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Case Study: Healthcare IT

Case Study: Healthcare IT

Case Study: Healthcare IT


To transform health care, it is necessary for clinicians to use information systems that can share patient data ( Goulde & Brown, 2006  NORC, 2014 ). This all sounds terrific and many people wonder why it has not happened yet, but the challenges are many. How does one establish the networks necessary to share data between and among all healthcare facilities easily and securely? “Healthcare IT is beginning to adopt open source software to address these challenges” (Goulde & Brown, p. 4). Early attempts at OSS ventures in the healthcare realm failed because of a lack of support or buy-in for sustained effort, technologic lags, authority and credibility, and other such issues. “Spurred by a greater sense of urgency to adopt IT, health industry leaders are showing renewed interest in open source solutions” (Goulde & Brown, p. 5).

Karopka et al., ( 2014 ) concluded that

North America has the longest tradition in applying FLOSS-HC delivery. It is home of many mature, stable and widely disseminated FLOSS applications. Some of them are even used on a global scale. The deployment of FLOSS systems in healthcare delivery is comparatively low in Europe. (para. 48)

Health care is realizing the benefits of FLOSS. According to Goulde and Brown ( 2006 ), “other benefits of open source software—low cost, flexibility, opportunities to innovate—are important but independence from vendors is the most relevant for health care” (p. 10).


Interoperability , the ability to share information across organizations, will remain paramount under the HITECH Act. The ability to share patient data is extremely important, both within an organization and across organizational boundaries ( Figure 9-4 ).According to the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS;  Murphy, 2015 ), “an acceptable 2015 [interoperability standards] Advisory and more complete 2016 Advisory will not be achievable without the inclusion of health IT security standards” (para. 4). Few healthcare systems take advantage of the full potential of the current state of the art in computer science and health informatics ( HIMSS, 2010 ). The consequences of this situation include a drain on financial resources from the economy, the inability to truly mitigate the occurrence of medical errors, and a lack of national preparedness to respond to natural and manmade epidemics and disasters.