April 29, 2024

Top 5 Fivetran Connectors for Healthcare

By Loc Dao

In our previous blog, Top 5 Fivetran Connectors for Financial Services, we explored Fivetran’s capabilities that address the data integration needs of the finance industry. Now, let’s cover the healthcare industry, which also has a surging demand for data and analytics, along with the underlying processes to make it happen. 

In this blog, you can get a brief overview of Fivetran again and how it is also transforming the healthcare industry. For a longer overview, along with insights and best practices, please feel free to jump back to the previous blog.

Understanding Fivetran

Fivetran is a popular Software-as-a-Service platform that enables users to automate the movement of data and ETL processes across diverse sources to a target destination. This platform requires minimal to no coding. Notable attributes of Fivetran include a usage-based pricing model, strong security measures, support for data governance, and compatibility with third-party tools such as Airflow and Atlan.

Fivetran’s adaptability makes it a great option for addressing the changing demands of multiple industries, such as financial services and healthcare, to ensure smooth and cost-effective data integration.

Fivetran for Healthcare

Various factors, including patient records, clinical data, regulatory compliance, and ongoing research initiatives, can influence healthcare organizations’ data and analytics needs. Addressing these needs may pose challenges that lead to the implementation of custom solutions rather than a uniform approach. 

Recognizing these specific needs, Fivetran has developed a range of connectors, including dedicated applications, databases, files, and events, which can accommodate the diverse formats used by healthcare systems. 

For instance, Fivetran includes support for Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems, which usually leverage the HL7 FHIR standard for data exchange. The HL7 FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) is a modern standards framework that provides a guideline for creating resources and APIs for sharing healthcare data and primarily leverages JSON as the data format. 

These EMR, EHR, and other healthcare source systems can be hosted either on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid setup and typically leverage database technologies such as ODBMS or RDBMS to store and organize large amounts of data. Some even provide a relational layer specifically designed for analytics, while others expose APIs. With its wide variety of connectors, Fivetran can facilitate replication from either source. 

Fivetran enables healthcare organizations to ingest data securely and effectively from a variety of sources into their target destinations, such as Snowflake or other cloud data platforms, for further analytics or curation for sharing data with external providers or customers. 

Coming up next is a list of frequently used connectors based on insights gathered from engagements with our customers.

Top 5 Fivetran Connectors for Healthcare

The previous blog focused on financial services and highlighted Fivetran’s dedicated application-type connectors. In this blog, we showcase various types of Fivetran connectors essential for data movement in healthcare organizations, where data can also exist in diverse formats and in many different systems.

Oracle – The Oracle connector, a database-type connector, enables real-time data transfer of large volumes of data from on-premises or cloud sources to the destination of choice, such as a cloud data lake or data warehouse. Whether the use case is for EHR, billing, or other healthcare operations, Fivetran provides secure replication using LogMiner or its proprietary Teleport Sync. 

SQL Server – The SQL Server connector, another widely-used database-type connector, provides similar functionality but is tailored for Microsoft’s SQL Server. The phData team achieved a major milestone by successfully setting up a secure end-to-end data pipeline for a substantial healthcare enterprise. The pipeline sourced data from Caboodle (Epic) SQL Server hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and delivered data to a cloud data warehouse on Snowflake via AWS PrivateLink, which enabled secure and isolated network connections. 

File – Fivetran offers several options to sync files to your destination. This includes most of the popular cloud object storage along with several options that on-premises can use, such as FTP/sFTP. Our team frequently configures Fivetran connectors to cloud object storage platforms such as Amazon S3, Azure Blob Storage, and Google Cloud Storage. A common use case in healthcare for this connector type is ingesting data from external providers and vendors that deliver flat files.

Event – Many healthcare organizations may need real-time or near real-time streaming, such as real-time patient monitoring or fraud detection in billing systems. Fivetran offers multiple connectors that can be consumed from event streams, such as the Kafka connector, Amazon Kinesis connector, Azure Event Hubs connector, etc., and delivers them to analytics platforms downstream. 

Functions – Fivetran’s Function connector allows you to code custom data connectors using the following cloud provider services: AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, and Google Cloud Functions. This provides great flexibility and enables you to set up data pipelines originating from custom applications or APIs that many healthcare cloud-based platforms provide. 

Next Steps

As you explore the capabilities of Fivetran connectors in healthcare or financial services, visit the Fivetran website, where you can find comprehensive documentation, case studies, and FAQs. Take advantage of Fivetran’s free trial and test out multiple connectors (14-day trial as of this blog’s publication date). 

For personalized guidance tailored to your needs, consider reaching out to our team at phData, a trusted Fivetran partner. Our experience in deploying Fivetran solutions across diverse industries brings valuable insights and support to help you incorporate Fivetran into your technology stack.

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