Qvera: The #1 Interface Engine
It was a beautiful spring day in April of 2008, and Sam Shapiro, President, and CEO of Qvera glanced out his office window in Kaysville, Utah located in the United States. Tom was in the middle of getting ready for an exciting meeting with his brothers and partners of the company: Ron Shapiro, Vice President and chief technology officer (CTO), Ben Shapiro, Director of Software Engineering for the company, Mike Williams, Vice President of Sales, Ken Ostrowski, Director of Strategic Development and Marketing, and Gary Meyer, Vice President of Customer Service. This consortium of executives was meeting up to discuss how to make history in the healthcare IT segment for both ambulatory and inpatient environments (Company History, n.d.).
What a time to be alive for the Shapiro brothers and Qvera! The company was eagerly approaching the commercial launch of its platform, the Qvera Interface Engine, QIE for short, which is a new interface engine that was built from the ground up. What was so great about this new interface engine was that not only did it benefit from the fact that the creators all had prior extensive experience with building an engine but also from the timing of its inception (Driving down the cost of Interoperability in Healthcare: Qvera, n.d.). Qvera was able to take advantage of the latest data formats, connectivity requirements, and format standards by building into QIE the comprehensive support for the company and enhancing the application to best utilize newer standards and formats used in the healthcare IT segment.
The Shapiro brothers hoped that, together, Qvera’s new interface engine would be the easiest and most powerful tool for healthcare interoperability which would enable connecting the older legacy systems in hospitals with newer platforms and technologies; additionally, not only would Qvera aim to connect the two, the company would also make this connection simple, efficient, and easy to understand for all users. In the company’s eyes, Qvera’s QIE platform offered many benefits to those that wished to use it. The Qvrea Interface Engine held the potential to sufficiently drive the cost of interoperability in healthcare and lower the total cost of ownership.
Today’s meeting with the group, however, was essential and held a special opportunity for everyone at the table to address their concerns and such about the health care interoperability tool and the segment in broader terms. What companies can Qvera partner up with to make the QIE a better and stronger tool? How will users be authenticated to access the data? And finally, how can patients, providers, and service locations uniquely be identified at the physical level for the sending and receiving systems? These were all questions that the team hoped to resolve to make their sole product the best one out there (Tong, 2016).
Context: What is Interoperability?
According to Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the term interoperability is described as the extent to which systems and devices can exchange data as well as interpret that shared data (What is Interoperability?, 2017). Interoperability means the ability of health information exchange (HIE) systems to work together within and across organizational boundaries in order to advance the effective delivery of healthcare for both individuals and communities.
For two systems to be interoperable, they must be able to exchange data and also be able to present that data later on in such a way that it can be understood by a user (What is Interoperability?, 2017). These data exchange schemes and standards should allow data to be shared across various healthcare systems like clinician offices, labs, hospitals, and pharmacies.
The Company’s History
Based out of Kaysville, UT, USA, Qvera is an experienced software company which tends to the needs of the healthcare IT industry. The company solely focuses on producing the most powerful and flexible interface engine on today’s market. Initially, the company started off in healthcare IT consulting but the team realized that they needed an interfacing and integration tool that was not only intuitive to use but also flexible and powerful for users. When the team was unable to find one that fit all their requirements, they decided to build their own interface engine from scratch (Company History, n.d.). The engine they build initially was great for what was needed in 1999, but as healthcare IT evolved, so did the need for better tools. The company thus had the opportunity to re-form as Qvera and build a newer more up-to-date engine from the ground up (Company History, n.d.).
General Challenges and Concerns With Legacy System Integration
As businesses face growth and expansion, they also face the dilemma of integrating older legacy systems with newer technologies as well as web and mobile applications especially in the cloud (Legacy System Integration, 2017). The problem with legacy systems was that they were old and inflexible technologies which were put in place to resolve previous business challenges. Because of their long lifespans, these systems tended to be fragile, obsolete and were difficult to integrate with new cloud and web-based services. However, some established legacy systems still remain in use to this day by companies because replacement of these systems is extensive and expensive processes (Legacy System Integration, 2017).
Additionally, maintaining older legacy systems is not only costly, it endangers businesses because it prevents further growth and expansion. This is because these systems are unable to provide users access to the latest technologies which makes it difficult to cultivate new businesses and ideas (Legacy System Integration, 2017).
One problem that many companies face is that replacing a legacy system is expensive as well as risky.Many enterprises are concerned with cloud integration security; this is because there is constant exchanging, transferring, and sharing of sensitive data. With Qvera, enterprise integrations are protected. Unauthorized access is blocked and sensitive information is secured (Legacy System Integration, 2017).
The Ideal Solution
Qvera offers a robust solution for businesses in the healthcare segment to solve the problem of legacy system modernization.
Qvera offers numerous benefits for its users:
– Low cost, low-risk process
– seamless and painless conversion
– Provides only solution with native ‘Patient Not Found’ functionality
– Simplifying interface development which provides lowest total cost of ownership
– No vendor lock-in
Qvera offers a seamless integration of modern and legacy systems which solves the problem of old infrastructure while also preparing companies and enterprises for future integration needs. With its simplified integration process and easy to use visual channel editor, which allows customers to visualize the flow of information and makes carrying out interface configurations quick and efficient, customers can be up and be running within minutes (Legacy System Integration, 2017).
Built on a 21st-century technology stack, it offers features such as auto notification and update of the application, advanced interface monitoring functionality and features (Driving down the cost of Interoperability in Healthcare: Qvera, n.d.)
Additionally, the concept of QIE was built with extensibility in mind. New technologies are constantly being integrated into the product which allows other third-party libraries to be amalgamated into QIE’s scripting environment (Driving down the cost of Interoperability in Healthcare: Qvera, n.d.).
Visual Channel Editor
The QIE’s visual channel editor boils interfaces down to an intuitive VISIO type diagram (Driving down the cost of Interoperability in Healthcare: Qvera, n.d.). This feature makes it simple for occupants in the healthcare segment to understand what is going on and to visualize the flow of data through the interface engine. Due to its simplicity, the visual channel editor drastically reduces interface development time and cost (Silicon Review Names Qvera 10 Fastest Growing Healthcare IT Companies in 2016, 2017).
The visual channel editor for QIE allows channels to be represented graphically as a serious of inter-connected notes. How messages flow through the channel is controlled by the connections between the channel nodes. Channel nodes include: source, condition(s), mapping(s), or destination(s).
Qvera targets clients which are in the healthcare sector; these consist of hospitals, clinics, imaging centers, and labs. Qvera’s customers and partners are supported in the United States and the United Kingdom (Driving down the cost of Interoperability in Healthcare: Qvera, n.d.). Currently, the company is partnered up with several large clients from each sector:
Healthcare Integrated Delivery Network and Hospitals – Baptist Health and Emerson Hospital, Baylor Scott & White
Technology Partners – Unified Imaging, Staywell, Restart
Solution Partners – HDConsult, EHR Integration Services
The Shapiro brothers and Qvera were looking into founding a partnership and reseller agreement with MedAllies, a leading national Direct network providing unlatching expertise in interoperability health information exchange (About, n.d.). By combining Qvera’s interface engine with MedAllie’s HISP platform, the partnership would be able to provide a completely automated transitions-of-care solution for their customers (New Partnership Announced with MedAllies, 2016).
Awards and Certifications
1. Qvera was ranked as the number one interface engine by black book research three years in a row from 2015 (Driving down the cost of Interoperability in Healthcare: Qvera, n.d.).
2. ConCert Certification: Qvera was one of the first of four vendors to receive EHR (electronic health record) certification as well as it was the only company to receive ConCert certification (Driving down the cost of Interoperability in Healthcare: Qvera, n.d.).
3. What is great about Qvera is that it is a 1-product company. This means that the QIE is the company’s sole product allowing 100% of the focus to go towards constantly enhancing and providing customers with the most up-to-date functionality. CEO, Sam Shapiro, says: In order to provide the most powerful and flexible engine on the market, we had to focus 100% of our time and energy on this single product. This focus gives us the ability to react quickly to the ever-changing standards and requirements that our customers face and provide them with the tools and functionality they need to quickly adapt and stay ahead (CIO Review Names Qvera One of 50 Most Promising Healthcare Solution Providers, 2016).
4. CIO Review: In 2015, Qvera was named as one of 50 most promising healthcare solution providers. QIE was deemed to be a “‘cost effective’ interface engine with ‘exceptional usability.’” (Driving down the cost of Interoperability in Healthcare: Qvera, n.d.)
Qvera is focused 100% on developing and making their sole product, the Qvera interface engine, the best interface engine on the market. The future for all platforms including Qvera is to provide the flexibility to create newer, extend, or update models to support evolving data acquisition needs. Additionally, the major challenge faced by platforms such as Qvera is to accomplish meaningful use as well as improve the overall care of patients — and to do this, functional interoperability needs to be improved by seamlessly transferring available data and needs from one source to the next (Biggest EHR challenges for 2018: Security, interoperability, clinician burnout, 2017).
About. (n.d.). Retrieved April 06, 2018, from http://www.medallies.com/about.html
Biggest EHR challenges for 2018: Security, interoperability, clinician burnout. (2017, December 27). Retrieved April 06, 2018, from http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/biggest-ehr-challenges-2018-security-interoperability-clinician-burnout
Company History. (n.d.). Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://www.qvera.com/company-history/
Driving down the cost of Interoperability in Healthcare: Qvera. (n.d.). Retrieved April 06, 2018, from http://thesiliconreview.com/magazines/driving-down-the-cost-of-interoperability-in-healthcare-qvera/
Legacy System Integration. (2017, October 19). Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://www.mulesoft.com/resources/esb/legacy-system-integration
Q. (2016, November 07). CIO Review Names Qvera One of 50 Most Promising Healthcare Solution Providers. Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://www.qvera.com/cio-review-qvera-one-of-50-healthcare-solution-providers/
Q. (2016, November 07). New Partnership Announced with MedAllies. Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://www.qvera.com/qvera-announces-partnership-with-medallies/
Q. (2017, November 06). Silicon Review Names Qvera 10 Fastest Growing Healthcare IT Companies in 2016. Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://www.qvera.com/silicon-review-names-qvera-one-of-10-fast-growing-healthcare-companies/
Tong, G. (2016, July 27). Healthcare Information Management & Communications Canada. Retrieved April 06, 2018, from http://www.healthcareimc.com/main/lessons-learned-5-questions-you-need-to-ask-in-any-interoperability-project/
What is Interoperability? (2017, October 13). Retrieved April 06, 2018, from http://www.himss.org/library/interoperability-standards/what-is