Some of our customers have asked about the value of a dedicated interface exchange and how it differs from the interface connectivity services that C4 and other LIS service providers can provide.

As you well know, when a lab client wants to interface, you are held hostage. You want to keep the client, which means that you have to pay for the interface connectivity to that customer’s EMR.

C4 customarily builds a tunnel from Portra or an LIS system to an exchange that would then interface with hospitals, doctors’ offices, and practices.  C4 would be responsible for the link to the lab. The lab would then be responsible for links to the various clinics, practices, or hospitals. However, C4 can also act as that intermediary between the lab and the doctors’ office and, in some cases, manage the same needs as an interface exchange.

The benefits of a dedicated interface exchange include speed and scale. An interface exchange will have established relationships with entities that allow them to essentially copy and paste in order to make new connections. Consequently, they can turn interfaces around very quickly, and scale to connect to a potentially limitless number of customers.

And you pay for those capabilities. Interface exchanges often charge per transaction, which can get very costly very quickly.

In deciding how to handle your interface, consider your needs. If you’re linking to one hospital down the street, a dedicated interface exchange may not be your most effective option. If you’re linking to multiple hospitals, 20 doctors’ offices and 12 more clinics, you may require the speed and scale an interface exchange can provide.

When clients consider working with C4 to fulfill interface functions, we are always very frank about whether we are the right choice considering your short and long-term needs. We have straight-goods conversations about cost. We will only engage if we believe that we can provide competitive or superior services at a competitive or better price.

For those for whom a dedicated exchange is the right option, we can even point you to effective vendors,  like Agillaire, who eliminate the hidden costs by charging a flat fee versus per transaction billing, and have very affordable maintenance contracts.