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Interoperability Facilitator Ecosystem 2022 Interoperability Facilitator Ecosystem 2022
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Interoperability Facilitator Ecosystem 2022
Vendor-Reported Capabilities

author - Tyson Blauer
Tyson Blauer
author - Paul Warburton
Paul Warburton
March 24, 2022 | Read Time: 3  minutes

Almost all HIT solutions today need to be able to share data in some capacity. To a large extent, efforts by provider and vendor organizations to enable interoperability have focused on EMR-to-EMR data sharing or sharing between other solutions whose primary function is not interoperability (e.g., BI systems, population health management platforms). Such sharing has also been the focus of KLAS’ historical interoperability research. However, there are a large number of standalone solutions—both old and new—whose primary function is to facilitate interoperability for specific use cases. These interoperability facilitators are garnering increased market interest as organizations face an expanding array of data-sharing needs.

To help provider organizations better understand their options for tackling interoperability, this report uses vendor-provided information (not yet validated by KLAS) to examine the various solutions’ primary use cases, customer types, and deployed functionality. Future research will utilize customer feedback to validate vendor capabilities and measure customer satisfaction. For complete details on vendors’ self-reported capabilities, see the full report.

solutions that support electronic data sharing

Interoperability Vendors Are Broadening Their Offerings & Use Cases

Though they are used by healthcare organizations primarily for interoperability use cases, the vendors in this study come from a variety of backgrounds inside and outside healthcare IT, and each takes a different approach to achieving interoperability. Many are broadening their offerings to include new functionality, becoming multi-faceted interoperability facilitators, yet their historical focus can help prospective customers understand how a vendor’s solution has most commonly been deployed and the areas of interoperability in which the vendor is most experienced. The chart below shows the ecosystem of interoperability facilitators. (KLAS acknowledges many vendors have multiple use cases; to organize vendor respondents most effectively, this chart focuses on their primary use case.)

interoperability facilitator ecosystem - by vendor's primary use case industry changes driving increased adoption of standalone interoperability facilitators

Vendors with Multiple Customer Types Can Be Well Suited to Help Organizations Connect to Various Data Sources

Most provider organizations today buy interoperability facilitators for specific use cases. Going forward, a growing number of vendors are looking to become a one-stop shop for interoperability. Vendors who have multiple customer types report they can help provider organizations looking to consolidate solutions; this is due to these vendors’ broader experience connecting a variety of external data sources. For example, vendors who have experience with payer data can better help customers navigate new government regulations and avoid common barriers. Additionally, initiatives in areas like valued-based care, SDOH, and patient engagement require organizations to have access to external data from across the continuum of care. Today, most vendors work primarily with provider organizations, but their customer bases are broadening to other customer types as well.

contracted customer types

Unstructured Data Still a Significant Stumbling Block; FHIR Can Streamline Data Sharing

Unstructured data is still one of the biggest barriers to interoperability, and provider organizations and vendors are working to move unstructured data more efficiently. The process typically requires manual data mapping, but the lack of standards for unstructured data makes this mapping hard to replicate. Vendors are hoping to address this challenge by partnering with customer organizations to standardize data mapping. Additionally, vendors and provider organizations are hoping to streamline data sharing through FHIR, which promotes a narrower, more standardized approach to interoperability and aims to ensure the most relevant information is shared. FHIR-enabled APIs simplify data mapping and encourage data sharing that is more replicable between different software solutions. However, FHIR APIs as they stand today can pull only a portion of data. Adoption today is low; provider organizations are highly interested in FHIR APIs but are working with vendors to establish specific data workflows before adopting.

customer adoption of different data types

Identifying Vendors that Align with Your Organization’s Interoperability Strategy

Working with vendors and provider organizations, KLAS has identified five pillars organizations can consider as they develop an interoperability strategy and look for vendor partners who can meet their top technology needs. KLAS’ pillars can help customers prioritize their desired use cases and identify which vendors offer deep experience and mature capabilities in those areas. It should be noted that although vendors offer broad capabilities, some capabilities may not be mature enough for organizations’ needs. In future research, KLAS intends to use this framework to validate vendor capabilities and customer satisfaction. See the full report for a detailed overview of vendor-reported capabilities.

klas pillars of interoperability strategy
author - Sarah Hanson
Sarah Hanson
author - Natalie Jamison
Project Manager
Natalie Jamison
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.