Using Canonical Modeling in Healthcare

A new approach for reducing the time and costs associated with integrating data systems

Systems integration creates greater efficiency and sets the stage for future expansion, but merging new systems and legacy business systems can be time consuming and challenging.

Noblis' government customer is adopting a new approach to reduce the time and costs needed to integrate its data systems. The new methodology will integrate the systems in a way that faciliates healthcare purchasing and the verification of eligibility benefits as required by new landmark healthcare legislation.

Noblis is working to incorporate canonical modeling methodology best practices into our customer's overall information technology strategy. The methodology is designed to integrate business applications faster and more efficiently.

A New Approach to Integrating Business Systems

Canonical modeling is a new approach to enterprise application integration that reduces costs and standardizes data definitions associated with integrating business systems. The goal of the canonical modeling project is to develop an enterprise-wide dictionary of reusable common objects and definitions in order to enhance system interoperability. This dictionary facilitates communications among systems using disparate data formats.

Under the methodology, applications translate their data through the common data format, eliminating the need for additional interfaces. Using canonical modeling reduces the time, cost, and complexity of standing up new applications because it allows new applications to be added to an integrated solution using the common data format without affecting other applications that have already been integrated.
The current practice of integrating systems that have already been completed is very expensive and labor intensive.

Before canonical modeling was developed, most business systems were built independently. System integration required a team of integration engineers to perform the massive undertaking of identifying common elements. With canonical modeling, commonalities are immediately identifiable and much of the complex and time-consuming integration work is avoided.

Supporting the Affordable Care Act with Canonical Modeling

Noblis’ healthcare staff is working with customers to develop canonical modeling training materials and develop best practice guidelines to integrate our customer's IT systems. One of their efforts involves using canonical modeling to help provide advance payments of the premium tax credit under the Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March 2010. Under the law, the government will provide premium tax credits to extend health insurance coverage to millions of lower income Americans. However, in order to receive the money, applicants must meet certain criteria. The application enabling healthcare purchasing online will be developed to facilitate integration with a data verification system under the canonical modeling approach.

The methodology is expected to help our customer meet its deadline to create a website that will help recipients utilize advance payments of premium tax credits online. Without canonical modeling, meeting that deadline would be difficult and expensive.

Using canonical modeling to support our customer and the Affordable Care Act is just one way that Noblis is using science and technology to help improve healthcare for our nation’s citizens.

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