Developing the Missouri Integrated Public Health Information System
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The Missouri Health Strategic Architectures and Information Cooperative (MOHSAIC), an initiative of the Missouri Department of Health (MDOH), is one of the best-known successful undertakings to develop an integrated public health system to serve both state and local public health needs. MOHSAIC was to replace more than 60 different program-specific computer systems serving individual health programs. The challenges faced by system developers were daunting. They included locating sources of funding for a very expensive project, acquiring qualified staff and contractors, coordinating system development across programs that often preferred their own dedicated systems, dealing with conversion of data from legacy systems, and encountering entrenched resistance to business reengineering. The means by which MDOH addressed these challenges to build an integrated system are instructive. The keys to success included locating sources of funding, dealing with both internal and external politics, securing top-level promotion and support, developing a strategic plan to guide the project, and involving users at all levels in the design of the system. The keys also involved the system designers’ developing a solid reputation by beginning construction in areas where support for MOHSAIC already existed, a tactic that helped overcome resistance in other program areas. The wisdom of the decision to design and implement MOHSAIC is already apparent at all levels of use of the integrated system. An integrated immunization register and a surveillance component are only two examples of the many benefits that the integrated system offers.
KeywordsData Warehouse Public Health Official Local Public Health Information System Development Missouri Department
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