The potential of healthcare APIs July 31, 2017
Application program interfaces (APIs) are a big driver for tackling interoperability. APIs essentially enable software systems to access each other’s information. In a healthcare setting, an API is a critical piece of clinical technology that enables independent physicians to readily access patient information, including crucial data that has been inputted by other providers the patient has seen for care.
Interoperability between systems, using advanced clinical software, helps the independent physician focus more fully on providing quality patient care instead of wasting time searching for information. As noted by Kyle Murphy, PhD, in a recent Health IT Interoperability article, “many subject-matter experts and innovators continue to tout the potential of widespread API use in healthcare to enable health data exchange and interoperability.”
Elation Health’s API functionality
Elation’s API functionality and efforts have been noted recently by Wellness for Life, as a move toward innovation in healthcare delivery. Justin Leigh, Chief Operating Officer at Wellness for Life, in discussing a new partnership with Elation, noted that our clinical technology solutions are a “groundbreaking platform” that will enable them to deliver “phenomenal care.”
APIs are designed to share healthcare information across clinical software systems. As such, concerns have been raised about cyber security and HIPAA conformity. To address these concerns, the Health IT Policy and Standards Committee has formed an API Task Force that has established three basic privacy and security criterion:
- Authentication, access control, and authorization
- Trusted connection
- Auditing actions on health information or auditable events and tamper resistance
With these assurances in place, healthcare APIs can safely tackle the interoperability between systems that is so important to independent physicians and their patients. Many patients, particularly the chronically ill or elderly, visit multiple providers for treatment. Their care might include lab tests or diagnostics that must be readily available to the primary care physician, to ensure the highest quality care for the patient. APIs make it possible for both physician and patient to take advantage of easy, secure access to that patient’s healthcare information.
Elation is excited to be at the forefront of the interoperability innovations that are made possible with APIs, enabling independent physicians to focus on patient care instead of on paperwork.