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Oregon Community Healthcare Information Network


The case explains the origin of an organization called OCHIN (Oregon Community Healthcare Information Network). OCHIN provides and coordinates electronic medical records in some regions in America. The case explains how the idea was incepted, including the different stages that were taken to implement it. Management principles are used in a business in accordance with the business environment to get the best out of the dealing (Maccoby, Norman, Norman, & Margolies, 2013).

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The case explains how good management skills and foresight can be pushed to a great length to achieve excellent results. OCHIN has its origins in the State of Oregon where it was started to provide solutions to medical institutions and other government agencies.

Key Components of the Case

The OCHIN story is hinged on several factors that make it a success. It is based on an idea by a private citizen to come up with a system that can be used by government health facilities. The system is intended to develop and run the electronic database for health records. OCHIN selected a software called EPIC that could be used by all institutions in the program. This program was offered free of charge to these institutions because most of them could not afford it. OCHIN collaborated with the federal government.

Health Care Delivery Model

The healthcare delivery model depicted in this case is the government-private sector partnership. The model involves collaboration between the federal government and a private entity. The goal is to provide a service that should primarily be given by the government. In this case, the private sector is the organization OCHIN. OCHIN has created an idea that will enable government health institutions to manage their records (Santos, Pache, & Birkholz, 2015). By creating the database, OCHIN will be providing the much-needed research information to improve health care.

A consolidated database is a long-term solution to health research. The data bank can always be modified to include new items. All healthcare facilities in the program are networked to share the same database. Thus, they provide services as a network of institutions. In the advanced stages of the system, private healthcare institutions were also admitted to share data. The admission of private facilities was meant to provide the service to all patients without bias.

The Structure of the Organization

The organization is divided into three groups that are identified as teams:

  • The executive leadership team
  • The senior leadership team
  • The employee representatives team

The executive team is composed of the main decision makers at the top of the organization. The senior leadership team comprises line managers who lead different departments. The third group of employee representatives comprises members of the organization who do the technical work that defines the organization.

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Communication Patterns

The communication pattern established by the organization follows a network format. Once the EPIC system is put in place, all the healthcare facilities on the program will develop a network. The network will allow them to access the same information. The organization has its internal communication pattern that takes the form of a pentagon. At first, the information flows from top to bottom while the feedback follows a bottom-up pattern. The communication may take a network shape if it flows from different points that create the network.

Negotiation Strategies

In the case of OCHIN, the negotiations evident can be described as integrative. Under this mode of negotiation, parties make mutual agreements that are beneficial to both. It ends up with both parties winning. As an organization, OCHIN had set its purpose in providing and running an electronic health records system for small healthcare facilities that could not afford it. This system provides benefit to the government because it enables the government to serve the people by processing their medical claims faster. It also provides the government with a mechanism that not only allows it to have health records of its citizens but also deduces any emerging trends from the records.

Negotiation is the communication between one or more groups. It is aimed at reaching an agreement between the parties. Negotiation is a discussion where each party advocates certain interests that are beneficial to them, but which the second or third party has to agree with. In a negotiation process, each party has to agree to cede in return to a certain favor that the second party holds. Although most negotiations are viewed as a tag of war between parties, some negotiations remain mutual, usually ending without tussle. Some of these negotiations end up looking like a planning meeting where ideas are simply exchanged and accepted (Beenen & Barbuto, 2014).

Performance following the Change Initiative

OCHIN’s performance changed drastically when Sears, the Executive manager, decided to deploy management techniques that could improve the performance of the organization. Sears and her team adopted the quality-based strategy as a management tool. They could see gaps in the delivery of the services and in the whole system. The organization came up with new ideas that expanded its mandate and functions from a basic support system to a much wider system. OCHIN changed from a systems provider to a training partner that could help health institutions to interpret data that it had captured in its systems. A change in the management structure leads to reorganization (Klarner & Raisch, 2013).

Laws and Regulations

OCHIN’s project captures information that is meant for use by different persons at different levels. The information can be used by doctors in other facilities for diagnostic purposes. Healthcare records hold private and confidential information that should not be seen by unauthorized persons. One of the laws overseeing this project is the Privacy Act of 1975. The Act secures the privacy of all the people in the United States of America. Therefore, this data that has been collected has to be secured against any form of breach that may be against the law (Albert, 2013). The second law that is important to the operations of OCHIN is the Health Information Act of 2009.

Reference List

Albert, J. (2013). Once Byten, Twice Shy: Preservation and Production of Electronic Healthcare Records. Review of Litigation, 3(2), 395-429.

Beenen, G., & Barbuto, J. (2014). Let’s Make a Deal: A Dynamic Exercise for Practicing Negotiation Skills. Journal of Education for Business, 89(3), 149155.

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Klarner, R,. & Raisch, S. (2013). Move to the Beat–Rhythms of Change and Firm Performance. Academy of Management Journal, 56(1), 160-184.

Maccoby, M., Norman, 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.

Santos, F., Pache, A., & Birkholz, C. (2015). Making Hybrids Work: Aligning Business Models and Organizational Design for Social Enterprises. California Management Review, 57(3), 36-58.

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