Health Information Technology Project Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Health Information Technology System

Hospital Information Technology System

Over the years, improvement of service provision within this medical institution has been of massive essence. This has led to the establishment of a number of measures to enhance service delivery one of which constitutes the development of a variety of information systems within the organization. The information technology system under consideration here was established with the view of enhancing operations within all the departments of the hospital. It covers the needs of all those who visit the establishment which offers both inpatient and outpatient services. This facility is a government hospital. Its stakeholders therefore include the state, the patients, the staff and other Non-Governmental Organizations who provide auxiliary services to the hospital among others. The number of departments within the institution and taken care of by this system are numerous and include; the finance, communication, records and housekeeping, laboratory, emergency, marketing departments just to mention a few.

Application of the System

This Hospital information Technology System is generally aimed to serve administrative functions. The system has facilitated the conversion of all the administrative services from the initial paper-based format to a more efficient electronic format (Shekelle, Morton & Keeler, 2006). The system helps in providing leadership, enhancing coordination of activities and ensuring the fulfilment of goals within all the departments and therefore the organization at large. all operations from the hospital that range from the admission of a patient within the hospital, creation and maintenance of a patients records, management of employee records, financial operations, communication and decision making within the hospitals and records management are handled within the IT System. By facilitating the administration of services within the hospital, the IT System has proved of benefit not only to the service providers and staff within the institution but also to the inpatients, outpatients and the rest of the stakeholders.

Rationale for the Implementation of the System

According to Suzanne Felt-Lisk, the fact that Information Technology in the Healthcare Sector gives institutions massive prospective in the improvement of their quality goes without saying. Information Technology generally fixes the gap that exists in service provision and goals accomplishment within institutions. These the feature does through, among other things, enabling healthcare institutions provide services that are safer, more effective and in a timely manner (Felt-Lisk, 2006). As such, the capacity to enhance quality and help organizations move from low quality service provision to an improved level of service delivery basically propelled the hospital to implement this system. The problems which existed with the initial system basically made the introduction of an IT system inevitable.

First and foremost, the manual system of administration was basically slow and this led to the loss of time unnecessarily, for the patients, the staff, the stakeholders and the entire institution (Shortliffe & Climino, 2006). Because of this, the facility failed to take care of the threshold number of patients, leaving many to seek medical services form other health care institutions. Further, the staff had to work overtime in handling all the patients who visited the organization. One cannot fail to mention the fact that the number of staff required with the manual system in place can sometimes be very overwhelming for institutions (Shekelle et al., 2006). Secondly, the manual systems provided very limited room for transparency and accountability from all the stakeholders to the hospital (Felt-Lisk, 2006). Considering the fact that the capacity for records managers to locate some records was limited by the system, most individuals took advantage of the system. As a result of this, the firm lost colossal financial resources owing to the capacity of the perpetrators to go free with the availability of the manual systems. Patients in some cases failed to provide appropriate information in respect to their health history and this in some cases led to inappropriate decision making and misdiagnosis for some of them. All the parties suffered some avoidable loss due to the unavailability of a system that would facilitate accountability.

The paper-based system also proved to promote insecurity especially as regarding the management of hospital records (Cummings, 2006). Although much was done to ensure that the records were safely placed in the records management department, nothing more would be implemented to ensure the ultimate security of all hospital records. In addition, no backup system existed to provide something for the institution to fall back too whenever loss of hospital information occurred at another point (Olmeda, 2000). Alleviating these risks demanded that a more sophisticated, efficient and workable system be established within the hospital. The implementation of IT Systems proved to be the only way of solving these problems which was to be achieved through the automation of paper-based records. Further, the organizations management realized that the system would do much more in reducing the bulk within the records management offices and other departments of the institution. By converting the data to electronic form, the organizations knew they would manage to not only create back up but also reduce on the space and equipment required to store information (Shortliffe & Climino, 2006). Generally, the Information Technology System gave hope for the organization in enhancing all operations within the hospital, facilitating decision making, saving costs and ensuring efficiency.

Deciding on the Implementation of the System

The decision to implement the Information System within the Hospital environment did not happen in a vacuum as some serious considerations had to be made by various stakeholders within the organization. Various criteria we reemployed on settling for the decision that the hospital specifically needed an Information System for administrative purposes.

The problems and inefficiencies brought about by the manual system was the first trigger for the idea of the implementation of the automated system. In spite of the fact that the paper-based system served to aid in the administrative roles of the organizations, the results were sometimes unimpressive owing to the inefficient nature of the structure. Owing to this need, the organization sought to find an alternative for the system and with this, the idea of automation was born. Following this conception, the organization, through a number of channels conducted research on the viability of the Information Technology System. Irrespective of the availability of some opposition, with respect to the cost of implementation of the system, the research results widely commended the implementation of the automated system within the health facility.

A very large percentage of the stakeholders had also initially voiced their concern for the limitations posed by the manual systems. Most of them advocated for the automation of the administration systems for the benefit of all who played a part in the on goings of the hospital. Evidence provided by other organizations, especially the healthcare providing institutions also propelled the organization into implementing the IT System. These organization provided testimonies on the advantages and benefits they derived from their Information Technology Systems and how establishing such structures would be good for all future focused organizations (Shekelle et al., 2006). All these considerations coupled with the ever increasing popularity of Information Technology left the institution with no other choice but to go forward with the implementation of the idea, a decision which has to date provided great benefit for the hospital.

System Management and Stakeholder's Input in the Implementation

The mere existence of the system within an organization doesn't qualify for its absolute efficiency (Shekelle et al., 2006). Because of this, various professionals are required to ensure the functionality of the system besides working with it to achieve the goals established within the organization. Management of the Information Technology System within this organization has been significant in ensuring the efficiency and productivity of this. Much of this management role has been assigned to the hospitals Systems Administrator together with his team. Among the roles played by this team include; the introduction and integration of the system into the hospital environment, addition, removal and providing updates for user accounts, undertaking regular analysis of the system and finding out possible problems with the system and maintaining the systems network (Cummings, 2006). Other roles include, troubleshooting the system, performance tuning, provision of answers to system-based queries, facilitating system security, system documentation and conducting performance audit (Fischer, 2000).

Also of significance is the input of the various stakeholders in the development of the system. Close to all sections of the hospitals stakeholders provided resources necessary for the development of the system. The staff and some end users instigated the birth of the idea after voicing their concerns over the inefficiencies posed by the manual system of administration. The hospitals management, the government and other Non-Governmental organizations facilitated research studies on the need and possibility of implementing the Information Technology System within the health care facility. The same group also served to mobilize funds and other necessary resources for the commencement and continuity of the project once it was given a go ahead. With respect to research, the end users served widely in providing information to the field researchers who sourced ideas from them. The end users provided much…

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