When it comes to best in class home care software, the home care industry is often mired in antiquated legacy solutions. The more progressive providers have come to understand that the right software needs to have the flexibility to grow with them.
That’s because it is increasingly important to have systems in place that allow for the quick access and exchange of accurate data to promote interoperability among industry stakeholders — and ultimately, dramatically increase the quality of care, and the effective delivery of that care, to home care clients.
So, what is interoperability?
Simply put, it is the ability for different information technology (IT) systems and software applications to exchange and use data across client, facility or care provider, regardless of the application or application or vendor.
Achieving true interoperability for your home care system may seem like a daunting task, but there is a tool that can help: Application Programming Interfaces or APIs.
If you work with APIs, you already know why they’re important. But for those of you that don’t, you may well be wondering: What are APIs, and why should we care about them in home care?
APIs: the bridges connecting your data
APIs are sets of requirements that govern how one application can talk to another. Think of them as bridges that connect roads across a river. Without the bridges, those roads remain dead-end streets. Similarly, without APIs, software applications sit like a dead-end street — the information siloed within them.
Modern software solutions leverage APIs to connect data points between each other. This flow of information is meant to provide relevant information to key stakeholders wherever and whenever it is needed.
This is similar to a retailer providing the information that a customer needs at the point of purchase, except in a home care environment, the software is providing the necessary information — for example, medical information or scheduling details — at the point of care.
So why does this matter? Because clients will travel many different ways across the continuum of care, and their data should do the same. Indeed, in an age where data sharing is important – even vital in the health and home care industries – software solutions need to be seamless.
This is true interoperability – and it will soon transform the future of healthcare delivery.
Interoperability is already becoming an industry imperative.
In fact, funded Medicare/Medicaid programs are required to only use healthcare software providers that have been certified API-compliant, for example, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) established standards and criteria for the software to qualify for use in the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program.
This essentially makes APIs a mandatory requirement for all health software used in U.S. Government-funded healthcare.
Checklist – How to ensure a home care software provider offers robust APIs
Download this checklist to see what questions to ask when looking for a software provider that offers robust APIs.
AlayaCare is a cloud-based platform equipped with APIs and the ability to support third party integrations; it is the closest thing to a true platform in home care and provides a combination of functionality, flexibility and efficiency.
Connect with us today to see how we can help you weather the changing industry landscape and embrace the future of home care delivery today.
If you’re interested, you can also take a look at our webinar on demand, Streamline Home Care Operations and Caregiver Management Through Interoperability to learn more.
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