The recently released interoperability standards of the 21st Century Cures Act require providing patients ubiquitous access to their PHI via software that takes advantage of open application program interfaces (APIs). The Act puts the patient in control of what, how, and where their health information is shared in a secure manner.
The Act’s intent is to let the consumer have portable access to their PHI within a secure environment regardless of which device they want to have the information stored or displayed. Typically, in order for patients to view their PHI, they must first connect to their provider’s EHR’s portal, which requires authorization, approval, passwords, and navigation menus that are often frustrating to use.
If a person contracted COVID-19 and was traveling away from their primary care physician, they would have the ability to have portable, secure, and timely access to their medical information which could potentially be life saving. Eliminating the use of portals, requesting paper records, or a caregiver having a verbal conversation with a provider will expedite the patient’s care. Having access to PHI on a “smart” device can now be a reality and will be similar to how someone accesses their financial accounts and other web services because of the use of open standards.
The Act mandates the use of open standards. Examples are 0auth2 for security, FHIR 4.0 for PHI data endpoints, Restful open APIs for connectivity and standard XML/Json language in order to format and display results. The essence of the Act is to decouple the data from technology to facilitate access with minimal complexity.
How can Silverline and Salesforce unlock the benefits of the Act?
Silverline and Salesforce partner together to provide several technologies and services to facilitate patient access to stored PHI that can be accessed or updated via APIs, or serve up that data to any patient-directed application that can take advantage of the open standards.
Salesforce provides a secure data storage environment that enables data aggregation from disparate systems such as EHRs, wearables, IoT, or other disparate systems. The built-in endpoints and its ability to be data source agnostic are key technology enablers. Due to the popularity of Salesforce’s Health Cloud platform, which can provide a 360-degree view of patient data, much of the data required is already part of the Salesforce ecosystem.
To assist with API development, Salesforce has an API IDE software suite called Mulesoft, which facilitates rapid, agile, and reusable API use and development. Silverline’s core integration and configuration practice can leverage Mulesoft, the use of open standards, and other API development tools in order to provide enterprise-level integration services to meet the Act’s requirements.
Mandating the use of software to securely display PHI on any patient-directed device is a key requirement of the Act. Silverline has the tools and partnerships to quickly facilitate rapid mobile app development. Our agile methodology and technically diverse team can develop apps with close attention to specific requirements and — by using the vast data management capabilities of Salesforce — can facilitate rendering PHI securely in user-friendly mobile apps.
One of Silverline’s guiding principles is Better Together. Our partnership with Salesforce positions us to best serve any healthcare enterprise that may want to be a market differentiator by better serving patients through early adoption of the Act’s interoperability standards.