Adapting to digital facilitation with APIs in healthcare enterprises
by Raymund Taylan, Senior Security Advisor
25 June 2021
Without continuous assessment, healthcare organisations can’t adapt to the demands of the digital era, deliver fast and secure services, maintain a strong security posture, and protect their critical data and IT systems.
Quick access to data is crucial for every healthcare organisation. This is why many healthcare enterprises are incredibly eager to adapt to the fast pace of technology and embrace the concept of digital facilitation. Now, considering the dynamic requests of each department in the healthcare industry, the agility to rapidly respond to the demands of the business is a top priority.
To create a more adaptive and responsive solution for securing access to electronic health records, healthcare applications developers need to be innovative to keep experience uniform across all channels.
Having microservice architecture principles in place for healthcare software platforms and applications can empower an organisation’s IT team to develop new services and make changes in the backend system that carry low security risks and require manageable downtime.
Benefits of microservices
To maximise the microservices’ value, the IT developers of healthcare organisations must identify and define the digital assets. Business transactions and processes should be captured accurately and should remain the focus of IT efforts. This means the type of information being exchanged, i.e patient information and appointments, needs to be considered. Patient information and appointments typically span multiple departments and can be reused by an application to avoid duplicate efforts and to provide any missing or inaccurate information in each solution.
In a nutshell, microservices aim to enable developers to independently develop and deploy services for end users. Using the service approach, developers can easily modify existing processes and rewire small components together without redeploying or recreating the entire application, thus providing an agile response in meeting business requirements.
Rewiring of small components or containers in microservice distribution and deployment requires integration using an Application Programming Interface (API) with a system of records. To effectively manage containers’ integration, a hybrid integration platform can be used to rapidly connect, orchestrate, and enable any internal or external applications.
To effectively secure the data and systems across the containers and infrastructure that are being integrated, security controls must take place to:
- Limit the interfaces that get exposed
- Share only essential data
- Grant access to the key users and systems that require the API
An IT security team, together with application developers, must work together to deliver the service in the form of an application to meet business requirements and provide uniform experience across all channels. By utilising a hybrid integration platform, application developers can focus on creating the best services for customers whilst keeping the organisation protected against API breaches.