I was asked to evaluate a ‘request for proposal’. One of the questions was – ‘Is The Integration To Other Internal Systems Seamless Or Integrated Bolt-Ons From Acquisitions?’
Most EMR systems claim they are fully integrated. On the surface, what this means is – you can do everything from within the same platform. You don’t need to buy different modules to do different things.
EMR, Scheduling, Practice Management, billing, patient portal are all offered by the same vendor.
As the title suggests, these modules may have been purchased from a third party vendor, or developed as separate products and then ‘bolted’ to provide a semblance of seamlessness.
What is wrong with that?
Nothing superficially, but anything that has ‘seams’ can break.
From the software perspective, not being on the same ‘database’ and platform means that data integrity can be compromised. Something can go wrong somewhere.
When upgrades and updates are made to the software, connectivity between these bolted products can break. This can happen more with stringent regulatory compliance and the need for interoperability between different vendors.