of the factors driving the adoption of platform thinking in the wider economy across other industries — escalating demand for better user functionality, customers seeking an outcome rather than a transaction, rapidly changing payment models — are present in healthcare. Yet HCOs and their HIT vendors cling tenaciously to closed, transaction-based systems and methods of doing business that simply digitize pre-existing business and clinical processes, preserving an undesirable and costly status quo.
Our newest report, 2015 Platforms in Healthcare: EHR Vendors’ Capabilities for Interoperability, provides a broad overview of the current macroeconomic drivers that will foster the growth of platform thinking in the healthcare sector. Specifically, this research found that independent software vendors (ISV) have mixed opinions of the capabilities offered by EHR vendors. Some survive, and even thrive, but always at the sufferance of major EHR vendors. Others survive in the shadows, taking pains not to attract any attention from EHR vendors for fear of being shut out.
Meanwhile, healthcare end-users have elevated expectations based on consumer-facing application ecosystems or “app stores” – built on the technical foundation of open APIs in a cloud-based environment. Yet few EHR vendors admit that provider needs have long outstripped existing EHR feature sets.
This report addresses recent advances in interoperability trends that will help to support the transition to a PaaS model in healthcare – notably HL7 FHIR. The report surveys current EHR vendor strategies to enable PaaS with profiles of leading vendors including ratings on core functionality. After all, as the current hub for health IT in care organizations, this is their opportunity to lose – with other solution vendors happy and eager to innovate to create a true ecosystem for healthcare applications if EHR vendors fail to adapt.
HCOs and their HIT vendors will soon have to decide whether they want to be the platform or be a participant in some other entity’s platform. HCOs will need these platforms to interact with each other, with payers, and with patients if the triple aim is ever to be achieved.