For every digital health company that produces clinically relevant data, the inevitable question at sales meetings is: “Can you integrate with our EHR system?” But the better question is not can we integrate, but should we?
The core domain of the EHR is to house the legal health record (LHR) in an electronic format. When it comes to data integration from other systems, they come up short. Digital health companies are pressured by clinical customers to “integrate” with the EHR. API relief via FHIR and Meaningful Use Stage 3 may come. But for now, discrete data integration remains a costly and time-consuming endeavor that may not be worth the trouble. The assumption is that customers need data exchange, when in fact what providers largely want is clinical workflow integration to deliver meaningful insights that are actionable at the right time.