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Cleveland Clinic: Turbocharging Patient Data with API Management

Mar 10, 2017

“In the rest of our lives, everything we do is interconnected with the technology around us. In healthcare, we’re behind.” This is how Beth Meese, administrative director of technology and innovations at Cleveland Clinic, describes the state of affairs in her industry.

That’s not the only problem tht has afflicted healthcare when it comes to taking advantage of new digital technologies, Meese said. Doctors have for too long been satisfied with the status quo, and this has hampered their ability to deliver the best possible care to patients.

Fortunately, Meese says this complacency is finally starting to change. But to catch up with patients’ expectations, change has to happen fast. APIs and API management are key to accomplishing this.

At Cleveland Clinic, Meese has been working to help the medical center wring the most value out of the wealth of data that resides in electronic medical records (EMRs).

Her team was tasked with pushing the utility of the EMRs as far as it could go, and then filling in the gaps that were exposed. APIs were how they addressed these gaps.

“We wrote the APIs, we wrote custom apps that leverage the APIs, and everything was fantastic,” Meese said.

But a challenge remained. How could other groups at Cleveland Clinic make use of the data and easily access the APIs?

That where the developer portal and API management came in, she said.

“Other developers can play with this data without bogging our team down,” Meese said. “If we standardize the calls and say, ‘Hey, ask of this and this you shall receive,’ then we’re making it that much easier to extend the platform and deliver great care.”

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