The Knowledge- and Adoption Level of Standards for Technical Interoperability among Providers of Healthcare Information Systems

University essay from KTH/Skolan för teknik och hälsa (STH)

Abstract:

This thesis was one of the deliverables of StandIN. The purpose of StandIN was to propose a common framework including standards for technical interoperability. The goal of this thesis was to structure and analyze information about the knowledge- and adoption level of the standards among providers of healthcare information systems (HIS's). Moreover, it aimed to evaluate different aspect that might affect the adoption.

The target group was providers of HIS's used in Swedish county councils and regions. The information was gathered through a survey and semi-structured interviews, and stored in an Excel database. From the database, Pivot tables and charts were created in order to show the knowledge- as well as adoption level of the different standards. The results were thereafter compared to theory about interoperability and standard adoption.

It was clear that the knowledge level varied for the different standards. In addition, the adoption level was very low - except from CCOW and HL7 v2. Least adopted were domain-specific standards. The results also indicated a trend for only adopting parts of standards. Moreover, many providers stated that they performed specific integrations rather than followed common standards. This seemed to be due to the choice of standards being too wide, and the actual adoption not being consistent among the different providers. According to the providers, an introduction of a national framework based on uniform and consistent international standards was an awaited solution to the problem.

A future extension of this thesis would be to perform a similar study involving the customers. The database could also be used to do clustered analyses of the adoption state in different county councils and regions. Moreover, it could be used to analyze the development of standard adoption over time.

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