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"Meta-Breeds"

January 8, 2009
by Albert Villaria
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….and I’m back…

Several (ten?) years ago many of us were looking for IS solutions which fit in specific domains such as the Emergency Department, Surgical Suite or Intensive Care Unit. Few enterprise information system companies were large enough to efficiently support all clinical parameters of clinical practice silos or, if they were proficient in any single silo, they were not sufficiently able to flow clinical data cross several platforms of care. Vendors spent many hours developing what they THOUGHT we needed NOT what would actually work in a clinical environment.

The flip side of that broken record were the best of breed (BOB)vendors who spend millions on focused solutions and were extremely successful for single silos of care but could not (or would not) be able to transgress data to other area of clinical practice. This left many of us, yours truly, seeking best-of-breed solutions for our emergency department in 2003 – our chosen platform: Amelior EDTracker from Patient Care Technology Systems. This product provided automatic tracking data of patient, clinicians, nurses and equipment and presented it in a web-enabled user interface.

Companies like this have listened and contracted with care givers to bring to the bedside the best in technology applied as the clinician requires; supporting their care delivery rather than hindering it. Such successful BOB systems grew in deployments because they offered automation of function and powerful data collection engines, which combined excellence in tracking with the ability to create administrative reports of live clinical interactions.

Now, 2009, we have come to a convergence of best of breed with enterprise. I feel this “meta-breed” is the future of CIS. We have witnessed the enterprise giant return with a fury into the mainstream of clinical care by partnering with these BOB systems and integrating them into their enterprise products. Many enterprise solutions are able to seamlessly flow data with these BOB for the “meta-breed” answer to specific clinical silos of care. As CMIO, I currently look for every opportunity to have both BOB and Enterprise work in tandem to produce success that is larger than just their sum; an integrated solution which supports each clinical silo and our enterprise as one CIS. Future BOB platforms must allow for that symbiotic relationship in order to remain viable in the competitive clinical world of information systems.

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Comments

Dr. V - you made several great points. I, too, see great advances in the interoperability space in the last ten years. I've seen the HL-7 v3 (especially the RIM) make a big difference. It's under-the-covers in all of the great integration brokers that enable the semantic interoperability you're describing.  That's important for all of us, and is represented in the CCHIT certification of the best standards our policy makers can find.

Albert Villaria

L. Albert Villarin, M.D....