The management of Peachtree Healthcare has to determine to what extent their technologies should be standardized. They can choose a monolithic information system that will be implemented in each hospital and clinic that is currently run by Peachtree Healthcare.
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Yet, they can also adopt a Service-Oriented Architecture that will enable this organization to conduct a selective standardization of their technologies and major practices. In both cases, the company will have to spend a significant amount of money, but the success of this investment cannot be fully ensured.
Thus, the management will need to determine which model best suits the needs of the organization. This is the main question that is going to be discussed.
One of the approaches that this organization can take is complete standardization of technologies and practices. This strategy can give several benefits, for example, cost savings and better time-efficiency.
Therefore, they can choose a monolithic information system which is a single set of technologies and applications that will be installed in every clinic or hospital of Peachtree Healthcare. The main advantage of this strategy is that technologies and practices will be consistent throughout the organization.
Yet, one should take into account several structural factors. Peachtree Healthcare includes trauma centers, community hospitals, teaching clinics, or rehabilitation centers. Thus, it may be difficult to develop a single information system that can fit the needs of these medical institutions.
Furthermore, as it has been noted in the case study, many procedures cannot be effectively standardized. For instance, pharmacy record keeping can be based on the best practices. Yet, one cannot say the same thing about the protocol for treating different forms of cancer.
This is one of the reasons why complete standardization is not always possible. Apart from that, physicians should be able to care about the wellbeing of the patient without being limited by standards or restrictions imposed from outside.
Furthermore, the adoption of a monolith information system will necessitate the redesign of many business processes, and extra training of the staff. Apart from that, the complete redesign of the existing IT infrastructure may not be efficient.
The thing is that some of their current technologies can function quite effectively and there is no need to remove them. Finally, the management of Peachtree Healthcare should not forget that the adoption of a monolithic system will make this organization less responsive to change.
For example, hospitals can adopt business models or medical practices when they are given some degree of autonomy. Complete standardization can deprive them of this autonomy. These are the main drawbacks and benefits of this approach.
Another strategy that this organization can choose is to implement a Service-Oriented Architecture. The main benefit of these technologies is that they allow a greater degree of flexibility.
In particular, some physicians have various note-filling preferences. Some of them choose to enter the information about the patient directly into a database, while others chose to dictate these data for later transcription.
Apart from that, SOA can help this company to standardize only some elements of their IT infrastructure while allowing various hospitals and clinics select software. The main limitation is that this technology has not been widely adopted in healthcare setting.
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The main limitation of this model is that SOA have not been fully tested in medical institutions. The management of Peachtree Healthcare cannot guarantee that this technology will prove efficient.
On the whole, the discussion of these issues shows that Peachtree Healthcare should adopt a Service-Oriented Architecture. As it has been said before, this framework will enable this organization to replace those parts of IT infrastructure that do not function properly.
As it has been shown in the case study, the management of Peachtree Healthcare feels insecure about the adoption of this technology because it has not been widely used in healthcare organizations. Yet, one should take into account that the adoption of SOA infrastructure is a gradual process.
The company can replace some poor-functioning components of their IT systems with SOA-built services. Provided that these changes yield good results, the company can continue their adoption of SOA information system.
Moreover, the developers of SOA information systems will be willing to suit the needs of Peachtree Healthcare.
They will even agree on lower price for their services, because they also want to win the trust of healthcare institutions. Under such circumstances, Peachtree Healthcare can receive a high-quality product at a reasonable price.
Overall, these examples show that the redesign of an IT system should be based on close analysis of organizational structure, its size, and major activities. Peachtree Healthcare would have to adopt a system that can allow the greatest degree of flexibility.
Such a goal can be achieved by using a SOA-based information system. Admittedly, this strategy can be associated with some risks, but the same thing can be said about the so-called monolith systems.
This organization should strive for the standardization that is based on the best practices, but the management must make sure that Peachtree Healthcare remains open to new ideas, models, and practices. This result can be achieved with the help of SOA infrastructure.