News @ JSI

New Journal Article Explores Enterprise Architecture (EA)

September 6, 2018

A new literature review in International Journal of Health Planning and Management, “Designing interoperable health information systems using Enterprise Architecture approach in resource-limited countries: A literature review,” identifies best practices related to Enterprise Architecture-based health information systems design, implementation, and evaluation in LMICs.

The World Health Organization (WHO) prioritizes achieving health and wellbeing, coordinating service delivery, and strengthening governance and accountability. This requires reliable health information systems (HISs) that combine national health goals with local requirements.

WHO identified HIS as one of the six health system building blocks, though data are essential to each of the other five health system components (service delivery, health workforce, access to essential medicines, financing, and leadership/governance). Comprehensive architecture can facilitate communication between building blocks and promote interoperability across existing components, harmonizing a country's overall strategy to include new skills, tools, and holistic systems in a manageable and sustainable manner. One such approach, Enterprise Architecture (EA), has been used by countries and businesses to provide a governing and operating structure, as well as guidelines to optimize and integrate applications, networking, expansion capacity, and standardized processes.

Although the application of EA can include adapting tools and templates available from open-source software, commercial products, and certification programs, this manuscript focuses on the processes and essential artifacts that are common across its implementation. Literature identified in this review present ways in which EA frameworks have been used to facilitate data collection, examine critical elements for effective health care systems, and identify framework contributions to the advancement of HIS interoperability.