PilotFish – A Flexible and Customizable Middleware Integration Solution
PilotFish is an enterprise solution designed to overcome the challenges of interoperability and plug & play integration in healthcare. The healthcare industry faces difficulties with interoperability due to technical complexity, strict data security and privacy regulations, and a lack of widely adopted data exchange standards. PilotFish addresses these challenges by offering ANY to ANY integration, secure data processing and support for multiple data exchange standards including HL7, FHIR, CCD, C-CDA, DICOM and X12 EDI. PilotFish’s solution is flexible, extensible and provides secure hosting options, encrypted data transfer as well as a graphical Integrated Development Environment. The solution also offers a foundation for FHIR-based implementations and support for RESTful APIs.
Interoperability and plug & play integration remain an elusive goal in healthcare, significantly impacting solution providers who need to integrate with diverse trading partners and organizations. Data integration remains challenging whether you offer a product or service, an application, a medical device or equipment.
The reasons for this are many. Technical complexity within the healthcare industry is one. Healthcare systems utilize a large variety of data types and formats. Adhering to HIPAA rules, strict data security and privacy regulations add complexity. A lack of widely adopted data exchange standards across the industry limits interoperability.
Another factor impacting interoperability is that many legacy systems are still proliferating within the healthcare industry. Legacy systems with outdated technology were not designed to integrate with many newer systems. Interoperability becomes impossible without middleware or data conversion. Data ownership issues add yet another barrier to interoperability and limit or sometimes totally restrict data sharing between different organizations.
Solution Provider Workflow Example using PilotFish’s Interface/Integration Engine
PilotFish Helps You Overcome Interoperability Challenges
PilotFish helps Solution Providers overcome the challenges to interoperability with an enterprise solution designed to work around each obstacle that limits or prevents interoperability. PilotFish has been architected to offer users the most incredible amount of flexibility and extensibility. Let’s look at how PilotFish deals with each:
Tackling Technical Complexity
Healthcare systems must work with various data types and formats that may not be native to their system. PilotFish architected its solution to support ANY to ANY integration. We use a common model method of integration which allows our system to import data in any data and then convert it into anything the receiving or target system can accept. Unique format readers will enable you to read data virtually instantaneously.
Adhering to Strict Data Security and Privacy Regulations
HIPAA regulations and ensuring the confidentiality and security of patient data are critical requirements in the healthcare industry. Secure methods are required for storing, transferring and accessing sensitive information which put up additional roadblocks to interoperability.
For security, PilotFish offers processors to Encrypt and Decrypt the data (both Asymmetric and Desymmetric), which can be utilized for storing, transferring and accessing data. PilotFish’s eiPlatform does not store any client data at rest. Instead, we offer customers the ability to host on-premises or in the cloud, where they can secure their client’s data. We also provide VAR licenses so that each client can be isolated with their own eiPlatform without the worries of comingling data.
Handling the Lack of Standards
Despite using HL7, there is a lack of widely adopted, industry-wide standards for data exchange and interoperability. Since 1987, HL7 has been a broadly used standard in the healthcare industry for exchanging clinical and administrative health data between healthcare organizations and IT systems. But as most people in the industry know, the HL7 standard is anything but standard. Different systems may use different versions of HL7 (2.x, versions 2.2 to 2.7) or it may be extended in different ways, leading to incompatibilities for data integration and exchange.
HL7 is not the only standard used in the healthcare industry. FHIR has been making inroads. CCD, C-CDA and DICOM are used as well. Adoption and implementation of one broadly used standard would go a long way to achieving interoperability. Broad-based adoption has been held back by resistance to change, lack of resources and competing priorities. Even with standards like HL7, achieving true interoperability across the industry remains challenging.
PilotFish helps Solution Providers work with all the different standards with a solution that was designed to do exactly that. PilotFish was architected to be flexible and extensible. Because of this, as new standards or versions are adopted, PilotFish can quickly build in support. Unlike products specifically designed to only support HL7 that have had to bolt-on support for things like HL7 3.x and FHIR, PilotFish can adapt and add another format reader, module or processor to support a new standard in days or weeks.
“Our business requires us to collect and aggregate significant volumes of data from an array of disparate systems. Through the use of the PilotFish integration solution we are able to connect with a wider variety of external systems with faster implementations and less difficulty than before. Our ongoing initiatives and use of Pilotfish’s technologies is expanding the types of data that our products can capture and analyze leading to delivery of ever higher value to our members.”
Bill Hyden, Sr. Director of Development, The Advisory Board Company
PilotFish offers an easy way to handle the various versions of HL7. A Graphical Integrated Development Environment provides an interface with configuration panels where users can select which version of HL7 to expect. An HL7 module Transformer can convert HL7 input streams to XML and back. With PilotFish’s Lenient Parser, users can parse extended versions of HL7, which other products choke on. The Lenient Parser parses both non-compliant and extended HL7 2.x messages and can parse unknown segments, capturing the data for subsequent transformation and manipulation.
PilotFish also natively supports XML – any XML-based standard can be directly imported. Likewise, PilotFish supports Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), a specification of a common API for exchanging healthcare data between information systems. We support the FHIR standard with a platform neutral FHIR API. PilotFish can apply FHIR data models to client data and implementations.
For lightweight RESTful APIs, PilotFish’s API XL architecture offers a means to encapsulate entire API-driven business processes. We provide a foundation for any FHIR-based implementation and support FHIR versions STU2 and STU3 and R4.
Gaining even more dominance in the healthcare space due to Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement is X12 EDI. PilotFish offers the most robust support of X12 EDI of any product on the market. PilotFish users get built-in support for EDI SNIP Types 1-7 with a complete set of features and tools to make working with the EDI standard faster and easier, using the same process as when working with any other standard. By using PilotFish, users only need to learn to use one tool to work with ANY standard.
Support for Batch and Real-Time Data Exchange
For Solution Providers, time is of the essence, which means solutions must provide real-time access to data thus allowing healthcare providers to make informed decisions in a timely manner.
PilotFish allows its users to process data in real-time or via batch. Our configuration over code approach makes it easy to schedule transactions without coding. A configuration panel enables users to select start and end times, week days and dates to exclude. Advanced settings include a long list of options such as Restart on Listening Error, Directory Not Found and Maximum Number of Transactions.
Scalable to Accommodate Future Growth
Interoperability requires scalability. As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, integration requirements are growing exponentially. More and more systems, applications and databases need to be integrated. Solution Providers need systems that can scale to match their growth and the industries.
PilotFish eiPlatform servers can be networked to support any volume. We offer a robust and scalable execution environment for all your integrations. With PilotFish’s on-demand model, users can incrementally add capacity using a “Machine Resource Cost Per Hour”. The model is similar to Amazon Web Services (AWS) where users pay a monthly minimum and then incrementally for more usage as they need it. PilotFish use grows with your business as you grow.
Greater Productivity With a User-Friendly Interface
Interoperability is impossible if a Solution Provider does not have an intuitive and user-friendly interface to quickly and easily integrate systems. No other product offers the ease-of-use and intuitive process that PilotFish does. Our exclusive Graphical Automated Interface Assembly Line process provides a visual way to configure interfaces without coding or scripting. The 7-stage Assembly Line grid depicts the interface workflow. Working left to right through each stage, a user selects from drop-down menus, fills in configuration panels and transforms data using a drag & drop data mapper. This allows you to connect with and exchange data with trading partners quickly. Every interface, regardless of the data format or connectivity requirement, gets configured the same way, quickly and easily. Solution Providers have reported that PilotFish interfaces can be built 50% faster than with their previous solutions.
Built-in Robust Error Handling and Reporting
Interoperability relies on robust error handling and reporting capabilities to ensure any issues can be quickly identified and resolved. Central to interoperability is the ability to detect errors and create reports. PilotFish offers a variety of Transaction Monitors to handle errors and the eiDashboard to monitor interfaces and generate custom reports.
The Email Alert Transaction Monitor will send an email to a specified address with error details when an exception occurs. An Error Route Trigger Transaction Monitor allows you to build arbitrarily complex error handling directly into an interface. These are customizable. For example, you can specify information that is used to filter when this particular Transaction Monitor will be invoked. You can also enter information about text that the Exception Message must or must not include, as well as the level of that exception. You can choose to make this Transaction Monitor only applicable to certain stages within the route. Simple Network Monitoring Protocol (SNMP) traps are supported. The Batch Failure Monitor, which handles Failures of Transactions that are part of a Transaction Batch, is another option.
PilotFish also offers the eiDashboard, a web-based application for complete interface monitoring, reporting and management. Users can get detailed views of their interfaces and transactions. The Transaction Logs can be searched for specific messages that have been processed and to view the contents of the message and its attributes as it progressed through every step of the interface. Users have the option of standard, custom and ad hoc reporting. Transaction data can be captured at the granular level as it traverses the stages that comprise end-to-end interfaces or process orchestrations and writes it to an H2 database. Users can generate custom reports easily.
PilotFish – the Only Integration Solution You’ll Ever Need
The PilotFish Enterprise Integration solution helps boost faster implementation times and time to market, ease interface maintenance and offers the ability to scale up quickly. By providing Solution Providers with flexibility and a tremendous number of options to customize interfaces to meet each of their unique requirements, PilotFish facilitates interoperability. Add a broad portfolio of licensing options to meet any Solution Provider requirement and PilotFish provides everything you need to be competitive and successful. Our 5-star rating on Capterra (A Gartner Company) speaks for itself.
If you’re curious about the software features, free trial, or even a demo – we’re ready to answer any and all questions. Please call 813 864 8662 or click the button.
HL7 is the registered trademark of Health Level Seven International.
X12, chartered by the American National Standards Institute for more than 35 years, develops and maintains EDI standards and XML schemas.