Secrets for Interoperability Success

Shari Matkin and Expert Panel Share Tricks of the Trade

Interoperability: buzzword status on high alert … but also a healthcare organization (HCO) goal made more urgent in recent weeks. During a Bridge Connector HIMSSatHome webinar, our panel of experts delivered insider secrets to interoperability success that kept the audience engaged with a record-breaking 20+ minutes of questions and answers at the end of the virtual session.

Shari Matkin, Vice President and former Director of Implementations; Chris Notaro, Vice President of Strategy; and Josh Cotham, Director of Solutions Engineering, in each of their roles prior to Bridge Connector, have lived through the pain points that many of our customers experience when it comes to healthcare integrations.

Now, working for an organization that tackles these issues head-on, they shared during the virtual session how they each view Bridge Connector’s solutions as different from previous integration endeavors they’ve undertaken. They also shared how any customer can gauge what solution will work best for them — including how to succeed during the implementation phase, no matter which path they choose.

Shari Matkin has seen it all, and she explained the difference between building in-house versus buying a platform versus a full-service integration vendor. She comes to Bridge Connector from a durable medical equipment company that has a point-of-service mobile application to drive ancillary revenue.

Shari began managing the app’s necessary integrations, built in-house, and scaled those over three years from zero to 25 integrations. She described it as a slow and painful process, which eventually led to hard-earned success. The process just wasn’t scalable. This led to her leadership role within that same company finding ways to improve the process, vetting outsourced vendors, then owning that integration vendor relationship which enabled 25 to over 100 integrations in less than a year.

How to Win With All Things Implementation

Shari is an open book, revealing the secrets for a successful implementation, regardless of whether an organization opts to buy or build:

  1. Don’t boil the ocean. You can’t be everything to everybody and do it well. Look at your pipeline, identify your strategy, and go with a plan.
  2. Get to repeatability as quickly as possible. “It’s OK to say ‘no’ to a client, or ‘not right now’ in order to stick to your master plan,” Shari said. Interoperability success means avoiding “the ‘n’ of 1” every time and establishing that your use cases are going to bring real business value to your organization — and to your customers if you are in the business of selling your own technology.
  3. Leverage experts in the industry, internally if you choose to build, and externally if you choose to buy. Push to those knowledgeable individuals in order to shorten the overall learning curve for your organization, constantly asking yourself, “Is this the best use of my time and resources?” But also, it’s important to know when to jump ship, she warned: “If you’re not receiving knowledge and expertise from your current integration partner, it’s time to find a new one.”
  4. Maximize the options that are available with EHR partnerships to foster repeatable use cases. This helps to extend your app’s presence and the client base of the EHR and also circumvents some of the cumbersome EHR engagement processes. If your organization is able to build once, then “rinse and repeat,” this is typically more cost-effective for your customers as well.
  5. Productization, or making products more appealing commercially, allows you to guide clients to what you already know works best. This process allows any HCO to deliver the most value to their customers in a more timely fashion. The goal? “Particularly, if you are a digital health company, you want to get out of the role of ‘blank slate order-taking,’ and be able to provide more consultation with your customers.”

“When I was still fairly new to integrations and was looking for an expert really to lead me, I think our integration vendor and I ended up learning together. Thus, we had a slower timeline and ramp than I might have hoped for,” Shari said in one of the question-and-answer opportunities at the conclusion of the webinar.

“Not often in life do you get the opportunity for redos professionally. But now, I can take all of those lessons learned and apply them to help our customers here at Bridge Connector. I can be that outsourced integration partner that I was hoping for when I was in your shoes.”

Watch the full, on-demand webinar, to hear more tips for interoperability success from Shari and our other experts, Chris Notaro and Josh Cotham, by clicking here.

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