The 2020 Enterprise Architecture Awards

The 2020 Forrester and InfoWorld EA Awards contest winners focus on business architecture, digital transformation, and governance

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Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health 

InfoWorld Forrester Enterprise Architecture Awards IDG

Jefferson is a healthcare and academic institution in the Philadelphia region. The organization’s clinical pillar, Jefferson Health, includes 14 hospitals and ambulatory clinics while the academic pillar, Thomas Jefferson University, comprises 10 colleges and three schools in many disciplines. Over a three-year period, mushrooming growth added 11 hospitals and a second university to the system. The multiple mergers prompted scripting a five-year plan to develop a new business model to support a 300% growth model. They operated in three phases:

  1. Enterprise transformation and alignment. The Jefferson EA team established a new foundational model of “One Jefferson,” which shaped every step of the journey. Central governance with distributed support enabled leadership to leverage their pool of talent and expertise. EA developed a technology framework and digital transformation roadmap to align business strategy to the appropriate technology. Phase I included Jefferson Health adopting an enterprise application portfolio, which began with choosing a new electronic health record (EHR) system as its cornerstone. The EA team was now working directly with business stakeholders in developing a detailed plan to consolidate disparate systems across the enterprise, effectively transforming the role of enterprise architects from solution providers to trusted advisors. They developed capability maps that enabled foundational models to support both the new EHR and future enterprise applications.
    Jefferson EA then designed initiatives to support the execution of their plans. They implemented a system of enterprise standards to provide a consistent, flexible, and redundant infrastructure comprising storage, server/desktop virtualization, and core networking. By the end of Phase I, the new EHR was in use across 61 proprietary software applications and nearly five dozen third-party solutions and products. The EHR was also launched at inpatient locations and in the public-facing MyChart portal, which has grown to over 300,000 MyChart registrations and been instrumental in addressing the COVID-19 challenge in 2020.
  2. Doubling their size and reviewing their capabilities. Jefferson’s merger with multiple hospitals, ambulatory clinics, and physician practices in New Jersey created an immediate need to introduce the EHR to the new facilities. The EA team continued to work closely with the business to create a capability map and realign the business vision with capabilities and develop the second phase of the technology roadmap. The EA team once again collaborated with business units and developed an ambitious plan. They engaged 6,000 clinical and operational staff to implement a strategy that replaced five major software systems, standardizing and improving processes across the enterprise. The success of Jefferson’s implementation led the industry-leading EHR vendor Jefferson used to adopt the Jefferson deployment model as a best practice for multihospital implementations for other customers.
  3. Redefining the IT framework and expanding the vision. As expansion continues, Jefferson EA is working closely with their strategic technology partners to develop their next-generation framework.The business and EA team are now expanding the roadmap, leveraging their enhanced technology portfolio to share their vision and services to a larger, more diverse geographical audience. They have reviewed their technical capabilities and their virtual desktop infrastructure, and their firewalls now operate in a more efficient distributed management model that will enable them to migrate additional facilities to their EHR system.

The onset of COVID-19 presented Jefferson with their greatest challenge and tested the agility of their entire technology system. They needed to transition more than 75% of their employees, faculty, and students to a work-from-home environment. They called upon their VDI, VPN, and Office 365 capabilities to provide remote capability to 100% of their core applications. VDI has seen over a 500% increase in utilization and VPN has seen over a 400% increase in connectivity.

The Jefferson EA team has accelerated their new remote application delivery framework to reduce cost and offer a more sustainable access model. The EA team also met the pandemic challenge with a redesign of core platforms for telemedicine along with the business investment in network infrastructure and security, providing online care for 3,300 patients a day. Activations on the MyChart patient portal have increased from an average of 2,000 per month to 40,000 in May 2020.

Ford’s Kevin Tracy said: “Jefferson’s EA really shines.... Great accolade from the vendor to adopt Jefferson’s on-boarding process.”

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