A Product Manager’s introduction to provider data integration in healthcare

Ribbon Team
September 9, 2022

As a product manager working at a digital health company looking to start up or scale, you might be wondering about whether to build or buy data integrations to power your platform. Ribbon Health has partnered with many product teams contemplating these decisions, allowing us to derive four critical steps for evaluating provider data integration in healthcare companies.

Here’s How To Assess the Best Solution for a Provider Data Integration in Healthcare:

1. Evaluate Your Product Roadmap

To determine whether to build or buy data, the first step is to evaluate your product roadmap and whether your team has the bandwidth to build a new pipeline of data and infrastructure from scratch. Consider the time and effort it will take for your technical team to tackle this problem, and what other strategic work they could be focusing on instead of getting in the weeds of provider data. Beyond your team’s bandwidth, it will likely be challenging to access the most comprehensive and accurate data available.

2. Explore Solutions That Suit Your Needs

Ultimately, finding a third-party solution to partner with is meant to save you time while delivering the infrastructure you need to be successful. Evaluate potential partners and their data distribution models so you can find a model that meets your product goals and optimizes workflow. Third-party data providers can distribute data in various formats including APIs, flat files, and user interfaces (UI). Each offers unique benefits to consider.

3. Educate Yourself on Data Accuracy and Quality

Inaccurate data on medical providers is common, which is why it’s necessary for next generation healthcare solutions to prioritize better infrastructure powered by relevant and accurate data. Outdated and limited data prevents patients from receiving the proper in-network care that is both high-quality and affordable. Understand what types of inputs a third-party vendor uses in their data pipeline, methods to verify data, and what is possible with various data partners.

4. Understand the Full Scope of the Partnership

While some third-party vendors will offer added support, service, and customization, others will not. It’s important to understand your needs and the partner’s implementation process and scope of work. You should feel confident that the data provider can equip you with the necessary infrastructure to build an innovative product, while also saving you time.

Ask about customization options for integrating the data into your company’s preferences so that you don’t have to restructure your current processes. You will also want to consider whether your team will receive hands-on support throughout the implementation process.

Ribbon Health offers verified and detailed data across providers, facilities, and insurances. Our data gets incorporated into your existing workflows to enhance your tool and improve referral management and care navigation. Ribbon is constantly enhancing our data platform with real-time information and additional data points that will help people find personalized, affordable, and quality care.

Still have questions? Download our full Product Manager’s Guide to Data Integrations in Healthcare.

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