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How 'Best of Breed' Digital Tools Increase Network Value

Jules Roebbelen
July 13, 2021
Click here for Part 1 of our Interoperability series.

When systems are integrated, each system builds connections to each other system to ensure that it can exchange, translate and interpret the data of the other systems. Integration usually requires the use of “middle-ware”, a third-party software in order to receive the sent data, interpret it and then transmit the translated data to the receiving parties. You see this often on a small scale within and between organizations. For example, a hospital might integrate its medical records system to its billing system, its admission/discharge system, its scheduling system, and maybe even some external partner organizations. With each integration, you have to translate the APIs (Application Programming Interfaces, or “languages”) of each system to each of the systems they are connected to. This becomes exponentially more complex as you add new systems. This often becomes so difficult, that many organizations give up and purchase monolithic systems that try to do it all. This strategy has many benefits, but you begin to sacrifice the ability to use best-of-breed solutions, limit access to new innovations in the marketplace, and often make inter-organizational integration even more difficult (because your monolithic system often wants to control your business partners’ processes too). In most cases, your monolithic system will not be greater than the sum of its best-of-breed competitor parts. It discourages the introduction of new technologies that would otherwise be beneficial to your organization. Your monolithic system ends up creating more limitations than possibilities.

The Art of the Possible

What is best of breed? These are digital tools that have mastered a solution to a few very specific problems. Each tool "stays in its lane" and perfects the solution in such a way that stands well above any other competitor that tries to "do it all". For example, a nutritionist will never recommend a meal replacement bar. Yes, it will keep you alive, and it is cost effective and convenient, but you are not getting all the nutrients your body requires from fresh fruits, vegetable and whole protein sources. Best of breed technologies works the same way. Best of breed solutions are always built according to the HL7 FHIR standard of healthcare data exchange. This means that any solution built to the HL7 FHIR standard can easily interoperate with any other HL7 FHIR system, because they communicate using a common language. A system built of best of breed solutions means that you are getting the most advanced features specific to that healthcare sector, without compromising any one system's ability to attempt to do everything, which often results in gaps in the functionality of the software.

Caredove is the only eReferral system focused on home, community care and mental health & addictions services. With complicated coverage regions, multiple referral forms and a desire to market services to the general public, Caredove's eReferral and service marketing platform provides all the tools your agency needs to advertise services, gather client information and schedule intake appointments. If you are a hospital network, being able to search for and refer to these types of services, directly from your EMR or HIS, is of incredible value to your patients who are confused about navigating the community care sector on their own.

By using an HL7 FHIR interoperable system, connecting to Caredove through your existing system is just a click away. To learn more, schedule a demo with the Caredove sales team.

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