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The Connected Health Framework: A service-oriented solution blueprint for health IT

I'd like to draw your attention to a very thoughtful piece in HHN Most Wired written by well-known CIO, John Glaser, and his Partners Healthcare CTO, Steve Flammini.  These guys are highly respected healthcare IT veterans and thought leaders in the industry.  If Glaser and Flammini believe Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is the future, and perhaps salvation of applications for healthcare, I'd challenge anyone to say it isn't so.  Rightfully, the authors draw our attention to the fact this is no panacea and healthcare organizations and application vendors must move forward with due diligence and some degree of caution.  Nonetheless, for all the stated reasons, SOA is indeed where the industry is headed.

With that in mind, I would like to offer a valuable resource to IT executives, chief medical information officers, solution architects, industry solution vendors, and others who have a particular interest in developing or deploying the next generation of SOA healthcare industry applications for business or clinical use.  It is the just published Connected Health Framework executive whitepaper and architecture and design blueprint.  What is the Connected Health Framework and what is its value proposition to the industry?  My good friend and colleague, and Microsoft's senior healthcare technical strategist, Roberto Ruggeri, sums it up best on his Healthcare IT Blog.  If you would like to look over the CHF documents and other resources, you'll find them here: You can also find information about the Connected Health Framework on our corporate site. The landing page on microsoft.com is here.  Filed under: Healthcare Integration

My thanks go out to Roberto and our entire extended team across the globe for their very fine work in delivering this important resource.  I know the team looks forward to your comments and suggestions.  You can share those here: SolShare.net healthcare forums

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bill Crounse, MD      Healthcare Industry Director      Microsoft Corporation

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  • Larry AultmanLarry Aultman

    Our company is certainly in that mode (SOA).  We are nearly ready to release with Windows Vista a completely top-to-bottom overhauled EMR.  So completely overhauled infact that we didn't bring a single line of code from our old system.

    The new system is built on SQL server 2005, the .NET Framework and WCF.  I will say that since our system is a hybirid ASP and Winform that we do have services that are not exactly SOA and were never meant to be.  But when it comes to inter-op with medical devices and other systems then SOA is critical. We haven't delivered any pure web-site base versions and most likely will not for a ton of reasons.

    We realized that SOA is in the future of medical methodology in early 2004 when we started putting together the specifications for our new EMR.

    So in one respect SOA is neither desired or needed yet at the same time SOA is absolutely necessary.

    How's that for a 50% hit.

    Larry Aultman President/CEO
    MedAffinity Corporation

  • Larry AultmanLarry Aultman

    Our company is certainly in that mode (SOA).  We are nearly ready to release with Windows Vista a completely top-to-bottom overhauled EMR.  So completely overhauled infact that we didn't bring a single line of code from our old system.

    The new system is built on SQL server 2005, the .NET Framework and WCF.  I will say that since our system is a hybirid ASP and Winform that we do have services that are not exactly SOA and were never meant to be.  But when it comes to inter-op with medical devices and other systems then SOA is critical. We haven't delivered any pure web-site base versions and most likely will not for a ton of reasons.

    We realized that SOA is in the future of medical methodology in early 2004 when we started putting together the specifications for our new EMR.

    So in one respect SOA is neither desired or needed yet at the same time SOA is absolutely necessary.

    How's that for a 50% hit.

    Larry Aultman President/CEO
    MedAffinity Corporation

  • Larry AultmanLarry Aultman

    I am revisiting my previous comments.  Having now read all the papers referrenced in the artilce and with an understanding the SOA as described actually does not pretain to closed systems even if the system uses the same services such as .NET 3 and WCF as the mechanism.

    In the sense that Dr. Crounse speaks of SOA I believe that there is absolutely NO disputing the necessity of the service architecture methods. In light of the papers written by he and his team and in reviewing our own papers, I believe that our team was on a parallel track.  Its funny, but often the case where the end products of two very diffenent teams look suprisingly similar because it is true "form follows function."

    His is a high-level thinking approach (the architectural) while mine is a design centered (the engineering).  Both are required, an architect can not contemplate structures that can't be built, and engineers must have architectual skills to understand the whole sturcture. All that to say we are  designing a working model of what Dr. Crounse has proposed.  I hasten to admit as an engineer that we have read and studied all the information that we could find from the architects like Dr. Crounse to determing what to build and we did the next step too, we asked the client what he/she want and need.  So we are building a huge structure and we hopefully are building it in such a way that people will be able to inhabit its halls.

    We are attempting to build the future of medicine on a logical structure of "needs" with a conveyor system that is SOA. I am having a great time building it!

    Larry

  • Larry AultmanLarry Aultman

    I am revisiting my previous comments.  Having now read all the papers referrenced in the artilce and with an understanding the SOA as described actually does not pretain to closed systems even if the system uses the same services such as .NET 3 and WCF as the mechanism.

    In the sense that Dr. Crounse speaks of SOA I believe that there is absolutely NO disputing the necessity of the service architecture methods. In light of the papers written by he and his team and in reviewing our own papers, I believe that our team was on a parallel track.  Its funny, but often the case where the end products of two very diffenent teams look suprisingly similar because it is true "form follows function."

    His is a high-level thinking approach (the architectural) while mine is a design centered (the engineering).  Both are required, an architect can not contemplate structures that can't be built, and engineers must have architectual skills to understand the whole sturcture. All that to say we are  designing a working model of what Dr. Crounse has proposed.  I hasten to admit as an engineer that we have read and studied all the information that we could find from the architects like Dr. Crounse to determing what to build and we did the next step too, we asked the client what he/she want and need.  So we are building a huge structure and we hopefully are building it in such a way that people will be able to inhabit its halls.

    We are attempting to build the future of medicine on a logical structure of "needs" with a conveyor system that is SOA. I am having a great time building it!

    Larry

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