APIs Help Power More Effective, Efficient Healthcare

APIs are helping healthcare organizations deliver services more effectively. This Q&A with Ivan Sager, director of product development at The Advisory Board Company, discusses how his company uses APIs to manage an “explosion” of data and better connect existing systems.

Whitten from CA: What’s your role and responsibilities at The Advisory Board Company?

Sager from The Advisory Board Company: I lead product development across several of the Crimson Platform portfolio products, our technology offerings that are helping transform healthcare. My job is to use a combination of technology, analytical thinking and services engagement to transform our Clinical Integration Programs into a platform that is supporting several FTC-approved Clinical/Ambulatory Integration programs.

Whitten: What are your organization’s digital healthcare initiatives and priorities?

Sager: The big trend we are seeing now is the explosion of data. We have to find ways of intelligently illuminating that insight amongst this massive slew of big data, which means we have to start bringing together meaningful and insightful data to our customers and our members to make use of this data. For instance, we’re helping hospitals better align with physicians so they can secure cost savings and drive quality scores forward.

Whitten: How have APIs played a role in enabling these initiatives?

Sager: Hospital systems are now becoming the mega technology centers. They are  bringing together technology and business and driving quality programs that bring cost savings. They are looking to leverage their existing assets – those IT assets that have been deployed.  Hospitals want to leverage what exists rather than throw away an implementation that’s taken several years. They are looking at APIs to provide that conduit to bring together and orchestrate different systems into one cohesive solution using various sets of data, be that real-time data or retrospective claims type data. We have published some 20 APIs to power internal and external integrations that connect these existing systems and drive more value for customers.

Whitten: What value has your business recognized from developing APIs?

Sager: I see APIs in the same light as I do products, with a focus on value, integration, security, and scalability. But for our members, APIs provide a very rapid, flexible and secure way of integrating inside and outside their four walls. It’s helping us with developer enablement and providing us opportunities to look at new and different markets out there. By improving how we manage APIs, we can provide healthcare organizations with faster access to smarter data, which helps them improve the services they offer to patients.

Whitten: Are there any recommendations you can provide for a successful API program?

Sager: Training is important. We run API developer certification programs where all of our engineers become API certified so they can drive forward integration. And so much so we don’t call this API management or ESB or things like that. We call this API fabric because we believe it has to be the core and the foundation of an organization’s DNA.

Whitten: Can you share some future plans you have with APIs?

Sager: We plan to continue our integrations with CA API Management as we move forward. As the healthcare domain space sees more and more data surface from different care settings and different devices, we will integrate with this data, harvest the insight, and continue to provide surplus value to our membership.

The Advisory Board Company is a healthcare technology and consulting firm providing service to over 180,000 healthcare professionals globally across 3,900 of its health practices. It also supports higher education institutions.

CA Director of API Management Product Marketing. Tyson Whitten is a CISSP with 15+ years…


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