Take Open Source Way to Integrated Health Care Infrastructure

Lora Bentley

Open source is the path of least resistance to an integrated health care information infrastructure, says the Open Source Health Care Alliance. The different proprietary systems used by different health care organizations across the country make it hard to share health care information when necessary, OSHCA's secretary told TechNewsWorld.

 

"Health systems are ecosystems, not industries. They are interactive sets of disciplines..." Joseph D. Dal Molin says. Moreover, the story says:

[T]he legacy software industry model is a poor fit for the health sector because health systems are complex adaptive systems. The behavior of the health systems is unpredictable and non-linear; they do not respond well to "top-down" command, control models and culture common in the industry.

OSHCA representatives are not the only people who feel that "flexible" is the way to go. In an IT Business Edge interview, Sam Muppalla, chief operating officer of Portico Systems, points out:

If you look at data quality in health care, it is not incongruent with efforts in other industries. The first technology providers should leverage is consolidation -- figuring out the right information models for storing data. Then they want to wrap that around business rules and workflow so they can consistently maintain the integrity of the data. And then use integration technology, so that the data can be available throughout the enterprise, as well as external to the enterprise..

 

...The only thing that will be constant in the health care industry is change. So any infrastructure you build with an eye toward data quality has to take into mind change.

Hopefully, the National Institute of Standards and Technology will keep these things in mind if and when it receives authority to promote the creation of a national health care information infrastructure

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