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Zoeticx receives one of highest rankings in customer satisfaction survey of middleware EHR integrators conducted by Black Book Research

Zoeticx has been named as one of the highest ranked middleware electronic health record (EHR) integrators in a customer satisfaction survey conducted by Black Book Research in the first quarter of 2016. The survey, in association with its annual interoperability survey of 2,012 provider health information exchange (HIE) users and 2,300 payer HIE users, along with 4,100 prospective HIE users, finds that payers are accelerating private HIE executions while providers are evaluating HIE replacements, middleware and Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) options.

“Every stakeholder in the healthcare continuum cannot establish the infrastructure needed to support interoperability, as evidenced by 83 percent of physician practices responding and 40 percent of hospitals, that currently admit they are still in the planning and catch up stages of sending and sharing secure, relevant data. The challenge of turning silos of medical and financial information into a linked, complete, accurate secure lifetime medical record is still tenuous,” said Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book.

“However, middleware is gaining popularity fast by hospitals using EHR-dependent HIE systems with extremely expensive custom development for data sharing outside the network,” Brown noted. “We see vendors such as Zoeticx leading the struggle to bring interoperability into healthcare IT networks by integrating with larger EHR vendors.”

Middleware being considered by 16 percent of hospital system IT leaders

In response to alleviate concerns of HIEs with poor connectivity outside their IDNs and hospital systems, interoperability middleware is also a fast growing consideration according to 16 percent of hospital systems IT leaders with EHR-dependent HIE grievances. Middleware software sits within the data pipeline and translates data from disparate EHRs which shows promise for private HIEs, particularly payer-centric enterprise models. It creates a business intelligence layer that provides information to all stakeholders in real time.

Promises made in the recent interoperability pledge for three core commitments from EHR developers (providing patient access, eliminating information blocking, and implementing federal connectivity standards) won’t be the reason why interoperability succeeds, predicts Black Book’s survey results.

The global healthcare analytics market is projected to grow to $18.4 billion in 4 years (by 2020) and the need for that complex data will propel the interoperability needs of providers and payers. “The only way to accomplish that is robust bidirectional interoperability and that’s what will ultimately force comprehensive interoperability into reality, not government-scripted vendor pledges,” said Brown.

57 percent of providers also confirm their beliefs that the whole interoperability industry will evolve by leaps by 2018 if some basic issues are addressed, with or without a vendor pledge. “Progressive FHIR standards can allow EHRs to talk to other EHRs should standard definitions develop on enough actionable data points as we enter a hectic period of HIE replacements, centering on the capabilities of open network alliances, mobile EHR, middleware and population health analytics as possible answers to standard HIE,” said Brown.

HIE user frustration over lack of standards

Between the third quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016, the survey recorded growing HIE user frustration over the lack of standardization and readiness of unprepared providers and payers. Of self-identified connectivity-ready hospitals, 26 percent intend to keep expanding into robust exchanges for value-based payment prospects with primed payers, despite the delays by peer providers to electronically share patient data beyond MU.

Of hospitals and hospital systems, 63 perecnt report they are in the active stages of replacing their current HIE system while nearly 94 percent of payers surveyed intend to totally abandon their involvement with public HIEs. Focused, private HIEs also mitigate the absence of a reliable Master Patient Index (MPI) and the continued lack of trust in the accuracy of current records exchange.

Public HIEs and EHR-dependent HIEs were viewed by 79 percent of providers as disenfranchising payers from data exchange efforts and did not see payers as partners because of their own distinct data needs and revenue models. Progressive payers are moving rapidly into the pay-for-value new world order and require extensive data analytics capabilities and interoperability to launch accountable care initiatives.

“As evidenced by Black Book Research, middleware integrated healthcare solutions are finally being recognized by the industry as the key to interoperability,” said Zoeticx CEO Thanh Tran. “We are also seeing growing industry dissatisfaction with the need for HIEs which duplicate data, offer insufficient health data standards, cause potential HIPAA violations variations and can difficulty in accurately matching the right records to the right patient. Perhaps 2016 will be the year we move forward.”

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