Abstract

BackgroundA desirable feature of hospital information systems is interoperability, which is generally quite limited due to the lack of standardization of the data model. This results in high development and maintenance costs for such systems. The openEHR standard addresses this problem. Due to its two-level modelling, it allows the separation of demographic and medical data and the storage of this data so that it can be easily processed and exchanged. However, it introduces an additional software layer that may affect system performance. This article examines the performance of a system based on the openEHR standard and compares it with the performance of a proprietary system developed in a classic way. MethodsTwo hospital information systems with the same functionality were designed and developed. One was based on an openEHR server, and another was using proprietary data model having both demographic and medical data. Systems were deployed on Azure platform and load tests using JMeter were conducted to calculate statistics of elapsed time of requests as well as throughput of both systems. ResultsEndpoints which fetch only demographic data had the same performance, but when medical data had to be queried, a decrease in performance of the openEHR based system was noticed. The system based on a proprietary data had about 6 times bigger throughput in terms of medical data fetching. ConclusionsOpenEHR adds another layer to the architecture of a hospital information system which might result in performance issues. Such a system must be designed to operate on a sufficiently strong architecture if it is intended to serve many users.

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