Case Study: Implementing Information Technology In Healthcare

Introduction

Delivery of health care should be efficiently done in all health care facilities. Such a delivery can only be made possible if Information Technology is introduced in these facilities. Many facilities are warming up to the idea of implementing technology in their centers though the process is practically low in many centers.

This has been attributed to application of the process and under what circumstances and settings. This paper will therefore analyze a case study that help the reader understand the need of introduction and management of an efficient Information Technology transition process.

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Case Study: Thedacare Health Care Center

Located in Northeast Wisconsin, Thedacare is one of the leading health care providers in the region. With more than 5,000 employees based in their different sites, the center serves more than 200,000 patients on a monthly basis. The center is busy at all times throughout all its branches.

It is comprised of four hospitals situated in different areas namely the Appleton, Theda Clark, London Family health center and the Riverside care center. It further has a physician wing with more than 120 physicians based in the area branches and a customer care call center that operate on a 24 hour base with an aim of attending to urgent medical calls.

It also has provisions for laboratories, the orthopedics plus and other small branches that take into considerations unique cases of patients. The mission of Thedacare is to provide and deliver valuable and efficient health care services to the patients. It is for this reason that it got actively involved in an improvement initiative to promote the service delivery.

The initiative, Thedacare Improvement System (TIS), saw the center engage itself in lean manufacturing concepts and principles. The initiative has been a success leading to Thedacare’s drastic reduction in its blemishes hence recording an improvement in their patient’s results.

Transition Fundamentals Of Information Technology In Thedacare Transformation

Thedacare initiative project is an indication of its effort to integrate the Information Technology system. Why is this important in such an institution? With more than 5,000 employees at the center to take care of a large number of patients, service delivery should be fast and efficient to the satisfaction of the patients.

Patient’s records needs to be stored in a systematic manner for easy retrieval and update of information. In addition, it becomes easy for such a large institution to address the problems from all the providers affiliated with the center through an integrated delivery system.

This ensures that any problem that arises is not ignored and that it can be solved at any department within the center. The process helps to ease confusion by both the employees and patients. A report released by Institute of Medicine claimed that 4 out of 10 patients died annually in hospitals due to medical errors. This is especially in large hospitals such as Thedacare.

For the transition process to be successful, Thedacare will need to adopt the transition tools to aid in the process (Ball, Weaver and Kiel, 2010). They include goal establishment, business analysis, process evaluation and a plan. This is critical as a wrong analysis or plan can frustrate the process. Thedacare will also need to set up a central structure to control the transition project.

The Managerial Roles In The Transition Process

During the transition process, everybody is deemed to be affected by the change and therefore the management should be at the forefront to guide the employees (Ronen, Pliskin and Pass, 2006).

Each managerial person has a role to play to ensure success of the transition. Health care center is a sensitive area especially when a change is being incorporated. With the large population in Thedacare, it is important to analyze the roles of CEO, CIO and Nursing Administrator during this process.

Role Of Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

The CEO in Thedacare will have a significant role to play during the entire process of transition. This pose to be a challenging task as it lies outside his area of expertise. However, she has a big role to play as the disseminator and allocator of required resources. She approves the amount of money to be invested in the project hereby placing the health center on the competitive edge.

Role Of Chief Information Officers (CIO)

The biggest role of the CIO is to ensure that the transition process is smooth and that it encompasses all the departments in the health center. She works hand in hand with the CEO to help set a budget for the project and ensure that the project promotes communication within the center.

Role of Nursing Administrator

The main role of the nurse administrator is to act as a liaison between the management level and the subordinates in the health center. It is her duty to keep the subordinates on toes during the entire process of transition and ensure that they work normally. The continuity is as a result of gradual transformation to the new system being integrated in the center.

Importance of Information Technology Transition For Learning Assessment

Lack of Information Technology in health care can lead to low service delivery to patients. It is therefore important to implement the service in health care. It is also important that the management involve itself in the process as failure to do so can lead to a standstill in the operations. Information Technology success is driven by the ability to ensure quality and efficient delivery of services.

However, the process is hindered by certain barriers such as set-up costs and the complexity of the process which can lead to major setbacks such as cultural changes in the health care facility. Health care market is making considerable effort to integrate Information Technology in its communication strategies, record keeping and payment policies (Chan, 2003). However, this is a weak area that most people fail to address. Information Technology is known to leak information to unauthorized persons.

This will weaken the credibility of the center if certain information of a patient reaches somebody else not authorized to have it. This is a major weakness that most scholars fail to understand. What happens to the role of CIO as his work is taken over by the system? This is also another area not addressed to the point (Bali and Dwivedi, 2007).

Adaptation Of Transitional Tools

As a program director, the transition tools should be adopted to enhance the learning process. The managerial role should be more emphasized with the CEO’s and nursing administrator being trained the basics concerning the Information Technology. The tools also need to involve the transformation process more comprehensively.

Conclusion

It is important for any health care provider to deliver quality services to the satisfaction of the patient. Not only does it save lives but the physician is also enabled to work at a faster pace that he usually does. It is therefore necessary for technology to be introduced and managed in a health care facility.

Reference List

Bali, R.K., and Dwivedi, A.N. (2007). Healthcare Knowledge Management Issues, Advances and Successes. USA: Barnes and Noble Publishers.

Ball,M., Weaver, C., and Kiel, J. (2010). Healthcare Information Management Systems: Cases, Strategies and Solutions. New York: Springer.

Chan, A. (2003). Medical Technology Management Practice. USA: Barnes and Noble Publishers.

Ronen, B., Pliskin, J., and Pass, S. (2006). Focussed Operations Management for Health Services Organizations. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.