One of the first questions we receive regarding the EndoTool® application is, “Is it able to be fully integrated with our electronic medical record (EMR).” Although the general answer is yes, it may depend on your definition of “integration.”
In today’s market, the goal is for all information technology systems and software applications to be interoperable, meaning they communicate, exchange data and use the information that has been exchanged. Integration helps achieve this, but what integration is and how it can be accomplished can mean different things to different people.
At the most basic term, many are generally referring to shared data. With the EndoTool application, this means data that is entered into the EMR is shared with EndoTool and conversely data from EndoTool is shared and displayed in the EMR. This is where Health Level-7 (HL7) interfacing comes into play. With bi-directional HL7 interface integration, EndoTool, the laboratory results engine, the patient registration/administration system, the medical administration records (MAR) and the EMR can send information to one another. EndoTool can receive Admit Discharge Transfer (ADT), General Order Message (ORM), Pharmacy Administration/Treatment (RAS) and Observation Result (ORU) messages to populate and update patient information and sends ORU messages to document EndoTool recommendations and end-user confirmations back in your medical records system.
The sharing of data through the HL7 interface is one component of integration. EndoTool can be further integrated with the EMR to improve workflow in how the user accesses the application and returns back to the EMR.
To accomplish this, Monarch uses html-based integration, which uses a link (URL) generated within the EMR that, when clicked, navigates to EndoTool. An authenticated user can then select a specific patient in the EMR and launch the patient record. This link will pass the necessary user and patient information in an encrypted URL allowing the authorized user to enter blood glucose information into EndoTool and receive insulin dosing recommendations.
As an alternative, some may define integration as having the complete workflow embedded into the EMR itself as a widget or other sort of “add-on.” Think of it as a plug-in you may use with Microsoft Office to obtain additional functionality to complete a document or process. The difficulty with this method of integration is that it poses challenges due to the number of EMR vendors and versions. Instead of using something completely standardized, like HTML for web applications, Monarch would have to utilize proprietary technologies that are used to build EMRs like Cerner and Epic. Therefore, requiring the maintenance of multiple integration platforms.
HTML-based integration helps Monarch be portable. We are able to leverage the standardization of the web to be platform agnostic. Organizations then have the choice of how they would deploy the integration, either as an embedded browser within the EMR or separate browser outside the EMR.
Ultimately, the goal for most organizations is to reduce data entry, improve the user workflow, decrease the steps to obtain an insulin recommendation and return the user to their normal workflow. Using the combination of HL7 services for data interfacing and EMR Dashboard for single sign-on launch, Monarch provides that capability.
So when asked if EndoTool is able to be fully integrated with the EMR, the answer is yes. Monarch’s EMR integration offering provides both HL7 interfacing and application integration in the best manner to share all relevant patient information and improve the workflow for clinicians.
About the Author: Bill Dorner in the VP of Product Management & Development at Monarch Medical Technologies. With nearly 20 years of expertise in product strategy, product marketing, and health information technology, Bill leads the team in the development and delivery of all products associated with the EndoTool application. Bill has spent most of his career managing numerous products generating over $10M annually. Prior to joining the Monarch team, Bill developed enterprise data warehouse product roadmaps that doubled product features and increased sales from 3M to 10M in two years. His background, primarily in data management, includes tenures with Premier, Inc., Slalom Consulting, Information Builders, and Initiate Systems.