Get HIMSS-Ready: A Guide To Finding Interoperability

The search for true interoperability can be time consuming, frustrating, and confusing. Wide claims are often made about data integration solutions, only to later find they aren’t truly interoperable—and the chatter at HIMSS will be no different. The best way to ensure a satisfying conference experience is to pull the plug on the propaganda and get prepared.

Cut through the clutter by using the three C’s of true interoperability as your guide: care, collaboration and cost.

Click here for a mobile-friendly pocket guide to finding interoperability at HIMSS

  1. CARE: All conversations should begin with the problem we are trying to solve. Data isn’t nameless. Each data point represents a real person in need of, or receiving, care. Select a solution that treats data with the reverence it deserves and empowers you to use it to its highest possible potential.

    • Can the vendor come to the table and have a conversation about care?

      Care How will this solution impact our ability to deliver care to patients and communities? Vendors who prioritize the impact of their technology at the clinical level—for research or practice or population health—are more likely to be committed to delivering a lasting and durable solution than those that view it as a purely technical challenge.

    • Is it focused on minimums or the future?

      If a sales team leads with its ability to help you meet looming federal, local, and institutional regulations, you may want to reconsider. Satisfying today’s requirements isn’t enough. Your solution should support constantly-changing biomedical big data standards, types, and models in a manner that is fully independent of any and all data generating technologies.

  2. COLLABORATON: Evaluate both the collaborative nature of the vendor and how well its solution supports the collaborative nature of your work. Collaboration is a two-way relationship, and discovery can’t happen without a solid partnership that works both ways.

    • Does it enable collaboration while maintaining ownership?

      Does the solution provide underlying technologies that support your policies surrounding ownership, stewardship, and valuation? Will your data stewards maintain control of data or does the solution centralize that process? Your team and your collaborators should be empowered to control where, when and how data is shared with others and harmonized across standards and models.

    • Does the solution offer security, transparency and traceability of the data?

      Collaboration Will your data be centralized into shared storage, or will it be able to remain in its current location? Will your data be secure both in transit and at rest? At what bit encryption level? Gauge your comfort level. A true interoperability solution should leave you feeling confident that you maintain control over your data and that it’s safe at all times.

  3. COST: Avoid surprises and duplicative technology investments by looking ahead. Take time to evaluate costs both seen and unseen, for the lifetime of the engagement.

    • Care When will it be ready to deploy?

      A clear understanding of the time a solution requires to implement is crucial. Some solutions will take nine months alone to map the data you’re trying to connect, while others will have a reservoir of terms at the ready, with the majority of connectors already built. You shouldn’t need to start from scratch.

    • How inconvenient will it be?

      Care Ask up front exactly what existing activities you’ll be expected to change. Disruptions to your current workflows and processes mean you’ll pay in both money and time. A true interoperability solution will not disrupt your process of collecting data, the manner in which it’s stored, where it’s stored, how it’s structured or what language the data speaks. It will connect your data as it is, and where it is.

As you make your way through the vendors at HIMSS, be ready to ask a seemingly endless number of questions. And even more importantly, take note of whether the vendor is truly listening. Never underestimate the value of feeling understood and supported in your work.

Be sure to visit Signet Accel. We’ll be in booth 4460 and on Twitter. We’re ready to listen, to answer your questions and illustrate what true interoperability can do for you.

And don’t forget to bookmark (or download) Three Keys to Finding Interoperability at HIMSS— a helpful resource regardless of whether HIMSS is on your travel agenda this year.