VigiLanz Recognized for High Customer Retention, Innovation in KLAS 2019 Infection Control Report

MINNEAPOLIS – March 14, 2019 – VigiLanz, a clinical surveillance company, has been featured in the Infection Control 2019 Report from KLAS Research, released today. The report aggregates and analyzes interviews from thousands of healthcare professionals about the products and services their organizations use.

In the report, KLAS characterizes VigiLanz as a market leader for its high customer retention and innovative technology additions, such as active alerting, in its Dynamic Infection Control Monitor product. VigiLanz is also recognized for providing advanced automation and predictive analytics, two capabilities KLAS identified as highly desired by the market.

“Before we had [VigiLanz’s] Dynamic Infection Control Monitor, I did everything with manual data extraction,” said one anonymized user in the report. “I would have to run about 12 different reports to even get a list of patients to perform surveillance on, and I would need another six reports to get all the communicable disease reporting. [The] Dynamic Infection Control Monitor has made my job so much easier. It is a lot more efficient. I can easily get my patient list and go through it.”

Another anonymized user said, “We consider VigiLanz to be the leader in surveillance because of the flexibility of what we can do with the surveillance.”

VigiLanz’s Dynamic Infection Control Monitor is a seamless, real-time automated monitoring system that works with EMR systems. Its automatic exception-based alert system continuously surveils all patient records to alert decision makers in real time of potential infections, drug-bug mismatches, MDROs, isolation candidates, organism clusters, conditions of concern, and reportable infections. The surveillance is based on a sophisticated set of customizable rule engines.

“We understand how critical an infection prevention product is for patient outcomes and hospitals’ bottom lines, and we’re dedicated to the ongoing innovation that ensures we continue delivering what patients and the market needs,” said David Goldsteen, MD, CEO of VigiLanz. “In general, healthcare executives say infection prevention is one of the top five uses of clinical surveillance technology,[1] and it has rapidly become a critical component of quality patient care.”

The other top uses of clinical surveillance technology, according to healthcare executives, are:

1) Identifying adverse drug events
2) Promoting antimicrobial stewardship
3) Patient safety alerting
4) Managing readmissions

In addition to being a leader in this report, KLAS recognized VigiLanz in the 2019 Best in KLAS report, earning 2019 Category Leader designations for Antimicrobial Stewardship, Infection Control and Monitoring, and Pharmacy Surveillance.

About KLAS

KLAS is a research firm on a global mission to improve healthcare delivery by enabling providers and payers to be heard and counted. Working with thousands of healthcare professionals, KLAS gathers insights on software, services and medical equipment to deliver timely reports, trending data and statistical overviews. KLAS data is accurate, honest and impartial. The research directly represents the voice of healthcare professionals and acts as a catalyst for improving vendor performance. To learn more about KLAS and the insights we provide, visit www.KLASresearch.com.

About VigiLanz

Founded in 2001, VigiLanz (www.vigilanzcorp.com) is a privately held, rapidly growing provider of SaaS-based clinical surveillance solutions. The firm is focused on aggregating disparate EMR transactional workflow and documentation data across health systems to identify real-time clinical issues that avoid or minimize harm, optimize clinical outcomes and support preventive care. VigiLanz supports a large and growing community of hospital CMOs, CMIOs, CIOs, quality teams, infectious disease and control specialists, pharmacists, and other clinicians dedicated to real-time inpatient and outpatient care.

[1] Market Report: Clinical Surveillance: The Next Step in Value-Based Care. Feb. 2019. VigiLanz.

Three Ways Clinical Surveillance is Helping Prevent Patient Care Problems

Clinical surveillance can help healthcare systems more quickly identify clinical care problems, such as those related to medication errors and poor usage of antibiotics. But it can also help healthcare systems prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

That’s according to Bart Abban, PhD, director of analytics and data science at VigiLanz, who spoke about predictive analytics and clinical surveillance at the recent HIMSS Conference in Orlando.

“We’ve fully integrated a machine-learning platform into our real-time system,” said Abban, during his presentation. “We can look forward [at potential events], look in real time, and look back at historical data. It’s a fully closed-loop.”

Firm foundation needed

Much of the foundation of predictive analytics, Abban noted, comes from creating rules and alerts based on historical data. “You need a data repository,” he said. “We have vast amount of rich data, years and years of data.”

To view Abban’s full presentation, click here.

Health systems have many predictive analytics solutions to choose from. But Abban said VigiLanz stands apart because it provides a broader spectrum of alerts and customizations related to all types of patient care problems.

“With our platform you can do readmissions today, tomorrow you can start looking at mortality risk, you can look at adverse events, glycemic control,” he said. “We are currently developing a model on C. diff to alert clinicians to patients who are at high risk of getting C. diff. The sky is the limit.”

For more on how health systems are using clinical surveillance to enhance patient care, read “Clinical Surveillance: The Next Step in Value-Based Care.”

Three applications

Abban shared three examples of how VigiLanz is providing predictive analytics to health systems: 

  1. Sepsis

Since many hospitalized patients have symptoms that resemble sepsis, it can be difficult for providers to identify sepsis cases or identify patients who are most at risk. VigiLanz created a rules engine so that hospitals can use certain criterion—such as vital signs, labs, microbiology, comorbidities, and medications—to identify patients at risk. VigiLanz can then alert providers when patients are at risk, and providers can monitor these patients more closely and treat them proactively. Since data is updated in near real time, providers always have access to the most up-to-date information related to patients at risk.

  1. Acute kidney injury

Certain medications are essential for patients, but they can also lead to acute-kidney injury. The conventional approach is to monitor patients via labs, however, that means providers can only intervene after injury has already occurred. VigiLanz created a series of risk factors that can help providers more closely monitor patients, and proactively adjust medications as needed.

Risk factors include:

  • High risk nephrotoxic medications
  • Other drugs administered
  • Age, race, chronic morbidities, ICU stay or surgery
  • Specific labs
  1. Anomaly detection

VigiLanz created a rules-based engine to help health systems monitor the likelihood of a cluster or outbreak of hospital-acquired infections.. VigiLanz created alerts based on algorithms for various types of infections, and health systems are able to configure their own alert thresholds depending on their needs, areas of concern, and priorities.

Health systems using the VigiLanz platform to improve patient care and prevent patient care problems can rest assured that critical alerts won’t be missed by providers, said Abban. He noted that VigiLanz can track whether providers are taking actions related to the alerts they receive. If not, alerts can be reissued or the health system can follow up with providers directly. “It’s a whole ecosystem where you can extract the value of predictive analytics,” he said.

Top 4 Ways Health Systems Benefit from An API Approach to Clinical Surveillance

Speed is one of the most essential attributes of an effective approach to clinical surveillance. The faster patient data can be pulled from the EMR and sorted by clinical surveillance technology, the more quickly physicians and pharmacists can receive targeted alerts that lead to more optimal patient care decisions.

These alerts might be related to the identification of potential medication errors, the inappropriate use of antibiotics, or a possible outbreak of an infection such as C. diff.

To read about how health systems are using clinical surveillance to enhance patient care, read  “Clinical Surveillance: The Next Step in Value-Based Care.”

At the recent HIMSS Conference in Orlando, Adam Klass, chief technology officer at VigiLanz, and Dave Levin, MD, chief medical officer, Sansoro Health, spoke about how application programming interfaces (APIs) can be a gamechanger in clinical surveillance because they help data flow between EMRs and clinical surveillance solutions more quickly.

To view their full presentation, click here.

“We’re dealing with really important clinical problems here, and the sooner we can get these solutions in place and begin to impact the outcomes, the better for everyone,” said Levin.

APIs vs. HL7

For many years, most healthcare systems have transferred data from EMRs to outside solutions, such as clinical surveillance technology, via HL7 interfaces. But there are some drawbacks to this approach.

According to Klass:

  • The HL7 standard is interpreted in many different ways, which can raise confusion.
  • Hospital IT departments must spend time validating transferred data to ensure it is exchanging properly.
  • The approach requires building interfaces and maintaining them, which can be costly and time-consuming.

API data acquisition and transfer, on the other hand, provides a “more unified” data model, Klass said.  Information is pulled from the EMR in near real time, in a standard format, and it’s always sent to partners the same way, regardless of the EMR from which it originates.

“The value as you build out a full API footprint is getting that full clinical model from Day 1, so you’re not having to circle back to healthcare organizations to gather more data over time,” Klass said. “The hospital IT team involvement becomes significantly less as you use these APIs. The cost is also significantly less because you remove the maintenance and support that goes into supporting interfaces.”

Growing movement

More and more hospitals are recognizing the benefits of the API approach to data transfer. In fact, 30 health systems are already using APIs to exchange EMR data with VigiLanz’s platform, and many more are starting to implement the technology, said Klass.

He cited the following four benefits:

  • Less hospital IT department time spent on clinical surveillance.
  • Reduced hospital costs associated with clinical surveillance (hospitals no longer need to build interfaces, oversee numerous file transfers, or bring in consultants to assist with the work).
  • Faster implementations.
  • Broader accessibility for providers to clinical surveillance tools immediately after implementation.

Levin agrees. “An API approach to integration greatly reduces the amount of time that’s required to deploy the [clinical surveillance] solution and that translates into a cost savings,” he said. “But more importantly, it translates into a better user experience, a richer data set that takes a product that’s already really good and makes it even better.”

HIMSS Quoteables: Highlights from VigiLanz’s HIMSS Presentations

The 2019 HIMSS Conference, held February 11 to 15 in Orlando, shed light on some of the most exciting developments in the health IT space.

For us, the conference had many high points, including the unveiling of our latest report: “Clinical Surveillance: The Next Step in Value-Based Care.” The report, based on a survey of 100 healthcare executives, reveals where hospitals are in the journey to higher value care, and how they are using data analytics, EMRs, and clinical surveillance tools to support their efforts.

During the conference, several members of our leadership team presented on the topic of clinical surveillance, as did several hospital leaders whose health systems are currently using our technology. Here are a few of our favorite quotes from their presentations:

Nicholas Desai, MD

Nicholas Desai, MD, system chief medical information officer at Houston Methodist Hospital, on how physicians are responding to IllumiCare’s Smart Ribbon, which integrates alerts, such as those provided by VigiLanz, into the EMR. For more of Desai’s thoughts, click here.

“I can call [the Smart Ribbon] up when I want it. I can force it to be active or passive. I engage how I want it. We shared this [tool] with about 145 doctors and providers … at the end of the 90-day pilot, not only did we shift the curve, but 72% of doctors at the end of our pilot said, ‘This is not just valuable, finally you’re giving me a tool that is meaningful.’ In every one of those conversations, cost was important but not the only reason why they liked the tool. What they liked about it was that it allowed them to see things in a more holistic view in one place.”

We were able to shift the cost curve within the 90-day mark about $107,000. Overall, we believe that in 2019 for this hospital, we have an opportunity of 4.5% reduction in our costs, which will lead to $1.7 million and $2.8 million, just for one hospital. As an organization, this could be closer to in the ballpark of $18-, $19-, $20 million dollars. It did nothing but present information in a very consumable format.”

Bart Abban, PhD

Bart Abban, PhD, director analytics and data science, VigiLanz, also speaking about the value the Illumicare-VigiLanz partnership brings to providers. For more of Abban’s thoughts, click here.

“You can send this information straight into the purview of the doctor with our partnership with [Illumicare]. So if you want to stay in Cerner or another EMR tool that you use, you don’t have to enter our system, we can send it right to the system the physicians are working on.”

Dave Levin, MD

Dave Levin, MD, chief medical officer, Sansoro Health, on the benefits API integration is bringing his healthcare system related to clinical surveillance and data exchange. For more of Levin’s thoughts, click here.

An API approach to integration greatly reduces the amount of time that’s required to deploy the [clinical surveillance] solution, and that translates into cost saving. But more importantly, it translates into a better user experience, a richer data set that takes a product that’s already really good and makes it even better … We’re dealing with really important clinical problems here, and the sooner we can get these solutions in place and begin to impact the outcomes, the better for everyone.”

This is really not about APIs, it’s about solving important business and clinical problems. I think the VigiLanz-Sansoro partnership is probably one of the best examples anywhere in healthcare right now about how this can work.”

Adam Klass

Adam Klass, chief technology officer, VigiLanz, also speaking about the value of APIs in clinical surveillance. For more of Klass’ thoughts, click here.

“The value, as you build out a full API footprint, is getting that full clinical model from Day 1, so you’re not having to circle back to healthcare organizations to gather more data over time. The hospital IT team involvement becomes significantly less as you use these APIs. The cost is also significantly less because you remove the maintenance and support that goes into supporting interfaces.”

“We’re listening for things like your admissions, discharges, and transfers; your medication orders; your lab test reorders; preliminary and final micro susceptibility results, drug administrations, procedures, and surgeries. The more information that can come into the VigiLanz private cloud, the more types of things we can do around surveillance of that data.”

Bart Abban, PhD

Abban, speaking about how VigiLanz is providing physicians with predictive analytics that can improve patient care and prevent problems from escalating. For more of his thoughts, click here.

“There are several companies around here selling point-solution singular products [for predictive analytics]. With our platform you can do readmissions today, tomorrow you can start looking at mortality risk, you can look at adverse events, glycemic control. We are currently developing a model on C. diff to alert clinicians to patients who are at high risk of getting C. diff. The sky is the limit.”

IllumiCare and VigiLanz Partner to Help Pharmacists and Clinicians Advance Antimicrobial Stewardship

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital first in country to launch new point-of-care alert solution with pharmacist-only rollout.

BIRMINGHAM, HOUSTON, & MINNEAPOLIS – February 6, 2018 – The CDC estimates that 20 to 50 percent of antibiotics prescribed in U.S. acute-care hospitals are unnecessary or inappropriate. With the need for healthcare systems and federal agencies to increase their focus on antibiotic stewardship, both providers and pharmacists play a vital role in monitoring safe and appropriate use. Today, VigiLanz, a clinical surveillance company, and IllumiCare, a leading provider of point-of-care technology, announce a partnership to increase visibility within providers’ and pharmacists’ normal workflows around antimicrobial therapy monitoring.

IllumiCare’s Smart Ribbon® is an EMR-agnostic, non-intrusive ribbon of information that hovers over the EMR and provides patient-specific information such as the costs and risks of medications and tests, opioid exposures, and more. The Smart Ribbon displays VigiLanz’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Solution in a more visible, convenient and accessible place in the EMR when the provider or pharmacist is making care decisions. With this ability to respond to context in real-time, the Smart Ribbon only delivers notifications on issues or opportunities that busy clinicians and pharmacists can personally act on. This increases engagement with the VigiLanz insights and saves pharmacists the time and energy often spent tracking down a clinical counterpart to resolve an activation that’s halting the workflow.

“One key element to promoting antimicrobial stewardship is making sure the information is easily accessible to the right clinician or pharmacist when they need it most,” said GT LaBorde, CEO of IllumiCare. “VigiLanz provides real-time information related to safe antibiotic use that can reduce overprescribing or inappropriate prescribing and ultimately, lower costs. By making this information not only easier to see and more actionable, but also appropriately tailored to the person taking the action, antimicrobial stewardship efforts will be more successful.”

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is the first health system to deploy the VigiLanz clinical surveillance alerts within IllumiCare’s Smart Ribbon. Pharmacists can choose to engage with VigiLanz activations by viewing them, marking them as necessary and providing comments, all within their current workflow in the EMR. One of the most important activations is the visibility of drug-bug mismatches, in which the antimicrobial a patient receives is not adequate for the microbiological organism presumed to be causing the clinical infection. Additionally, the VigiLanz alerts highlight broad antimicrobial use, de-escalation opportunities, and conversion opportunities to move the patient to an antibiotic that has equal efficacy but is less expensive, such as from IV drugs to oral medications.

“Having actionable insights into antimicrobial use is critical; being able to put those insights in front of clinicians and pharmacists at the point of care is industry-leading,” said David Goldsteen, MD, CEO of VigiLanz. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with IllumiCare to deliver our trusted clinical surveillance insights through their Smart Ribbon to those who take action, ensuring safe and appropriate antimicrobial use.”

For more information, visit Illumicare at www.illumicare.com and VigiLanz at www.vigilanzcorp.com

VigiLanz Ranked No. 1 by KLAS Research for Antimicrobial Stewardship, Infection Control and Monitoring, and Pharmacy Surveillance

MINNEAPOLIS – Jan. 31, 2019 – VigiLanz, a clinical surveillance company, today announced that it has earned 2019 Category Leader designations from KLAS Research for Antimicrobial Stewardship, Infection Control and Monitoring, and Pharmacy Surveillance.

This is the second year VigiLanz has earned the No. 1 distinction for multiple categories. The company previously achieved Category Leader status in 2018 for Infection Control and Monitoring and Pharmacy Surveillance. Antimicrobial Stewardship is a new KLAS category for 2019.

Three VigiLanz products were recognized in the “2019 Best in KLAS: Software and Services” report, released on January 31:

VigiLanz Dynamic Infection Control Monitor

Earning a score of 90.6, the Dynamic Infection Control Monitor is a seamless, real-time automated monitoring system that works with an organization’s standard EHR system. Its automatic exception-based alert system puts all patient records under continuous surveillance to alert decision makers in real time of potential infections, drug-bug mismatches, MDROs, isolation candidates, organism clusters, conditions of concern and reportable infections. The surveillance is based on a sophisticated set of customizable rule engines.

VigiLanz Dynamic PharmacoVigilance

Earning a score of 93.0, Dynamic PharmacoVigilance acts as a bridge between a hospital’s pharmacy and lab information systems, automating the comparison of patients’ drug usage with lab results, then presenting the potential for Adverse Drug Event reduction. Based on the system’s built-in rule sets or hospital-specific guidelines, it automatically generates warnings and alerts that help clinicians make appropriate drug therapy decisions.

VigiLanz Antimicrobial Stewardship

Earning a score of 94.6, the Antimicrobial Stewardship product monitors antimicrobial therapy to ensure appropriate use, including unnecessary antibiotic therapy, de-escalation opportunities, positive rapid diagnostic test results, and opportunities for antibiotic “time-outs.” The Antimicrobial Stewardship dashboard shows usage and resistance trends across the organization, is Meaningful Use 3 certified, and provides direct reporting to the Centers for Disease Control’s National Healthcare Safety Network.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by KLAS as a leader in multiple categories for the second time, validating the confidence and trust we know our customers have in our clinical surveillance products,” said VigiLanz Chairman and CEO David Goldsteen, MD. “KLAS’ global reputation for accurately and impartially measuring vendor performance is an unparalleled channel for customer feedback – something we find invaluable to our culture of continued innovation. We look forward to continuing to provide industry-leading solutions to hospitals across the country that improve the safety and quality of patient outcomes.”

The KLAS Category Leader designation is awarded to vendors that lead select market segments in which at least two products meet a minimum number of KLAS Konfidence reviews. Rankings are based on customer surveys of North American healthcare leaders, administrators, clinicians, and others who interact with the solutions.

About KLAS

KLAS is a research firm on a global mission to improve healthcare delivery by enabling providers and payers to be heard and counted. Working with thousands of healthcare professionals, KLAS gathers insights on software, services and medical equipment to deliver timely reports, trending data and statistical overviews. KLAS data is accurate, honest and impartial. The research directly represents the voice of healthcare professionals and acts as a catalyst for improving vendor performance. To learn more about KLAS and the insights we provide, visit www.KLASresearch.com.

About VigiLanz

Founded in 2001, VigiLanz (www.vigilanzcorp.com) is a privately held, rapidly growing provider of SaaS-based clinical surveillance solutions. The firm is focused on aggregating disparate EHR transactional workflow and documentation data across health systems to identify real-time clinical issues that avoid or minimize harm, optimize clinical outcomes and support preventive care. VigiLanz supports a large and growing community of hospital CMOs, CMIOs, CIOs, quality teams, infectious disease and control specialists, pharmacists, and other clinicians dedicated to real-time inpatient and outpatient care.

Hospitals Say Clinical Surveillance is Top 2019 Priority, Challenge

Nearly 90% of hospitals say clinical surveillance is a top priority, but most are struggling to implement it effectively

Most hospital executives say clinical surveillance solutions, which offer real-time, actionable insights that foster more rapid patient care interventions—including those related to pharmacy surveillance, antimicrobial stewardship, infection prevention, and safety—are very important to their organizations. However, most are also struggling to utilize these solutions effectively.

You can read more of this article on Becker’s Hospital Review. This article was based on findings from a recent survey of 100 C-suite executives.

To view the full survey findings, visit: https://vigilanzcorp.com/next-step-in-value-based-care/

Value-Focused Hospitals Look Beyond EMRs For Clinical Surveillance

More hospitals are adopting clinical surveillance solutions, but those that report the highest interest and involvement in value-based care are adopting third-party solutions rather than relying solely on EMRs or in-house solutions.

Hospitals and health systems that rate quality above all other priorities are looking to third-party clinical surveillance solutions, rather than solely relying on EMRs, to drive improvements in care quality. They also say these solutions help improve patient outcomes and their bottom lines.

You can read more of this article on Health IT Outcomes. This article was based on findings from a recent survey of 100 C-suite executives.

To view the full survey findings, visit: https://vigilanzcorp.com/next-step-in-value-based-care/

VigiLanz and Cincinnati Children’s Collaborate to Commercialize a Real-Time Solution to Minimize Acute Kidney Injury in Pediatrics

MINNEAPOLIS & CINCINNATI – (November 29, 2018) – VigiLanz and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center today announced a collaboration that leverages Cincinnati Children’s ground-breaking research on pediatric nephrotoxic kidney injury and VigiLanz’s capabilities to commercialize a solution for Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) in pediatric patients. Dubbed NINJA, or Nephrotoxic Injury Negated by Just-in-time Action, the solution enables real-time identification and monitoring of patients at risk for AKI due to exposure to nephrotoxic drugs.

“Pediatric acute kidney injury is a serious problem that traditionally could not be identified in real-time, which impacted our ability to identify the patients who most needed treatment,” stated Dr. Stuart L. Goldstein, MD, FAAP, FNKF, Director of the Center for Acute Care Nephrology and primary researcher on NINJA.  “By partnering with VigiLanz, Cincinnati Children’s is applying our unprecedented research to a commercially-available solution that accurately characterizes pediatric AKI epidemiology, reducing AKI and improving patient outcomes.”

Commercially available to hospitals and health systems focused on mitigating pediatric AKI, NINJA automates a time-consuming manual screening process that includes evaluating patients for exposure to 57 nephrotoxic medications, imaging contrast dye, and recent renal testing. For medications, manual screening is limited to the last 24 hours, while the contrast dye evaluation requires reviewing records for the previous seven days to determine if it was received by the patient.

Leveraging NINJA algorithms built into VigiLanz rules, an AKI monitoring dashboard lists all patients that meet the NINJA exposure criteria as well as the criteria that put the patient in the at-risk category. These criteria include medication exposure, serum creatinine data, and patient history of AKI. When patients meet at-risk criteria, they are placed on the monitoring list in real time, where they remain until 48 hours after their risk has passed.

The platform also features metric outputs that can be customized with respect to service lines and time periods, while robust reporting tools provide the ability to trend conditions over time via automated run charts. It also enables automatic and customizable data extraction for all metric elements, including inpatient census by location or service line.

“By expanding awareness of the extensive research conducted by Cincinnati Children’s, this partnership will help drive improvements in pediatric AKI outcomes,” said VigiLanz Chairman and CEO Dr. David Goldsteen, MD, MBA. “Those improvements can be realized quickly, too, as the NINJA dashboard is not just a concept but rather a tangible solution now available to any hospital interested in limiting AKI associated with nephrotoxic drugs.”

About VigiLanz

Founded in 2001, VigiLanz Corporation (www.vigilanzcorp.com) is a privately held, rapidly growing provider of SaaS health care intelligence and predictive analytics. The firm is focused on aggregating disparate EHR transactional workflow and documentation data across health systems to identify real-time clinical issues that avoid or minimize harm, optimize clinical outcomes and support preventive care along the entire health system continuum. VigiLanz supports a large and growing community of hospital CMOs, CMIOs, CIOs, quality teams, infectious disease and control specialists, pharmacists, and other clinicians dedicated to real-time inpatient and outpatient care. VigiLanz is shaping the emerging era of real-time health care by delivering enterprise intelligence technology and services that improve clinical outcomes, patient care and operational effectiveness.

Interoperability in Real Life: Practical Ways to Leverage APIs & Transform Healthcare

Interoperability between EMRs and other applications is a key challenge in healthcare today. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have transformed interoperability in other industries and now healthcare, too, is increasingly relying on them to solve important clinical and business problems. VigiLanz recently co-hosted a panel discussion on the topic, with one of its partners, Sansoro Health, which featured leaders from a diverse group of healthcare organizations, who shared how they use proven API solutions to successfully address complex, real-world clinical, operational and workflow challenges.

Although the three panelists were at different stages of their journey in leveraging APIs to provide better healthcare solutions, more rapidly and at lower cost, all recognize that legacy technology does not meet their needs for integration with EMRs and data liquidity.

The Longest-Established API User

As moderator of the panel discussion, David Levin, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Sansoro Health and former CMIO of Cleveland Clinic Health System, explained it’s vital to have bi-directional data flow back into EMRs to save clinicians from double documenting. It’s an issue that Peter Chang, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer, Tampa General Hospital, faced, until he implemented Sansoro Health’s Emissary® API solution to deliver efficient, real-time read-and-write EMR interaction across complete patient demographics and clinical data. The longest established API user of the group, Dr. Chang spoke about how his hospital leverages APIs to focus solely on their application and not get disrupted on the integration. Tampa General Hospital can now integrate in a matter of days across EMRs, sourcing all the data its clinicians need.

The Middle Stage of the Middleware Journey

Adam Klass, Chief Technology Officer of VigiLanz, at the middle stage of the middleware journey, spoke on how APIs reduce barriers to EMR integration and can be rapidly deployed to provide robust, real-time interoperability between complex applications. To help healthcare providers deliver real-time results and  improve interoperability, he described how medical facilities today require a services-oriented architecture and API. The API must enable efficient aggregation, interaction and exchange of disparate data throughout the health care enterprise and across any of its software technologies, including EMRs and third-party vendors.

Klass, one of the company’s original founders in 2001, outlined the company’s mission of providing real-time clinical decision support to its customers by helping with all manners of manual data collection processes, using data and real-time rules engines. From pharmacy surveillance and predictive models to antimicrobial stewardship and other clinical use cases, the company relies on receiving EMR data in a timely manner. VigiLanz has always sought to answer the question of how to extract data from an EMR. It wasn’t rocket science, in Klass’ words, and yet it was challenging to collect the same data from every hospital in every EMR, in a way that enabled customers to have an intimate understanding of provider behavior through benchmarking. A creative solution was needed.

It’s one reason VigiLanz partnered with Sansoro Health to develop its VigiLanz Connect solution, which plugs into an organization’s EMR in less than one week for hospital IT-lite integration. Traditional integration methods are often customized for each installation, require regular maintenance and cannot be reused. Using a standard set of population-based APIs that facilitate seamless, real-time, bi-directional data flow, VigiLanz Connect normalizes data faster—and empowers clinicians to make an impact sooner. It plugs in once to deliver standardized, interchangeable APIs for seamless integration across all data sources. VigiLanz Connect has now been successfully deployed at several hospitals.

Exploring the Advantages to APIs

Matthew Cunningham, Executive Vice President of eviCore, described how his company is comprised of more than one thousand doctors and nurses in its ranks, so it needs a robust, flexible platform to identify and distribute the precise data and analytics to make informed, individual-based decisions across the 100 million lives it manages. With an understanding for the types of clinical and business problems that can be addressed with API technology, eviCore has begun to explore the advantages of commercially available APIs, like Sansoro Health’s Emissary platform.

Plug-and-play EMR integration is a reality today. Within days, hospital organizations are up and running with a standard set of APIs that work the same across EMRs. By leveraging middleware, organizations only code their application once for seamless integration across all data sources. This eliminates the need to build traditional custom interfaces for each EMR, saving significant time, resources and reducing costs – for clinicians, the hospital IT department and third-party solutions.