Interoperability Paper
Douglass Richardson Sr.
November 11th 2014
Donna Zeh

Interoperability Paper

Interoperability is the new direction for information systems of all kinds. In Human Services, interoperability and how efficient it is will define the quality and depth of services. Interoperability enhances the significance for information technology to make the networks and integrations work. The term is most widely used in product enhancement and networking. Compatibility is a significant term when defining interoperability. In human services most providers define interoperability as the ability to communicate with other systems and services seamlessly with better results in service delivery to clients. Delancey Street Foundation is a leading self-help organization for substance abusers, ex-convicts, homeless and others who are in need of corrective social services. According to "The Delancey Street Foundation" (2007), the average resident has been a hard-core drug addict for sixteen years, abusing alcohol and multiple drugs and has dropped out of school at the 7th grade and has been institutionalized several times. Many have been gang members; most have been trapped in poverty for several generations. Delancey Streets innovative model of allowing residents to learn how to develop positive habits and strengths, and helping one another can greatly be enhanced with any of the three models of interoperability examined, or possibly in concert to one another. According to Schoech (2010) Interoperability is one of the most critical concepts facing the adoption and implementation of enhanced electronic information technologies into the health and human services. Interoperability is defined as the aptitude of one system to perform work in integration with other systems without working hard, and effortless on the part of the user. As Interoperability evolves in the human services, models of interoperability may change through improvements, or possibly altogether new models may be developed. For now the three models of interoperability, discussed are the Loosely Linked Network Model the best example of this model is a cloud computing and smart phone app example where according to Schoech (2010) “Agencies acquire apps and tools that (a) reside and run locally on their agency system, (b) reside and run only on the Internet, or (c) reside locally and exchange information with multiple applications running on the internet” this model doesn’t require dramatic organizational changes to be effective, and is the easiest to be implemented. But this model does suffer from a need of a coordinating entity to be effective for the long run. The Delancey Street Foundation can benefit from this model by not having to invest heavily into system infrastructure and relying on applications to process information and data gathering. A disadvantage of this model for the Delancey Street Foundation can be found in its simplicity. With Delancey Street being a large national organization it may necessitate a model that can accommodate its needs nationally. The Network Model is the second Interoperability model that is used. This model according to Schoech (2010) is much like the travel industry were “Each agency screens clients in or out of its particular services rather than into a service delivery system that is integrated to meet client needs. No human service IT (information technology) applications analyze the client’s problem and preferences and use the results to find several good service options. No applications exist to optimize an agency’s goals by screening clients in or out based on the matching of client needs and worker expertise, the number of services the agency has available, or client outcome expectations.” Out of the three models examined, the Network Model appears to be most advantages for a national organization like Delancey Street. A model that encompasses the totality of a...

References: The Delancey Street Foundation. (2007).Retrieved from
Burke, L., & Weill, B. (2013). Information technology for the health professions (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Rainer, R. K., Jr., & Cegielski, C. G. (2012). Introduction to information systems: Supporting and transforming business. (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.
Schoech, D. (2010). Interoperability and the future of human services.. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 28(1/2), 7-22.
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