Interoperability versus Usability in Best of Breed or All-in-One HIS Systems

Posted on January 31, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

In a number of my online conversations we’ve been having really in depth discussions about the idea of whether it’s better for a hospital HIS system is better as an All-In-One system or whether Best of Breed healthcare IT systems are better. Much of this discussion has been sparked from posts done on my Hospital EMR and EHR blog. So, if you’re in the hospital space and are not following that site, you should. You can even sign up for the Hospital EMR and EHR list if you’d like. Anne Zieger writes most of the content there and she doesn’t mince words.

In all of these discussions, something became really clear to me:

The best reason to use Best of Breed healthcare IT systems is for usability.

The best reason to use an All-in-One system is for interoperability.

Some people may see this as too simplistic, but I loved a quote I read recently that said you don’t truly understand something until you can describe it in a simple form. I actually heard Bill Belichick do this talking about what he looks for in receivers for his Football team (Anyone excited for Super Bowl Sunday?). He said he likes a receiver that can Get Open and Catches the Ball. Seems far too simplistic, but it’s so simplistic it’s genius.

I think the same could be said for evaluating hospital IT systems:

The thing I like most in a healthcare IT system is one that’s Usable and Integrates Well.