A Step-by-Step Guide
In healthcare IT since 2005, ScienceSoft knows the ins and outs of integrating EHR/EMR systems and various types of medical software.
The integration of an electronic health/medical record system with healthcare software improves patient data consistency, medical staff efficiency, patient safety, and care continuity. With 33-year experience in IT and 17 years in the healthcare domain, ScienceSoft knows how to minimize the risks and reduce costs of EHR/EMR system integration.
Time: 1–6 months.
Team: a project manager, a business analyst, a regulatory compliance expert, an integration architect, a developer, a DevOps engineer, a QA engineer, a security engineer.
Cost: from $30,000 to integrate a healthcare solution with one EHR system to $150,000 to enable EHR integration capabilities of a software product.
Who Needs EHR/EMR Integration
who want to integrate one or several healthcare solutions (e.g., a patient portal, CRM, HIE) with a custom or an off-the-shelf EHR/EMR system.
Software product companies or startups
who want to add EHR/EMR integration capabilities to their healthcare software product to gain a competitive advantage.
Each EHR/EMR integration project is unique and may require a specific set of steps depending on the requirements. For you to get the general picture of the project process, we have outlined four common steps that can be adjusted to fit specific needs.
Step 1. EHR/EMR integration planning
Note: When you outsource any part of the EHR/EMR integration project, you should have a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with your EHR integration partner. ScienceSoft is ready to sign a BAA to ensure our legal obligation to follow HIPAA compliance guidelines on data security, encryption methods, documentation of security practices, etc.
Step 2. EHR/EMR integration design
Duration: 3–4 weeks (can run in parallel with the step 1).
ScienceSoft’s tip: For healthcare providers that use multiple IT solutions, we recommend creating an integration strategy for all medical solutions to reduce additional expenses in the future.
Step 3. EHR/EMR integration and testing
Duration: 1–5 months to implement an integration solution.
- Developing the EHR/EMR integration solution.
- (for healthcare orgs) Re-engineering and/or re-architecting the required components of the IT system.
- (for healthcare orgs) Integration testing of the EHR/EMR system and the connected applications.
- (for software product companies) Integration testing of the software product and the required off-the-shelf EHR/EMR systems.
- Security testing.
Step 4. EHR/EMR integration support and evolution
- For healthcare organizations, it’s essential to monitor the performance and security of EHR/EMR integration, as well as data transfer quality. The integration solution may also require adjustments to handle the growing number of users.
- For software product companies, API integration should be maintained and updated with time to ensure smooth transfer of data. In the future, medical software product may require new integration capabilities to connect to other types of applications (CRM, practice management systems, etc.). In this case, it may be viable to opt for integration solution evolution.
ScienceSoft’s tip: Support and evolution of an EHR/EMR integration can be provided as a part of comprehensive medical IT support.
ScienceSoft’s Customers Say
bioAffinity Technologies hired ScienceSoft to help in the development of its automated data analysis software for detection of lung cancer using flow cytometry. We asked ScienceSoft to create a program that could generate a physician’s report from the analysis of single samples by flow cytometry as well as data from EHR/LIS systems.
Our project required a large amount of industry specific methodology and algorithms to be implemented into our new software connected to EHR/LIS systems, which the team handled well. Based on the R script created by bioAffinity’s scientists, ScienceSoft’s team developed a cancer detection app with business logic written in Java programming language. The software takes necessary patient data (e.g., age, name) from a remote laboratory, transforms it from an HL7 message into R script input arguments, interprets cytometry-based diagnosis provided by the R script, and sends the diagnosis as an HL7 message to the laboratory.
ScienceSoft’s developers are reliable, thorough, smart, available, extremely good communicators and very friendly. We would recommend hiring ScienceSoft to anyone looking for a highly productive and solution-driven team.
Maria Zannes, president & CEO, bioAffinity Technologies
We engaged ScienceSoft to build an Android app that complements our web-based telemedicine platform. The platform allows caregivers to connect with patients for routine follow-ups and similar use cases.
ScienceSoft advised and successfully led the way from end to end through the technical challenges and considerations with development of the EHR-integrated Android app. We have also engaged them to introduce a few enhancements to the app and would certainly consider ScienceSoft as a technology partner in further software development initiatives.
Justin Turner, CTO, Chiron Health
Why Partner Up with ScienceSoft
- In the IT industry since 1989 and in the healthcare domain since 2005.
- Integration and database architects with 7–20 years of experience.
- Working experience with healthcare standards (e.g., HL7, FHIR, DICOM, ICD-10, CPT, XDS/XDS-I).
- Expertise in HIPAA, HITECH, MACRA regulations, CEHRT and FDA requirements, SAFER guidelines.
- Practical experience with a range of integration approaches (e.g., API-based, message-based integration) and architecture designs (microservices-based, service-oriented architectures).
- ISO 13485:2016 certification that guarantees medical software development compliance with requirements of FDA and The Council of the European Union.
- Established Lean, Agile, and DevOps culture to streamline the EHR integration project delivery.
- 9 Microsoft Gold Competencies, including Application Integration.
- An authorized AWS Solution Provider.
Implementation of an EHR-Integrated Healthcare CRM
Customer: A healthcare and clinical research center in the Gulf region.
Solution: The sleek integration of the CRM system with the Customer’s EHR and PMS ensured that new patient, appointment, and staff entries would automatically appear in CRM.
Telehealth Chiron Mobile App Development and EHR Integration
Customer: Chiron Health is a US telemedicine platform.
Solution: ScienceSoft’s medical app development team created a HIPAA-compliant telehealth Android application that seamlessly integrates with a set of EHR/EMR systems (e.g., athenahealth, CareCloud), RIS and LIS.
Development and EHR Integration of a Hospital iOS Mobile App
Customer: A US healthcare provider serving patients across multiple states.
Solution: An iOS mobile app that allows healthcare professionals to log work time, capture images, and scan documents as well as view data from a custom EHR system on the go.
Telehealth Software Design, Development, and EHR Integration
Customer: A US business running several medical practices that provide primary care services.
Solution: Telehealth and practice management software with smooth access to patient information and convenient billing enabled by EHR integration (using data transfer standards like HL7, FHIR).
- Plans the EHR/EMR integration project, assigns tasks and responsibilities.
- Monitors and optimizes the project process relying on KPI.
- Updates the stakeholders on the EHR/EMR integration project progress.
- Elicits, prioritizes, and documents the EHR/EMR integration requirements.
- Helps define the most suitable EHR or EMR integration approach based on the customer’s needs.
- Chooses the integration approach, designs EMR or EHR integration.
- Designs the modifications of integrated apps (if necessary).
Regulatory compliance expert
- Defines the applicable healthcare regulations.
- Ensures that the EHR integration project complies with all relevant regulations and standards.
- Writes custom EHR/EMR software integration code (APIs, ESB, etc.).
- Sets up triggers, resulting actions, shared data.
- Helps automate the development and release processes using CI/CD pipeline.
- Monitors the integration solution’s performance, availability, etc.
- Designs and implements a testing strategy and plan for the EHR/EMR software integration.
- Creates test cases and conducts manual and automated testing.
- Provides test summary reports.
- Conducts vulnerability assessment and penetration testing of the integrated solution and its infrastructure.
In-house EHR/EMR integration
- 100% control over the integration process.
- All efforts for project & risk management, sourcing are on your side.
- Possible lack of talents with relevant EHR/EMR experience may cause quality, compliance issues.
- Risk of delays and reworks.
Turn to ScienceSoft if you are looking for help in defining EHR/EMR integration requirements and planning the integration roadmap.
Mix of in-house and outsourced EHR/EMR integration
- Cost-efficient resource allocation.
- Easy access to talents with experience in EHR/EMR integration and advanced techs.
- Need for strong in-house management capabilities.
Turn to ScienceSoft if you are looking for technical specialists experienced in EHR/EMR integration.
Full outsourcing of EHR/EMR integration
- Responsibility for the whole EHR/EMR integration planning and process is on the vendor.
- A scalable team of experts with all necessary expertise.
- High vendor dependency.
Turn to ScienceSoft if you need a trustworthy partner with vast experience in EHR/EMR integration.
The tech stack that we choose for a specific project depends on the platforms, frameworks, databases, etc. that were used to create the software that needs to be integrated. Below, we list the technologies we successfully employ in our EHR and EMR integration projects.
For each EHR/EMR integration project, ScienceSoft considers a unique set of factors that may influence the investment size. Below, we list the most common of them.
Common investment size factors
- The chosen sourcing model.
- The applicable regulations and certifications (the additional security requirements may increase the project cost).
- The complexity of an information exchange data model.
Specific investment size factors for healthcare orgs
- The chosen EHR integration approach.
- The number of applications to be integrated with an EHR/EMR and the number of integration points.
- The required modifications of the integrated healthcare applications.
- Licensing for middleware (e.g., third-party ESB).
- Infrastructure for the integration implementation.
- Maintenance and support costs after the EHR integration implementation (depending on the required business hours, performance, etc.).
Specific investment size factors for software product companies
- The number of off-the shelf EHR/EMR systems to enable integration capabilities with.
- API maintenance and updates costs (if required).
Here are sample costs for EHR/EMR integration:
for integration of a healthcare solution with an EHR system (relevant for healthcare providers).
to enable EHR/EMR integration capabilities of a software product.
Headquartered in McKinney, Texas, ScienceSoft is an IT consulting and software development vendor certified according to ISO 9001, ISO 27001, and ISO 13485 standards. With 17 years of experience in healthcare IT, we design EHR/EMR integrations, develop APIs for EHR/EMR products, and deliver integrated medical software ecosystems for healthcare organizations.