The CUREConnect InterApp API

Last week, Mobile Heartbeat posted an article introducing the CUREConnect APIs. Since then, we have received a number of inquiries from prospective partners and clients looking for more information on the InterApp API. This post will dive a little deeper into InterApp, explaining what it is, what it does and what Mobile Heartbeat hopes to help our customers and partners accomplish with it.

What is the InterApp API?

The InterApp API can be simply described as a method to create linkages between MH-CURE and other apps on a mobile device. It’s the equivalent of saving a bookmark to a specific sub-page you want to visit within a website. Instead of navigating to the website’s homepage and manually clicking links to get to the desired page, you link straight to it from the bookmark. Your login credentials can be included as well as other contextual information to enable automated logins and workflow-specific functions.

When this concept is applied within MH-CURE and other partner applications, it’s easy to see how much time this saves end-users. Instead of manually logging into another app and searching for the specific screens and information pertinent to their workflows, the user simply taps an app icon and they are done. The InterApp API streamlines the entire process.

What does it do?

InterApp supports both outbound launching from MH-CURE to another mobile app, as well as inbound launching from a third-party app into MH-CURE. Using trust-based authentication, the switching between apps can be streamlined for the end-user by passing the username and password to automate logging in. Additionally, information from one app can be passed to the other, like patient MRN, user or patient facility, among others.

A lesser-known but equally important feature is that InterApp enables launching into other parts of MH-CURE with a single tap. Want to put a “Send a Text to the IT Help Desk” on the initial screen? Easy. Want to add an “SOS” button to contact the Security Office? Only takes a few minutes to it add to all of your smartphones. In essence, InterApp gives you control over how your CC&C platform appears and acts for your hospital.

Example: Inbound InterApp Launch:

Mobile Heartbeat’s integration partnership with TeleTracking is a great example of an inbound launch. TeleTracking focuses on optimizing patient flow throughout the hospital, from admit to discharge. An important part of optimizing patient flow is providing the highly mobile members of the care team with the ability to communicate in real-time and take action. Via TeleTracking, a user is alerted that an action needs to be taken from their app. The InterApp integration enables them to tap a Launch Point within the TeleTracking app, switch over to MH-CURE, automatically log in and send a text message or make a call to whomever they need to take action.

Example: Outbound InterApp Launch:

Mobile Heartbeat’s integration with AirStrip is representative of what can be achieved through an outbound InterApp launch. AirStrip ONE is a mobile interoperability platform, enabling hospitals to pull together patient data from disparate systems into a single view for the care team. When a user needs to view this clinical data on-the-go, the AirStrip ONE mobile app enables them to do so. MH-CURE users who are in the middle of a text-based conversation about a patient can easily access the patient’s information within AirStrip through InterApp. MH-CURE then passes the currently- viewed patient information to AirStrip ONE allowing AirStrip to navigate directly to the live waveforms and other monitoring data of that specific patient – no lookup is required! 

What can we accomplish together?

By 2022, 98% of doctors and 97% of nurses believe that mobile devices will play a role in their daily workflows, according to a Zebra Technologies study. Today, Mobile Heartbeat’s customers have already stated they want to achieve as much as possible through their mobile devices from a workflow and communications perspective. With these objectives in mind, Mobile Heartbeat is committed to empowering our customers and partners by serving as a platform upon which these new workflows can be created. Through APIs like InterApp, we are opening up previously-restricted areas of MH-CURE to share data that enables these workflows to occur.

Please come visit us during the HIMSS18 event in Las Vegas. We are in booth #2461 and will have the InterApp capabilities on display. Our team can also help you brainstorm how you can use InterApp to revolutionize your users’ mobile experience.

CUREConnect API Integration Suite – Enabling New Workflows in 2018

In 2017, Mobile Heartbeat® launched the CUREConnect™ API Integration Suite, taking another step towards our vision of enterprise interoperability through the MH-Platform. In 2018 (The Year of the Clinical Workflow), we begin to run. CUREConnect extends MH-CURE’s core communication & collaboration capabilities through integrations with third-party systems that enable us to deliver a diverse set of capabilities to our users.

We’re working towards this goal with a collection of APIs and an ecosystem of integration partners that have already begun to facilitate impactful new workflows. Four initial APIs to highlight are the Inbound Messaging API, InterApp API, Inbound Assignments API and the Care Team Query API. Together, these four APIs provide a foundation for our ecosystem partners and customers to build upon.

The Inbound Messaging API enables third-party systems to deliver alerts, alarms and notifications to MH-CURE users. This standards-based API is already in heavy use with our nurse call, patient monitoring and middleware partners, allowing them to get the right information to the right people as quickly as possible. Inbound Messaging is highly customizable, which allows our partners and customers to specify the content and actions (eg confirm or decline) of the message. This ensures that customers can implement tailored policies and processes to deliver an intuitive user experience.

The InterApp API supports providing MH-CURE users with a seamless workflow in concert with their other mobile applications. The API enables direct integrations with third-party mobile apps, allowing users to launch between apps efficiently and with context using icons called “Launch Points”. As an example, imagine a user views a patient’s details in MH-CURE and needs to view or edit data in a mobile EHR app on their device. Without InterApp, the workflow would look something like this:

  1. Tap the device’s home button
  2. Find the mobile EHR app
  3. Log into that app with Active Directory credentials
  4. Search for the patient
  5. Complete the task.

That’s a five-step, very manual process. Alternatively, with a single tap of a Launch Point in MH-CURE, the InterApp API allows the user to launch directly and securely to the location they want to go in the partner app from within MH-CURE.

The Inbound Assignments API allows one or multiple third-party systems to update the care team of a specified patient within MH-CURE. This ensures that users always have the ability to know who the real-time care team is for a patient. The Care Team Query API works in reverse, allowing third-party systems to retrieve the current care team information for a given patient.

As 2018 ramps up, we look to expand upon the CUREConnect integration ecosystem. We will strengthen our existing partnerships in patient monitoring, nurse call, clinical workflow and predictive analytics and look to build new partnerships in these and other capabilities. If you would like to explore how your hospital may benefit from implementing Mobile Heartbeat’s MH-CURE platform and the CUREConnect API Integration Suite, contact us at partners@mobileheartbeat.com. You can also download more information about the CUREConnect APIs here.

Future-Proofing Your CC&C Implementation

Putting our internal plans in place for 2018 got me thinking about what is on the minds of prospective Clinical Communication and Collaboration clients for the year ahead. So, I asked the following question on a recent prospective client visit: “Since you’re planning for a CC&C project in 2018, what’s keeping you awake at night thinking about this endeavor?” The answer I received really made me pause.

The Answer:

Without hesitation, this hospital executive replied, “This CC&C project is a big expense for us when you add in the smartphones, infrastructure improvements and software required for an enterprise deployment. How am I going to preserve this investment and insure that it isn’t a sunk cost? In other words, how am I going to future-proof this technology?”

On the flight home, I decided to develop a checklist of “Questions to Ask” to the different vendors, so that prior to spending precious capital on a CC&C project, you have done your due diligence and can make an informed decision.

Below is Ron’s Guide to “Look Before You Leap” in the CC&C market.

How successful have the vendor’s pilot projects been to date?

There are few things more disruptive than a pilot project in your facility that goes nowhere. It’s not just the dollars involved in the project, but the time taken from your people, likely your facility’s most precious resource. You don’t want to be heading down a path to a dead end, so check out how many of a vendor’s pilot projects have “died on the vine” and never moved to deployment. A high rate of stalled or cancelled projects is a red flag.

Is the architecture open? Is there a full-featured API set available?

The history of healthcare IT is closed, silo-ed systems where getting access to your own data is next to impossible. Check out the recent quote from the CEO of Fairview Health Services and what he has to say about this challenge. You will need access to the CC&C system in order to add other applications, both current and future, written by both third parties and maybe your own development team. Think about the potential applications, and their value, that you can add onto the smartphones once they are deployed throughout your enterprise. If that capability is not available in the CC&C system that you’ve selected, then you are out of luck.

Does the smartphone application “play well with others”?

Keep in mind that the enterprise usage of smartphones lags well behind consumer usage. Your clinicians are already comfortable with using multiple apps on their personal devices. They expect you to provide them with the best-in-class clinical applications for their use and they are already comfortable moving from app-to-app to get things done. Your CC&C software must have this capability to work seamlessly with other apps. Single sign-on between apps while retaining the patient context (i.e., not having to look up the patient when moving to another app) is a must-have.

Are you able to customize the CC&C software?

I recently learned that one of the vendors in the CC&C market charges up to $100,000 in “services” for any customization request. Most clients don’t factor in that level of future expense when purchasing a system and are shocked as these future bills begin to arrive whenever they need a change made. Look for a CC&C system that allows you to customize how the software looks, feels and behaves for your end-users. To be specific, look for:

  • The ability to modify the UX/UI to add and subtract functionality on a hospital and user role basis. Not every clinician needs to see every available option.
  • The ability for your staff to add in other applications and launch them from your CC&C software. Your needs are going to change over time and if your internal team can make these modifications without requiring vendor involvement, you will save a lot of future dollars.

What do the vendor’s financials looks like?

One of the knocks on the CC&C market is that many vendors have received (and burnt through) large amounts of investment in order to build their product and their company. Investors are beginning to “wise up” and are reticent to dump additional dollars to chase a return. What this means for a hospital is that you want to make sure that a vendor has the financial staying power to still be in business five years out when you still really need them. Consider the challenge you would face if suddenly your CC&C vendor was no longer viable. To protect this from happening, ask to see their financials before you purchase and make an assessment of their potential longevity.

To formalize all of the above, you can even turn these questions into a “scorecard” and grade the answers. Once you have the results, you will be much more knowledgeable about the future of your CC&C project. Give it a try and see if you can Future-Proof your investment in 2018.

What do you do with 100,000 iPhones?

On Tuesday, January 30, 2018 during the 4th Quarter Earnings call for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Milton Johnson, the corporation’s CEO, announced that HCA is buying 100,000 iPhones.

These smartphones will all be utilizing our MH-CURE software throughout the enterprise and we are proud of our role in making HCA a mobility-enabled company. We’re honored to take the lead in deploying this large-scale project, so after our glow subsided a bit, we asked the question “What do you do with 100,000 iPhones?”

The obvious initial answer is that you use them to mobilize clinicians, but what do you really DO with them?

You use them to build a clinical mobility platform

We’re proud of our MH-CURE software, but it is just the foundation for deploying an enterprise-wide mobility platform. We’re almost always the “first player into the game” to provide the initial CC&C capability. Our open architecture and APIs will enable HCA to add other world-class clinical applications onto these iPhones – both directly as other apps on the device, but also via numerous clinical systems integrated with our MH-CURE application. From AI to Predictive Analytics, these smartphones will provide breakthrough capability to the patients’ care teams. Via 100,000 iPhones, we will build out an unmatched clinical mobility platform.

You use them to measure results and improve workflows

100,000 iPhones will also create an enormous amount of operational data and we will assist HCA in organizing and analyzing this information that was unavailable until our CC&C platform was deployed.  By being able to “Manage what you can Measure,” our clinical informatics professionals will look to optimize workflows throughout the hospitals. These workflow changes will result in better, higher quality patient care at lower costs.

You use them to improve patient outcomes

With 100,000 iPhones available and improved workflows in place, clinicians will have the ability to focus on the practice of medicine via the best possible mobile tools in their hands at the point of care. The golden ring of better patient outcomes will become their highest priority and will be attainable.

So, what do you do with 100,000 iPhones? The answer: one incredible patient-focused achievement after another.