Enterprise Architecture paving the way to world class Healthcare Digital Strategies in the Middle East
Technology adoption in healthcare has seen exponential growth in the Middle East in recent years given both the public and private sectors strategic plans to improve healthcare services and unify electronic patient records through eHealth programs providing broader and greater accessibility to healthcare for its nationals and resident expatriates. Key words and concepts that resonate these objectives include: HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6 and 7 Certification, Interoperability, Integration, Electronic Patient Record (EPR), Clinical Decision Support and Evidence-based healthcare. One such approach is a globally accepted standard and approach to defining the landscape of your technology to meet international best practice standards and that is gaining momentum in the region is Enterprise Architecture.
More specifically Healthcare Enterprise Architecture (EA) is the practice that shows an organization how to balance the delivery of immediate business-value while developing a longer-term strategic capability. This strategic capability holds the promise of making the organization more responsive to change through the detailed understanding of business processes, the alignment of business and IT, and the coupling of knowledge management with enterprise transformation programs.
Generally when a healthcare organization embarks on their digital transformation there is a clear misalignment between its business driven initiatives (clinical and non-clinical) and its alignment to technology requirements. Historically this has given rise to challenges in interoperability, higher TCO (total cost of ownership), poor user adoption, longer roadmap to a mature IT universe and duplication of technology acquisitions.
Enterprise Architecture uses well developed frameworks such as Zachman, TOGAF (The Open Group Architecture Framework) and SoA (Service Oriented Architecture) to define the business, information, data, applications and technology landscapes.
In simpler terms each of these dimensions have artifacts like the business layer would include the organizations roles, the organizational structure, their strategic objectives, documented business process maps, their value chain, etc.
The Application layer for example would capture the systems, solutions, applications, modules, functions and features that are implemented. By creating relationships between the modules used by specific organizational units using the frameworks of Enterprise Architecture you would be able to understand the gaps in each of these dimensions as well as have a high-level (somewhat aerial) view of each artifact (asset) in your business also referred to as your enterprise and be able to plot the desired target state enterprise architecture which will clearly demonstrate the deployment roadmap for your business to achieve the desired level of maturity in your healthcare digital strategy. The other very valuable aspect is the ability to have clear visibility of all your business, information, data, applications and technology assets and re-use rather than re-purchase with the intent of reducing cost and duplication. For example if your hospital information system (HIS) required certain high end servers and you are required to purchase another specialist clinical application that has its own server requirements you could instead of purchasing another server create an instance of the database in your existing HIS server which probably has enough capacity, hence re-using your technology asset, reducing costs and eliminating and additional burden on your network infrastructure.
Health-e-Solutions is one of the best healthcare consulting firms that has lead the way in developing and deploying Enterprise Architecture in the healthcare industry in the Middle East for the past 7 years. Under the leadership of Shiraaz Joosub (Zachman EA Certified, TOGAF Certified EA, ZapThink SoA Certified) no other organization has deployed such sophisticated EA’s in the region. Shiraaz has been instrumental in developing the benchmark of Enterprise Architecture in healthcare for the GCC and is available to discuss your Digital Healthcare Strategy and support your initiatives.