Hamid Nemati, University of North Carolina at Greensboro USA USA USA
USAScott Stewart, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
USAFaye Sherrill-Huffman, Rowan Regional Medical Center
Managed care, Medicare reform and skyrocketing costs have forced health care providers to take a closer look IT and how it can help in providing a competitive advantage. Prior to the 1990s, most computer systems designed for health care were mission-specific. By the early to mid 1990s, many hospitals had begun to search the market for tools to integrate their aging transactional systems, since an integrated environment could provide more business-oriented functions such as decision support. However, for many medical centers achieving a seamless integration proved to be a daunting task.
Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) was a response to decades of organizations creating distributed stand-alone applications resulting in an overabundance of platforms and development approaches. Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) techniques provided the interface layer to allow the systems to act as one "seamless" whole. This case provides an overview of EAI and examines the technical and organizational challenges faced by a major medical center in North Carolina attempting to integrate its enterprise applications and discusses how the project team responded to those challenges. An appendix featuring a complete list of products covered in this case, as well as a brief glossary of healthcare IT terms, follows the case.