Medical informatics systems must have improved integration capabilities, says expert

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The healthcare IT industry has seen significant progress in the adoption of medical informatics technology during the past two years. However, in order to maintain this momentum, clinical informatics systems of tomorrow must feature improved integration capabilities, according to Healthcare IT News.

Shahid Shah, medical technology expert and founder of The Healthcare IT Guy blog, told the news source that electronic health record (EHR) vendors will have to focus their efforts on improving integration functionality of their products if the adoption rate of such systems is to continue in the coming years.

He identified single-sign on (SSO) access as a major feature that needs to be included in clinical informatics products in the future, and that the security assertion markup language provided developers with the means to implement SSO into their solutions.

Patient context awareness will also be increasingly important to the integration of medical informatics systems in the future, according to Shah.

“There are a few good approaches, such as [Clinical Context Object Workgroup],” Shah told the news source. “You can start with [that], but, allowing your EHRs to be controlled through custom [application programming interfaces] is a great approach, too.”

Integration has become something of a hot topic in healthcare IT in recent months. Developments in natural language processing and voice recognition software have highlighted the need for flexible, scalable medical informatics system architectures that allow hospitals to customize healthcare IT infrastructure to suit the needs of their patients.

According to 4-Traders, Nuance Communications, a voice recognition software vendor, recently agreed to purchase technology firm Transcend. The acquisition will allow Nuance to expand its customer base by offering healthcare providers and technology partners increasingly sophisticated deep electronic health record integration functionality.