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Simplifying public healthcare with system integration

Stefano Marfella,

Health applications integration

One of the most complex cases in the field of information systems is that offered by the Italian National Health System (or Sistema Sanitario Nazionale).

Think about how many functional areas there are - health facilities operations, service delivery, and even administrative management. If we add the organizational fragmentation of these bodies that sometimes have a certain degree of "independence" in choosing their own technology solutions, you can understand how things can get very complicated.

 

The drive towards the complete digitization of the healthcare sector and making complex and internet-connected services for citizens is growing every day. This trend makes it necessary to link and make applications present in healthcare companies interoperable with each other. This way, you can get higher quality and efficient services to citizens while generating greater savings for healthcare companies and give them the ability to exploit the full potential of their IT infrastructure.

Interoperability means the ability to exchange information, interact and establish processes between two or more computer systems. Interoperability in the health industry isn't the primary goal. In fact, healthcare companies have had a more ambitious goal for years now. The current goal is to pursue more cooperation on the applications level. This means ensuring that information systems can automatically and easily communicate and take an active advantage of the exchange of information and the logic of each application within their systems.

To be able to achieve cooperation between health applications, it's important to identify and use tools that can support complex cases, such as an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), which allows you to streamline and coordinate the applications by acting as a centralizing point of integration between the various information systems involved.

ESBs allows you to cover "old" point-to-point integrations, support and implement the most common patterns in systems integration and deploy SOA (Service Oriented Architecture).

Last, but not least, is the advantage of being able to scale the system architecture in an agile and simple way. You can ensure high levels of service reliability, which for functional scenarios such as those in the health sector, is something that can't be compromised.

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