Bridging the gap between legacy systems and current business requirements
Healthcare and technology have a long mutual history. However, many of the systems running our modern hospitals, clinics and healthcare systems were implemented sometime during the last century. The technology needed to track patient information, schedule payments, launch patient care initiatives (and keep the building’s power on!) counts itself as one of every healthcare system’s core utilities. While these processes are often comfortable to use, many are not enterprise-grade because they lack the disaster-recovery systems and interfaces required to provide comprehensive, connected digital experiences with the security and continuity expected in modern systems.
Healthcare’s Business End Gets The Short Stick — Again
Despite the abundance of more robust, modern alternatives, healthcare’s digital transformation is lagging far behind companies in travel, retail, telecommunications, and other sectors. The pharmaceutical, healthcare, and medical-technology companies keep functioning by running their ‘good old workhorse’ technologies. Although these legacy systems are able to share basic information like flat file exports and batch processes, the systems are subject to high failure rates for two reasons. First: Because this kind of data-sharing protocol, while once the best of its kind, today is nearing antiquation. Secondly: These types of systems are also more subject to error from human intervention.
Big Bang, Big Repercussions
When healthcare budgets allow for an upgrade to an enterprise system, a “big bang” fix is often the first thing proposed — meaning that stakeholders assume everything must be replaced at the same time. “Technology’s changing so fast anyway!” some in senior leadership might say. “We’d better swap it all out for the newest, latest, and greatest as long as we’re doing some upgrades,” another suggests.
This kind of complete overhaul – replacing existing systems with their modern equivalents – is often a project that can become very expensive, extend beyond its scheduled timeline, and fail to meet the unique requirements of the various stakeholders involved in its implementation and daily use.
An extensive wholesale replacement of an enterprise’s systems can also add an extra load onto already-overburdened staff. Replacing an entire system with a new one requires new processes and re-training the people using the system — if the project is to be successful, that is! Changing personal habits can be difficult enough; changing the habits of an entire department is a massive undertaking.
The Value In Tried And True
What many might not realize is that neglecting to draw from the value in systems that have run successfully for years is a mistake with hidden costs like inefficiencies, errors, missing insights, missing reporting, and dissatisfied staff. The ‘Marie Kondo method’ works great for sock drawers — not so much for the daily systems that run large enterprises (and have successfully done so for years or even decades).
Luckily, the value inherent to legacy systems by can be utilized – and protected – by connecting them with modern integration technologies. Hybrid integration platforms are the bridge that connects outdated systems behind modern web service facades — effectively separating their implementations from how the end user interfaces with, and leverages, the data.
A Bridge Between Old And New
By implementing a hybrid integration platform while keeping legacy systems in place, enterprises can effectively extend and leverage the value of their technology systems — while minimizing both the costs and the associated risks associated with a big undertaking like an IT upgrade. Keeping the existing systems, rather than replacing them, is the solution — as long as there’s a hybrid integration platform that’s bridging the gap. Utilizing a hybrid integration platform ensures that the right data is available in the right system, at the right time — allowing enterprises to open the door to integration, automation, and orchestration while minimizing both the costs and the risks associated with a major systems upgrade.
Ready to turn your organization’s core systems to into connected, powerful applications that work beautifully with modern solutions? Avato is here to take the risk out of healthcare’s digital transformation, while delivering unmatched value. Reach out to us to find out how our team of experts can benefit your data and systems integration project.