Building a Learning Organization at OCHIN


The Oregon Community Healthcare Information Network (OCHIN) provides and coordinates technology for community healthcare providers. The mission was informed by the need to have a system that could process medical claims in a speedy way. OCHIN has a database that consolidates and allows access to medical records in the system.

Initially, OCHIN started off in the state of Oregon from where it derived its name. OCHIN has expanded to other states that wish to enjoy the efficiency of the system offered. The expansion has necessitated the organization to change its name from “Oregon” to “Our” as a way of opening up to inclusivity.

Key Components of the Case

The case explains the origins of the idea, the implementation of the idea, transformations of the idea, and the success of the idea. The case points to how visionary ideas work and how successful they can get (Maccoby, Norman, Norman, & Margolies, 2013). The original idea was meant to provide an electronic system to healthcare facilities. The goal was to ensure that the facilities spent less time and money when processing claims. The paper explains how the idea spread within Oregon. It also demonstrates how its success was embraced by the federal government and other states.

Health Care Delivery Model

The healthcare delivery model used in this case is the electronic health records system. This model works by consolidating the healthcare records of individuals into a single and accessible database. The system enables doctors to access and view patients’ records as long as the patients’ records are in the data base. The model plays a big role in healthcare delivery. It provides data to healthcare providers as an incentive to improve the system. The system is a private public partnership program (PPP) that integrates the services of private sector players with the services of government agencies.

The Structure of the Organization

The organization was divided into four working structures. Each part, was responsible for running a specific niche that contributed to the organization’s unit. The parts were as follows:

  • Business services unit
  • Data services unit
  • Health information exchange unit
  • Practical-based research network unit

Business Services Unit

The business service department provides different levels that ensure efficiency in the running of the organization and that any savings made are pumped into the system. OCHIN is a non-profit organization whose business service department ensures that services are delivered to the people.

Data Services Unit

The data services unit consolidates data by making it available to vendors whenever they need it.

Health Information Exchange

The health information department ensures that all affiliated centers have access to the data bank of the organization

Practical Based Research Network

The unit supports research using the data collected by OCHIN. Healthcare research is very important because it continuously improves healthcare services.

Communication Patterns

The most notable communication pattern that has been used by the organization is the network pattern. This pattern takes the shape of a pentagon. Communication lines are established between all points of the pentagon. Initially, the ideas in OCHIN follow a top-down path within the pentagon. The COO and the executive committee play a central role in shaping the communication patterns. They come up with ideas that they spell out to the different departments at different levels.

Negotiation Strategies

The organization uses the integrative or cooperative bargaining strategy as its negotiation strategy. The organizations founders had a plan to provide an electronic health information service to facilities that could not afford them.

According to Goering (1997), “the negotiation is a win-win situation because the goals of the parties are not mutually exclusive” (p. 384). The organization developed a system that was going to help needy healthcare facilities. The founders were stepping into a space that needed government attention. Therefore, their solution to the healthcare facilities was going to ease the government’s burden in service delivery to its people.

Performance following the Change Initiative

The change initiative involved the realignment and reallocation of employees from certain positions to new positions. Change of leadership enabled the organization to introduce the O-HITEC system. Most managers at the organization were not experienced. The organization made changes by employing personality intelligence in a changing environment model (Hassan, Chimi, & Sonam, 2016). Phil Skiba who was one of the most experienced managers was given more roles as a way of bringing stability to the organization. Skiba embraced change and took it as a challenge as compared to the other managers who found it to be stressful.

Laws and Regulations

The initiative by OCHIN is governed by the Privacy Act 1971. 5USC, Section 552A and The Health Information Act of 2009. The laws stipulate what the privacy of an individual constitutes and the consequences of breaching it (Ramanathan, Schmit, Menon, & Fox, 2015). Medical records are the most confidential records to an individual. OCHIN enters the foray by providing secure technological systems that can allow doctors within a network to access individual patient’s information. This plan is necessary because a patients past history is part of the diagnosis (Tara et al., 2015). The organization’s mandate has to be sanctioned by the commission for accreditation of the health care organization (Chassin, 2013).


The idea to develop OCHIN was on time. It has been embraced by the United States of America government to streamline the health industry. The EPIC system has enabled hospitals to process claims fast. It has also enabled the government to detect and reduce the number of fraudulent claims. A shared information platform enables medical personnel to have quick access to patient medical history. It helps organizations to provide the right service on time.

Reference List

Chassin, M. (2013). Improving the Quality of Health Care: Where Law, Accreditation, and Professionalism Collide. Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, 23(2), 395-407.

Goering, E. (1997). Integration Versus Distribution in Contract Negotiations: An Interaction Analysis of Strategy Use. Journal of Business Communication, 34( 4), 383-400.

Hassan, J., Chimi, D., & Sonam, C. (2016). Emotional Intelligence and Employee Creativity: Moderating Role of Proactive Personality and Organizational Climate. Business Perspective & Research, 4(1), 54-66.

Maccoby, M., Norman, C. L., Norman, C. J., & Margolies, R. (2013). Transforming Health Care Leadership: A Systems Guide to Improve Patient Care, Decrease Costs, and Improve Population Health. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Wiley.

Ramanathan, T., Schmit, C., Menon, A. & Fox, C. (2015). The Role of Law in Supporting Secondary Uses of Electronic Health Information. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 43(1), 48-51.

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