By Erin Cristales, Vizient

Back in September 2020, Vizient Senior Director of Data Operations Technology Tyler Peterson wrote a proposal for an application programming interface (API) that would enable members to develop customized reporting and analytics systems through direct integration with Vizient’s Clinical Data Base (CDB). The product, he suspected, could be groundbreaking, spelling increased adaptability and efficiency for Vizient members. 

An 18-month pilot program with six member institutions proved his hunch correct. Feedback for what ultimately became known as CDB Report Builder APIs has ranged from “game changer” and “delightful to use” to “a high-value product members are always in need of” and “the type of interaction that gives me confidence in an organization above and beyond any particular product.” 

As of July 18, for no additional cost, developers from member health systems with access to the CDB can access Vizient’s API Developer Portal to discover and learn how to use the API, embed the API into their systems and enable end users to consume Vizient CDB data in their applications. The Report Builder meets a longtime (and oft-requested) member need and is the first in a series of potentially revolutionary products from Vizient's API platform.  

“There is so much flexibility inherent in APIs,” said Peterson, who credits the development and implementation of CDB Report Builder APIs to a collaboration between Vizient’s API team and the Saber team that oversees CDB functionality. “For our members, their imagination is the limit for how they implement this new product. The more brilliant minds you have on something, the more innovative results you’re going to get. I can’t wait to see what our members are able do with this.” 

And the benefits are practically immeasurable. A report-building process that previously was performed manually and could take hours can now be automated and completed in minutes, which means faster insights into how to achieve better patient care. Additionally, CDB Report Builder APIs uses existing terms and functionality already present in the CDB, meaning anyone familiar with the database can easily understand the data with no additional learning curve. Lastly, there is a key enhancement that will delight CDB power users — before, it was impossible to pull reports greater than 30,000 rows. Now with CDB Report Builder API, users can asynchronously pull datasets with record counts that number into the hundreds of thousands. 

The eventual goal is to make Vizient data consumable via APIs not only in the CDB, but also through the Operational Data Base (ODB), Clinical Practice Solutions Center (CPSC), Sg2, supply chain and more. 

“This is the modern way of enabling access to data,” Tyler said. “We want to take this one product as a proof point that this is what our members want and make it work for everything else that we’re good at.” 

Published: August 18, 2022