Information Technology Architecture in Healthcare

The traditional best-of-breed approach in healthcare IT long ago fell out of favor.  But with the promise of health information exchange (HIE) technology, web technology, single sign-on, SaaS and other technology advances there is a growing desire to plug disparate systems together.  Yet to achieve the level of transformation ACO’s portend there is no panacea in these technology advances.  Business intelligence, integrated systems of care, patient portals to engage patients more in their own care, will require an enterprise approach to a master patient index (MPI).  But systems, interfaces, MPI’s, privacy & security, common nomenclature – these must all be architected/designed into new technologies before acquisition and implementation.   Two questions for healthcare CIO’s:  How many of your organizations have IT architects on staff?  How many have a standardized process for IT architecture before new disparate systems are approved for acquisition?

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