What’s an Interface?

Posted on December 17, 2005 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I was browsing the internet and ran across a webpage that described an interface between MediNotes and Quest. It described how you could download the results from Quest’s website and then upload them into MediNotes. As far as I’m concerned that’s not an interface.

An interface receives the lab request and then passes the results back to the original system. I’m fine with talking about one way and bidirectional interfaces. Just have the result passed back or just have the request made. Although I don’t think that makes much sense with labs I can at least understand it. However, manually uploading the results yourself isn’t what I call an interface. It is Electronic Medical Record, but it’s not an Interface(at least not a good one).