Transforming IT Environments

The healthcare industry is moving rapidly towards digitization. As government regulations and expectations for broad interoperability take hold in the sector, many healthcare organizations are seeking to transform themselves into lean, innovative digital enterprises. For a large Midwest healthcare provider, this journey began in 2014. They embarked on a transformation of their IT.

Akana Helps With…

End-to-End Lifecycle API Management

Rationalization of Applications and Infrastructure

Multi-Tenancy in Federated Architecture

Entering the Digital Age

What had been a collection of siloed, unintegrated, independently operating information technology entities would become a unified, digital business agile capability. Like others, this company was reacting to forcing functions sweeping the industry.

  • Government Mandates – Meaningful Use Stage 3 states that a patient has the right to their electronic health information via API. Providing an API becomes a requirement for MU certification for physicians and hospitals in 2018.
  • Healthcare Interoperability – Interoperability becomes a key criterion in the digital age of healthcare. The ability to move medical records seamlessly and in real-time can be a life or death situation. Having interoperability can greatly improve healthcare outcomes, reduce cost, and open the doors to new innovative partnerships. Standards like HL7 FHIR are aimed at improving healthcare interoperability.
  • Health Insurance Shift – The end of employer provided health insurance has made healthcare providers think of patients as customers for the first time in history. The healthcare providers need to streamline their interactions with payers to ensure they get paid for their services while delivering the ultimate experience for their customers/patients.
  • Consumerization of Healthcare – The digitization of healthcare shifts the power to the consumer. Consumers now expect a personalized healthcare experience and access to their healthcare data anywhere, any time and on any device.

The healthcare provider’s transformation was not an option. Their business plan called for massive innovative growth, addressing government mandates, and meeting the trend towards digitization of healthcare. It also called for extensive cost cutting. Overall, the project took on a challenging directive. The organization had vast application integrations in place. They had to do extensive rationalization of applications and infrastructure. To realize the transformation, the organization saw that APIs were going to be the key strategy going forward.

The Akana Solution

The healthcare provider deployed the Akana platform on premises. They are also partnering with the Akana Professional services team to deliver an HL7 FHIR server implementation based on the open source HAPI FHIR library. Akana is a contributor to this open source project.

The healthcare provider leverages the following capabilities provided by the solution:

  • Lifecycle management for service and API.
  • Automated DevOps to ensure control when building and publishing APIs.
  • Audit and logging to create traceability throughout the entire API lifecycle.
  • Policy driven API gateway for security and control over consumption of the APIs.
  • Branded developer portals to tailor the portal to each market segment.
  • Multi-tenancy to allow for provisioning and management of new tenants. This allows the healthcare provider to have complete separation per organization or per developer audience when required at virtually no additional operational costs.
  • HL7 FHIR Server to enable an interoperable way to access and search patients’ electronic healthcare records.

Why Akana

The healthcare provider chose Akana after an extensive RFI search. They selected Akana because of the company’s complete end-to-end API management capabilities, knowledge of the healthcare industry, and its commitment to partnership. Specifically:

  • The Akana platform provides complete end-to-end API lifecycle management with DevOps controls for all types of APIs be it SOAP, REST, and MQ. No other vendor addresses the complete lifecycle for all types of APIs.
  • The platform can audit across all stages of the API lifecycle. The audit capability is extremely important for healthcare organizations. No other vendor can facilitate an audit across the entire API lifecycle.
  • The platform is policy driven that allows for easy configuration of security, compliance, operational and quality of service policies. No other vendor provides the library of policies to support both SOAP and REST that is provided with the Akana Platform.
  • The partnership with the healthcare provider on HL7 FHIR. Alana has committed time and resources to ensure their success and the success of HL7 FHIR in the healthcare industry by contributing back to open source projects.

Overall, by selecting Akana, the healthcare provider is on track with their digital transformation journey. They are able to get their solution to marketing more quickly than would have been able to with any other vendor’s product.


The healthcare provider is tackling their transformation in phases. The first phase was to establish the Akana platform in a production environment that can be used by every organization. This phase was completed in March 2016. The healthcare provider on-boarded several APIs ranging from REST to SOAP and MQ.

Along with setting up the production platform they needed to establish the governance strategy for APIs going forward. Akana’s professional services team provided an assessment of the current and future state and recommendations for their governance strategy going forward. The recommendations covered everything from organizational structures through to technical implementation.

What’s Next

The healthcare provider is in the process consolidating four early adoption HL7 FHIR servers into a strategic enterprise scalable FHIR server. The Akana professional services team contributes to the FHIR server build out focusing on the security, scalability, and the enterprise deployment of a multi-tenant HL7 FHIR server. The next phase for the healthcare provider is begin to automate the defined governance process leveraging the lifecycle management capabilities.