Canada Health Infoway Wins an Award with SOA Approach.

The following appeared a few days ago.

Canada Health Infoway service-oriented architecture receives international recognition

Top honour awarded in health care category, SOA Case Study Competition

October 28, 2008, Toronto, ON - Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) received top recognition in the health care category of the 2008 Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Case Study Competition, sponsored by the SOA Consortium and CIO Magazine. Infoway's interoperable electronic health record (EHR) architecture, the EHR Blueprint - a framework for a Canadian EHR, was awarded for demonstrating business success and lessons learned in SOA adoption.

"Moving forward with the vision for an interoperable electronic health record system in Canada required building a strong foundation of service-oriented architecture. Infoway's EHR Blueprint has been able to conceptually address the massive undertaking of linking together tens of thousands of clinics, hospitals, pharmacies and other points of care in the country," said Dennis Giokas, chief technology officer, Canada Health Infoway. "Infoway is proud to receive this recognition from its colleagues in the international architecture community."

The EHR Blueprint was developed by Infoway in consultation with its jurisdictional partners, the Canadian vendor community and stakeholders. It is a framework that defines a scalable and flexible business and technical architecture that enables the authorized sharing of clinically relevant patient information between health service providers across care settings, health care delivery organizations, and across Canada. Since its development, the EHR Blueprint has become a valuable tool that provides the guidelines for governments, health regions, hospitals and technology vendors who are aligning their health information system development and implementation to the vision of the interoperable EHR. The EHR architecture has been adopted by all of the jurisdictions in Canada.

"On behalf of SOA Consortium and CIO Magazine, we are pleased to acknowledge the success of Canada Health Infoway as the only Canadian award recipient this year, and the first not-for-profit organization to win in the SOA Case Study Competition," said Richard Mark Soley, Ph.D., executive director, SOA Consortium. "Infoway has demonstrated the case that service-oriented architecture delivers value. Other organizations will be inspired by Infoway's success and look to how SOA can deliver the same value to their own projects."

The goal of the SOA Case Study Competition was to highlight business success stories and lessons learned to provide proof points and insights to other organizations considering or pursuing SOA adoption. To qualify for the contest, the SOA project must have been completed with demonstrated business results.

An independent study of the cost/benefits of the interoperable EHR concluded that the estimated total cost of information technology enabling the health care system to be $9.9 billion. It is estimated that this investment will result in $6.1 billion in annual benefits (savings or cost avoidance in health care services) - $82.4 billion over 20 years - when the system has been fully implemented.

Infoway will participate in a panel discussion on its SOA approach at the SOA Consortium Meeting in Santa Clara, California from December 10-11, 2008.

To view a full copy of Infoway's winning submission, or to learn more about the SOA Case Study Competition, visit A full copy of the EHR Blueprint is available through Infoway's KnowledgeWay.

About Canada Health Infoway
Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the Federal government. Infoway jointly invests with every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of electronic health record projects in Canada. Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these secure systems will provide clinicians and patients with the information they need to better support safe care decisions and manage their own health. Accessing this vital information quickly will help foster a more modern and sustainable health care system for all Canadians.

The full release is found here:

A few comments.

First the cost / benefit figures quoted are a useful benchmark for Australia given the similarity in size and health sector activity between here and Canada.

Second I believe this work does deserve an award for its clarity and obvious quality and insight.

Third it is a pity that – despite its adoption of SOA – we do not have a document of this vision from NEHTA. (And yes Infoway manages to out NEHTA, NEHTA for document cuteness!).

Fourth it is already over 18 months since the Infoway document was finalised – plenty of time for NEHTA to have reviewed it and produced a similar guide to their plans.

This summary and the full documentation are worth a close read in my view.



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