Enterprise Architechture Information Day in Dr. Steevens Hospital

Over 60 members of HSE, including members of OoCIO, attended the recent Information Day held by the Enterprise Architecture team in Dr Steevens Hospital. Enterprise Architecture is a relatively new function within the OoCIO and it has been establishing its remit and role over the past 2-3 years. The team is comprised of 7 members and they have an immense number of responsibilities in this area.

As the name suggests Enterprise Architecture is a well-defined practice for conducting enterprise analysis, design, planning, and implementation, using a comprehensive approach at all times, for the successful development and execution of strategy. The team felt that this event would be timely as they have reached a certain level of maturity and whilst they have been establishing the function they have been assisted by their International partners who were also in attendance to share their wealth of knowledge and expertise in this area.

Speaking at the event were, Peter Connolly Head of Enterprise Architecture, Lilly Walsh Business Architecture Lead, Helen Lambert Compliance, Assurance and Information Governance Lead, Eamon Coyne Technical Architecture Lead, Martin Tully Information Architecture Lead, Theresa Barry Clinical terminology and SNOMED CT Lead, Chris Plunkett Enterprise Architecture Delivery Director. 

They were joined by their International and national partners including, Alexandra Nybratt and James Parker from Orbus iServer who are the specialists with the Enterprise Architecture tooling, Dr Alexander Berler Director of Services IHE Europe/Director of Consultancy Services GNOMON), Muhammad Zubair, he and his team are responsible for the tooling for the Data Dictionary, Dr Pamela Hussey, CeiC, DCU, working with Martin Tully in developing the Data Dictionary.  Rory Davidson, Technical Services Executive Lead for SNOMED International and responsible for the managed service for the Irish National Release Centre and the newest members to the team working with technical architecture Sean Walsh and Sandra Ryan were also in attendance.

EA info day team

From left to right,

Theresa Barry, Rory Davidson, Martin Tully, Dr Pamela Hussey, Muhammad Zubair, Helen Lambert, Lilly Walsh, Eamon Coyne, Dr Alexander Berler, Alexandra Nybratt, James Parker

On the day Peter Connolly opened proceedings and welcomed the attendees. He shared his insight into Enterprise Architecture with the audience by stating that EA is a management best practice for aligning business and technology resources to achieve strategic outcomes from technology and improve organisational value. He explained what service EA can offer the organisation, these include, Technical Architecture, Security and Assurance, Business Architecture, Clinical Terminology, Test and Certification, Information Governance and Compliance and Information Architecture, these are all foundational building blocks for the organisation. EA also underpins that all projects are conformant to standards and regulations, that data quality is appropriate for its intended use, is governed and authorised for use.

He then introduced Lilly Walsh Business’ architecture lead who explained how eHealth is creating a perfect storm for changing the way healthcare is delivered. Understanding healthcare as a system of complex relationships is pivotal to understanding business architecture. The focus is on breaking down this complexity into its component parts by capturing the interconnected structures and their interactions. Using the newly deployed enterprise architecture tool, iServer – blueprints, heat maps and matrices will help different stakeholders define the management and impact of change across the architectures (business level, information level and technical level) Lilly shared examples of these on the day.

 Lilly also discussed process architecture which aims to give a full overview of all process (business) activities required to deliver a healthcare service and how they relate to one another. The intention is to build a repository within iServer of every process activity steps (building blocks) which will automatically have functional requirements, data sets, standards and roles automatically attached and made freely available to all OoCIO colleagues who can ‘build’ different solution designs by using and reusing the required activity steps that make up the solution. Outputs will include a statement of requirements, business checklists and possibly site checklists going forward

 Lilly shared her strategic deployment plan which included enterprises architecture vision statement, strategic direction, tactical plan and OoCIO integration. Lilly spoke about the importance of collaboration from OoCIO colleagues and explained that iServer has a portal where all published content can be easily accessed and a collaboration space which will be used to get feedback. Finally, Lilly spoke about the different types of analytics required by the organisation, depending on the complexity and acknowledged the importance of having good quality information, at which point she introduced her colleague Helen Lambert.

Helen also spoke of how the EA principles and standards should inform all ICT procurements in order to reflect eHealth strategic purpose, vision and values to provide a firm foundation for making architecture and planning decisions, she impressed on the attendees that the EA principles includes a number of important facts regarding data, such as data is an asset, data is sharable, data is accessible and information is everyone’s business.

Alexandra Nybratt form orbus Iserver then gave a brief demo of the EA tool and explained that Lilly and Helen would be in touch with some end users in the near future to provide training.

Next on the podium was Eamon Coyne; Technical architecture lead, he explained how technical architecture will help in providing a solution to the strategy document as outlined by Slainte Care “For health professionals, the lack of visibility of a patient’s health history is a serious obstacle to planned, coordinated care delivery away from acute settings”.

He gave a detailed overview of interoperability, its components and what is needed to achieve it. He spoke of the technical interoperability we also need the semantic and organisational interoperability. He explained that in order to deliver on this we need the standards and principles as discussed by Helen earlier. He shared the 27 IHE profiles that re recognised under EU regulation 1025/2012. By aligning in Ireland with these standards, will be of overall benefit nationally and allow for interoperability across borders.

He gave information on the test harness and explained that in the near future all vendors wishing to come to tender for EHRs here will need to have passed through the test harness for certification, this will ensure that the interoperability remit and ultimately the strategy for Slainte Care can be delivered on.

He was then joined by Dr Alexander Berler, who Eamon has worked closely with from IHE and Alexander gave an overview of the how IHE is informing interoperability internationally and he gave some very good use case examples.

Martin Tully from Information Architecture was then introduced, he gave an overview of the National Health and Social Care Data dictionary that is being developed with Hiveworx and input form Dr Pamela Hussey in DCU.

Martin gave an update on the work completed at this moment in time, which includes activity, technical standards as well as structural metadata and how this can be used as a rule book to signpost interoperability and improve data quality and consistency.

Dr Pamela Hussey then gave some insight into the building of the metadata registry framework, which will promote data quality, value and the building blocks of interoperability through the development of use case driven catalogues. Within the NHSCDD they are now developing catalogues with service users and foundational NHSCDD training will commence on the Dec 6th in DCU. Her conclusion mentioned that to achieve clean data, metadata registries and data standards are required as a foundational building block.


Members of the enterprise architecture team

Chris Plunkett, Martin Tully, Theresa Barry, Lilly Walsh, Helen Lambert, Eamon Coyne

After lunch Theresa Barry gave a presentation on SNOMED CT as a clinical terminology in Ireland to date, she explained that change is the only constant in life and whilst we have had ICD-10 AM to record clinical information for financial and reimbursement purposes in the era of EHRs it will not be sufficient for health care providers to record clinical information at the point of care. She explained the activities that she has been undertaking since the procurement of a SNOMED licence in Ireland 20 months ago. She has established a National release Centre for SNOMED and has developed a vendor engagement specification document for all EHR’s going forward and also recently procured the managed serviced from SNOMED International. She will have a beta release of The Irish edition of SNOMED on November 15th 2018 with the first full release in April 21st 2019. This will allow all systems that are using SNOMED to be agile and develop their own content and therefore deliver on the semantic interoperability as outlined by Eamon earlier in the day.

Chris Plunkett the delivery director for EA then concluded the presentations with information on how the Architecture Advisory Board works and how it can allow for all projects to meet the EA team and give input to their projects. The board meets monthly and all members of the team are available at these meetings. Chris explained the process involved and how the team are there to help and advice on all the areas discussed during the day.

The attendees then broke into groups where they had access to the international business partners to discuss on specific issues. This format was very well received by the attendees and there were some good robust discussions.

The EA tem would like to thank our international partners and those that attended and contributed to the discussions.

Each of the architects informed the group that they can be contacted via email at:








Please click on the links below to view the slide decks from the speakers on the day.

EnterpriseArchitecture_Peter Connolly.pdf (size 1.1 MB)

Information Goverenance_Helen Lambert.pdf (size 1.8 MB)

Enterprise Architecture_Martin Tully.pdf (size 2.3 MB)

Enterprise Architecture_Chris Plunkett.pdf (size 905.4 KB)

SNOMED Presentation_Theresa Barry.pdf (size 2.2 MB)

Business Architecture in Healthcare_Lilly Walsh.pdf (size 1.8 MB)

Technical Architecture_Eamon Coyne.pdf (size 4.6 MB)