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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology and Quality

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What are my interface requirements?

An interface is software that integrates an EHR with another piece of software (i.e. practice management system) or another organization (i.e. an outside lab). It is important to determine if the purchased system will interact with other applications within or outside of the health center. For example, a newly acquired EHR system may need to integrate with chronic disease management systems or registries. In addition, an EHR may also need to communicate with the practice management system for billing purposes. If so, various interfaces may be required to ensure that the different systems are able to transfer data from one application to another. Health centers need to understand the administrative and structural requirements necessary to integrate different systems and ensure that this is included in the budget and project timeline. These interfaces may be built into the standard product, or may be add-ons that need to be specified in the contract.

Related resources:

  • EHR Master Quote Guide (DOC - 397KB) go to exit disclaimer – This tool, created by E-health Initiative, is intended to assist small- to medium-sized medical practices in comparing the costs of electronic health record (EHR) vendors.
  • How to Select an EHR (PDF - 192KB) go to exit disclaimer – This article by the American Academy of Family Physicians provides a 12-step summary on selecting an EHR vendor, including information regarding interface requirements. 
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