Best of Breed vs Legacy Systems: Is One Better than the Other?

by Luis Castillo on Sep 7, 2017

Stethoscope Lyting Down on a LaptopThe question of whether a healthcare organization should use a best-of-breed approach to health information technology or convert to a fully-integrated solution is a tricky one—and something hospitals and health systems have wrestled with for a long time. As interoperability between systems is crucial, it often requires organizations to choose which system is more suitable for them and their needs. These organizations, particularly those expanding to provide greater care coordination for their patients, are facing new challenges as they need to track patients wherever they are cared for, whether in a post-acute setting or in the comfort of their own home.

Consider, for example, the complex, detail-rich patient discharge process. Although an integrated solution may house patient clinical and financial data that are essential for the discharge process, other solutions may not be able to fully match the patient with the most appropriate post-acute setting or enable timely and data-driven care transitions. On the flip side, a legacy care coordination software may foster a better transition, but it may not be able to capture all the necessary clinical and financial information as easily as an integrated tool could. Because the discharge process has many moving parts, if the legacy solution doesn’t merge with other health information technology systems, there is a greater chance key information could be lost in the transition. Additionally, simple tasks, such as logging on to the care coordination tool or sending specific patient data to other settings can become quite onerous. If the process is too difficult, then staff may start to skip critical steps, resulting in less than optimal use of the technology and subpar care.

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Published on The Healthcare Guys (August 31, 2017)

Meet the Author

Luis Castillo has more than 30 years of experience in healthcare information technology. Prior to joining Ensocare, Castillo served as senior vice president at Siemens Healthcare, where he was in charge of IT sales, service and marketing. He was responsible for developing alternate markets, sales strategies and sales channels in order to grow the healthcare information technology business. Luis’ broad and deep experience has served to hone his leadership skills and business acumen, and he is a sought-after participant in strategic initiatives and global partnership efforts. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Haverford College in Haverford, Penn.


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