By Joshua Silver, Vice President, Product DevelopmentHISconnectblog250

When discussing Patientco, the most common concerns I typically hear are: “Can Patientco work with my HIS system?”  And, after a long, drawn out pause, “My IT team is swamped … how much time will you need from IT?”

The good news is that Patientco can work with most any HIS system – whether its a mainstream system like Epic, Meditech, Siemens,  Brightree, Nextgen or AllScripts, an older legacy platform, or even a custom homegrown solution.

More importantly, Patientco can usually connect to these systems with less than a day of help from the IT team.

The magic is really in how Patientco handles the process of exchanging data with HIS systems and the fact that Patientco doesn’t require any installed software – it’s entirely cloud based.

While most healthcare IT vendor vendors handle “real-time integration” requirement by using complicated HL7 streams, esoteric EDI data feeds, and complex integration “hooks,” Patientco instead rides the existing “rails” and uses the infrastructure that’s already in place. 

Said another way, instead of forcing our clients to produce reports/data feeds in the “Patientco format,” we accept your files in their existing and/or native format. After all, our clients pay Patientco to provide the service – why should they have to conform to our standard instead of Patientco conforming to theirs?

Let me explain the process a little bit more …

To get started, Patientco simply asks for a copy of the statement file that you already send to your current print/mail vendor (or the file you use to print statements in-house). If you use a 3rd party printer, you likely already know how this file is transmitted to them; If you use your HIS’ bundled printing solution, this file transfer just happens behind the scenes.

Although the format of patient statement files may vary widely (and believe me, they do!), every single HIS system has some type of patient statement file – if it didn’t, how would you bill patients?

After receiving the sample files, Patientco runs it through our “Mapper” program.  The “Mapper” program is a Swiss-Army knife of sorts – it accepts a wide array of different file formats and allows our development team to rapidly adjust the settings so that your existing file format can be used, as is.

A good analogy is to think about process of getting a key copied at your local hardware store. You start with one of several dozen “blanks” or template keys … and the key duplicator makes just a few small cuts to the key to get it to fit in your door lock.  Imagine, if instead you had to start with a big block of metal and it wasn’t precut – if would take absolutely forever.

Likewise, Patientco starts with a file template that is likely pretty close to your existing format, and just makes a few small tweaks to account for any customization you’ve done. After getting sign off on a quick round of statement proofs, we’re good to go!

In summary, getting started with Patientco is easy and doesn’t require much IT effort since we avoid “full-blown integration.” We’ve done the hard work of building a robust platform that simply accepts the files in the same format you’re already using; that way, we make it easy on you and your team.