Using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to exchange data with an electronic health record (EHR) is a good step toward better interoperability. Some of our clients are having early success in using Allscripts Open APIs with Allscripts Sunrise™ to integrate with other software and devices.

Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS), together with Eastern Health Alliance (EHA), started using Allscripts Open APIs with Sunrise in January 2016. NantHealth’s VitalsConX solution enables the capture of patient vitals (e.g., blood pressure readings, temperature) at the bedside. This product then calls the Allscripts API, which validates and saves the data directly to the Sunrise patient record, reducing the need for the nurse to log into the EHR.

When implemented at all institutions by the end of 2016, Allscripts Open APIs will help save time for the nursing teams at  EHA.

When implemented at all institutions by the end of 2016, Allscripts Open APIs will help save time for the nursing teams at  EHA.

IHiS developed the system architecture to enable the systems’ connectivity from the server to the EHR. According to William Wong, Deputy Director of Clinical Systems, IHiS, “Using APIs to integrate devices with Allscripts Sunrise will help our clinical staff enter vital information more efficiently, which enables them to have more time to provide great patient care.”

We are working with other clients on similar solutions and expect to have high demand for using Open APIs with Sunrise and the other functionalities it brings.

The advantages of using APIs for better interoperability

While APIs can help healthcare organizations improve interoperability, it’s important for EHR vendors to provide support. Developers need support

to effectively use APIs, including things such as complete documentation, sample code, sandboxes, online test environments, workshops, and people available to answer questions.

When a hospital selects a supported API, it improves collaboration with the EHR vendor and requires less customization. APIs also tend to be more accessible, easier to use and a lower cost option, when compared with other integration options.

To learn more, join our CHIME-endorsed session with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center at HIMSS Annual Conference: Successfully Utilizing APIs for Integration Projects

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About the author

Erik Kins is Allscripts Vice President of Innovation and oversees the development and expansion of Allscripts Open Application Programming Interface (API) and other healthcare IT industry integration initiatives, such as SMART and FHIR. Erik leads a team that fosters a vibrant developer community known as the Allscripts Developer Program. Erik strives to drive innovation by assessing new technology, and encouraging adoption of emerging trends into Allscripts core products. Erik is also a professional actor and musician.

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