MEDITECH Integration - Bridging Gap

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Introduction

This wiki provides items to consider while creating interfaces for your MEDITECH environment.

Reasoning

  • Growth -- There are various interface projects completed each year with even more requested. These can range from transfer of PDF’s to Orders/Results both to and from various parts of the hospital or practice. Interface projects can be both time and resource intensive.
  • Diversity -- Unfortunately there isn't always one vendor capable of performing all duties necessary for an interface. And to complicate it further, not all vendors can communicate with each other effectively. There are different HL7 versions and mapping that needs to be done to ensure items are filed properly.

In-House vs Vendor Duties

Who will be in charge of the mapping?  If the vendor is in charge be aware that it may be complicated down the line to identify and correct any issues that may arise.
  • Create the interface to use
  • Establish a consistent naming convention that will be used by everyone involved - For example on an orders interface you may want to copy and re-name associated to the vendor used and continue to map from there.
  • Keep in mind not all issues are interface issues to begin with. Sometimes it is a connectivity issue where wireless monitors fall off the network.


Lessons Learned

  • Sometimes users don't know exactly what they is required - They may have been sold on a software or idea and are trying to get it to work with the MEDITECH system.
  • Don't assume a new connection is an improvement - It may be less efficient due to changing workflows.
  • Some people are less familiar with the process than others.
  • Be clear on expectations from the vendors - It is sometimes necessary to be assertive with the vendor to get your point across. Determine needs and communicate them effectively.
  • Work with the entire team - End users, Providers, Project Managers. This is the best way to document the full process and workflow required for the project.
  • Standardize the process - Create a detailed interface request form with vendor, timeline status, functionality desired and be detailed.

Standardize the Process

  • Establish consistent intake of requests - Who submits requests, specific request details and appropriate timeline.
  • Set clear expectations - Let people know what can or can't be done with regards to the proposed timeline.
  • Understanding Outcomes and Deliverables - Make sure parties involved know what the end result should be and what it will look like with all workflows considered.
  • Coordination with vendors - Set up working meetings with teams, test VPN setup and connections. Avoid phone tag and delayed emails.

Implementation Process Example

  • Determine what the end result should be
  • Map out the workflow
  • Build
  • Analyst testing
  • Interface Mapping - Not everything can be copied
  • Continued analyst testing
  • End-user training and demo
  • User testing and validation
  • Go-Live

Take Away Items

  • Engagement - The more people involved the better. Not everyone will agree on mapping and such but it is better to have ideas and solutions from various members of the team. Make sure providers are involved regardless of how busy they are.
  • Workflow Mapping - It may be found that significant changes will be required.
  • Standardize the process - With a high volume of interface changes it will help to be consistent.
  • Make sure the expectations are clear - Make sure the users, vendor and technical team involved are all on the same page.
  • Testing/Validation - Highly important everything behaves as it should.