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Michael J. Marich, Thomas A. Horan, & Benjamin Schooley. (2008). Understanding IT governance within the San Mateo County Emergency Medical Service agency. In B. V. de W. F. Fiedrich (Ed.), Proceedings of ISCRAM 2008 – 5th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (pp. 451–461). Washington, DC: Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, ISCRAM.
Abstract: This paper examines inter-organizational governance within the context of a County wide Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system. Through a case study approach that included an action research methodology, this paper reports research findings on how one multi-organizational EMS system in California designed a process to establish an inter-organizational IT governance structure. The process resulted in EMS stakeholders defining architectural qualities that could be used to drive the EMS enterprise to a higher level of architecture maturity. That is, away from inherent business silos and towards greater levels of standardization and integration of information and technology across all stakeholder groups. The San Mateo County, CA Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system provided the case study context to better understand characteristics of a high performing emergency response system. The unique governance structure of this case allowed researchers to formulate a preliminary understanding of what IT governance is within this context and how it plays a role within private and not-for-profit sector large-scale, inter-organizational, emergency response systems. We applied the time critical information services (TCIS) framework to the specific setting of the San Mateo EMS strategic redesign initiative. The TCIS framework was used to drive roundtable discussions and in addition to obtaining a better understanding of the governance dimension, much was also learned about the operational and organizational dimensions of a high performing emergency response system. From these discussions, a set of 11 key findings were developed in order to guide the county's procurement strategy and future strategic direction. The impact of these findings is that they will be used to formulate public and private sector service contracts that will remain in effect for the next 10 years.