The realities of implementation of Clinical Context Object Workgroup (CCOW) standards for integration of vendor disparate clinical software in a large medical center

Int J Med Inform. 2009 Jun;78(6):386-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2008.12.002. Epub 2009 Jan 20.


CCOW standards have been touted to currently be the best way to integrate disparate clinical applications by passing user identification and passwords as well as patient context between these applications at the desktop. However, nothing has been published in academic journals on the actual realities of implementation of CCOW. In this report, we describe the implementation of CCOW for our three main clinical applications and compare this with the simultaneous development and implementation of a portal session manager for the same purpose. We found the portal session manager much easier to develop and implement than CCOW. The resulting functionality was almost equivalent as judged by our clinical end users who compared both solutions. We now have the portal session manager functional across the institution and have stopped any further work on CCOW.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers*
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards*
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval / standards
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized / standards*
  • Software / standards*