Communications of the IIMA


Healthcare organizations collaborate, share knowledge, and need to be accountable to each other. Therefore, healthcare organizations manage a dynamic information system landscape. Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a management tool for aligning these landscapes to the primary information needs that healthcare organizations have. EA is of value in some environments, but it seems to be not well suited to the dynamics of healthcare. Despite the publication of several systematic literature reviews on EA in healthcare, a systematic literature study comparing EA applicability at various levels of cooperation (intra, inter, and network collaboration) is lacking. Therefore, we posed the following research question: To what extent is EA researched within healthcare organizations in the context of intra, inter and network collaboration? A systematic literature review was used to select 94 scientific publications for evaluation. These studies make explicit the EA elements at three levels of collaboration in the context of healthcare. The findings show that EA is most frequently studied in relation to a single healthcare organization with a wide range of topics. IT governance and EA implementation are the subjects of the majority of EA network level studies (17 out of 94 studies), followed by building/developing EA, EA acceptance, EA issues and root causes, and EA modeling. Although numerous EA frameworks are discussed in studies at the intra- and interorganizational levels, they are rarely referenced in studies at the network level. Additionally, the EA benefits, success factors, and challenges are comparable at high level, but details differ per level.

These findings demonstrate that EA is researched within the healthcare sector context. The majority of knowledge on EA is focused on a single healthcare organization, but little is known about EA in a networked healthcare environment. To learn more about how EA might be used in a healthcare network setting, a research agenda has been set up based on the results.