For years one of the major complaints about healthcare IT systems has been the closed and proprietary nature of most vendor offerings. As we move to improve “information liquidity” (a cool term I read about it a Deloitte study, I believe) across the continuum of care. announcements such as the following are most welcome:
Of particular note in the press release is the statement:
The Microsoft agreement is part of Eclipsys’ open platform initiative, by which Eclipsys plans to expand its reach by working collaboratively with other industry participants to enhance interoperability, and enabling third parties to develop new applications that work natively with Eclipsys solutions.
I added the bold to emphasize Eclipsys’ intent to support third party applications. Taking a page from Internet pioneers and giants Amazon, Facebook, and Google, Eclipsys is creating the conditions for an ecosystem in which they do not try to be all things to their customer. By allowing third parties to add value to their core platform they will make this platform more valuable and more attractive to current and prospective customers.
I hope that other vendors, particularly Canadian EMR vendors, take note of the Eclipsys strategy. Opening up your platform so that other vendors can develop applications that make use of the information stored in your systems is good for the customer, good for our health system, and good for your bottom line.