Differentiating the Organizational & Operational Benefits of the Following Software Applications: Patient Care, Administrative, Strategic Decision Support, and Managed Health
Executive summaryThere is a believe that utilization of technology in health centers will lead to significant healthcare savings, less medical errors, and improved health that will transform the world healthcare systems. With all these benefits, the adoption of health information technology is still slow with developing countries lagging behind that make them record high death rates. The computer-based applications have found great use in healthcare due to their implications, and benefits they bring into the health sector. Most healthcare centers all over the world make use of health information technology in carrying out their daily operations. There are a number of software applications that have been designed by technology experts that have different benefits in organizations and operations. The most common applications that will be discussed are; Patient Care, Administrative, Strategic Decision Support, and Managed Health.
This discussion gives an analysis of these applications stating its functions and differences in organizational and operational benefits it possess. Moreover, a positioning statement is provided that clearly indicates the writer’s position towards the issues of technology in healthcare centers. The positioning statement is then supported with providing the prevailing barriers, available stakeholders, and facilitating factors that inhibit achievement of that position. Finally, the concluding remarks are made giving the reader the future direction to follow in healthcare system regarding technology. The discussion below will enable a reader develop a positive attitude towards utilizing technology not only in health organizations but also other sectors. In addition, people planning to visit healthcare centers will be in a better position to determine the type of services they should seek since the discussed benefits guides a person into characteristics of most appropriate healthcare center.
Table of Contents
TOC o “1-3” h z u Executive summary PAGEREF _Toc331974761 h 2Introduction PAGEREF _Toc331974762 h 4Differences between organizational and operational differences of these software applications PAGEREF _Toc331974763 h 5Patient care PAGEREF _Toc331974764 h 5Administrative PAGEREF _Toc331974765 h 7Strategic Decision Support PAGEREF _Toc331974766 h 9Managed Health PAGEREF _Toc331974767 h 11Positioning statement PAGEREF _Toc331974768 h 13Supporting information for positioning statement PAGEREF _Toc331974769 h 13Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc331974770 h 16References PAGEREF _Toc331974771 h 18
IntroductionHealth information system makes use of the data required in the improvement and protection of population health by the policy makers, physicians, and health service users. Presence of relevant information on human and health services (HHS) assists the decision makers detect and control the upcoming diseases; the individuals and society have access to health related information; the effective health policies are put in place, and government improvement in mobilizing of new resources and their accountability. There are a number of software applications used in health institutions that assist in offering quality and efficient services to patients. These software applications among others are; Patient Care, Administrative, Strategic Decision Support, and Managed Health. The health management and information system incorporates all the data required by policy makers, stakeholders, and health service users in protecting population health. Almost all nations all over the world are making use of these applications in order to come up with effective and comprehensive systems in their health institutions (Health & Development Information Team, 2005).
The above software applications differ in both organizational and operational benefits they create in a health institution. Various factors determine the effectiveness of these software applications. These determinants include the health risk factors, behaviors, genetics, and environment. Patient care application is responsible for storing patient’s health information in the hospital database that should be produced every time the individual visits the health centre. Administrative application keeps records of the available hospital staff and their professionals to enable quick identification of clinical specialists. Strategic decision support software application takes control of all operations in an organization that include gathering information from other health care centers, developing new programs, and making work schedules for staff members. Finally, the managed health software assists in quality management and maintenance of a health institution. The software is commonly used in management areas requiring keen observant especially the sensitive areas like Intensive Care Units (Shemer, 2010).
Differences between organizational and operational differences of these software applicationsPatient carePatient care provides nurses with access to patient’s information through the use of small handheld computers referred to Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). According to Stolworthy (2003), this new technology has not yet been adopted by many nurses although more than 60 percent of health centers all over the world make use of the application. Health care centers with ability to help their nurses gain knowledge on using PDAs are in a better position to achieve the benefits of efficient patient care, and improved organization quality. The advent of Patient Care application brought about a lot of progress in the health organizations and their operations because of its reliability. Patient Care application has contributed a lot in the health sector whereby doctors can easily access the patient’s health records through a click of a button. Introduction of Patient Care services enables physicians diagnose various diseases comfortably since they just ask questions and input data in the computer after which, they easily do the analysis.
Patient Care software application has many differences on the organization and operations it performs. On the organization bases, the application assists in the improvement of the organization since it enables nurses and doctors to attend to many patients and minimizes delays in hospitals. In addition, organizations that use Patient Care application improve on the health care efficiency, quality of services, safe and reduced cost of operation. Although it is a complex technology, it benefits the organization in transforming nursing care services that enable quick delivery of information to the health data base. On earlier days nurses relied on their senses in determining the type of illness an individual suffers from, and detect any changes in body operations. Patient Care software application has assisted in detecting physical changes in patient’s body. The organizational and operational benefits of the process differ because, it increases on operations, but the organization incurs a lot of cost in training nurses and purchasing the necessary tools for the service (University of Michigan Health systems, 2012).
Critically, the organization benefits from the Patient Care operations but at the same time, a lot of resources are needed in implementing the application. Most health organizations prefer outsourcing experts from well established health centers carry out the operations because they cannot afford its operational costs. However, the introduction of Patient Care technology has proofed to have both improved the health care services, and also brought problems in that some applications have errors leading to false information. In its operation, the application ahs a benefit of minimizing the impact of health center experiencing repeated cases by quickly accessing patient-ready equipments for disease diagnosis. Moreover, Patient Care application operations are of great benefit in reducing challenges to hospital staff through providing proper operational devices thus reducing the need for additional equipment training (Torres, Dutton, & Watson, 2010.
In addition, the Patient Care application reduces redundancies in workplace, enhances quick patient flow, and enhances work flow in organizations. The application benefits the organization in that its operations increase patient, staff, and physician satisfaction through improved quality of services throughout the organization. Even though the organization benefits from quicker and improved services, the operations provided by the application require keen observant and experienced nurses should make use of the PDAs (Torres, Dutton, & Watson, 2010).
Most organizations use strategic administrative systems because they assist in increasing their production operations in order to offer best services to their clients. Strategic issues focus most on the development of an organization in relation to its internal and external environment that affect the organization’s performance. Strategic administrative tools are set of organizational schedules, routines, and processes aimed at perceiving, analyzing, and responding to strategic issues. They help an organization in learning and adapting to the prevailing market conditions in order to achieve better alignment with its environment (Duncan & Weiss 1979). Many health care centers face administrative issues due to poor management and hiring of inexperienced individuals. On the other hand, the stakeholders in any hospital should ensure all the administrative tools are put in place in order to improve the operations in the organization. Administrative software application assists in defining the operations of an organization through improved managerial activities, and increased patient flow.
Administrative application has a lot of benefits to the organization, but differs in many ways to those of its operations. From the research carried out in different health centers, the problems experienced are all related to the administration that made experts develop a tool that could ease the problems. Organizations using the administrative tool find it easier to carry out their health services in convenient and efficient manner. The operations and management of clinical trials has been accelerated by the establishment of the administrative tool in various health centers worldwide. Health centers have undertaken the role of recruiting their staff on information and technology usage in their offices. This approach has led to improved operations and more efficient employees. The management is responsible for monitoring and distribution of duties to the staff, but the application has eased the process since it automatically schedules the organization operations giving the managers humble time to carry out their specific duties.
The implementation of integrated e-commerce and proper supply chain management systems in the health care centers has seen many organizations improve their administration operations that enable them attract patients from different parts of the world. Perfect administration is composed of good cooperation between the organizational staff, stakeholders, and the society. The development of health administrative care information in both medical practitioners and patients benefits the organization to a big extent under different circumstances. In addition, the organization benefits from more development in the field of electronic prescription and other health support systems. The use of administrative software application creates many opportunities in the organization since it leads to significant reduced cost of operation, enhances service delivery, and encourages change of behavior among the medical practitioners and patients (Huston, 2001).
On the operations point of view, the benefits differ from those of organization view in various ways. A critical observation reveals that the administrative application is aimed at improving the operations within an organization. This indicates that whatever the benefit an organization gets, its operations improve automatically. However, this is not the case especially if the operations carried out require more experienced personnel’s. The organization has to experience extra cost in training its staff on the use of certain software applications. Alternatively they hire individuals from outside. This benefit the operations while at the same time is a disadvantage to the organization. Moreover, the administrative tools make operations easier to perform saving time taken by use of manual ways. This benefit differs from the organization in that the implementation of the program leads to loss of employment opportunities as the company cuts off its work force due to introduction of new technology. This creates a bad reputation for the organization although the patient flow increases and operations take place more efficiently (Manyworlds, 2001).
Stakeholders also play a role in defining the organization administrative system. Most organizations consult stakeholders when it comes to making decisions regarding management issues. Leaders should have the capability of integrating organizational behavior practices in carrying out their regular business operations, in order to achieve their specific organizational objectives. In every organization, people have the responsibility of providing leadership, stewardship, and follower-ship. People learn innovations and ideas through adopting new technologies that assist them transform their organizations into greater levels. Understanding the organization environment that composes of employees, patients, stakeholders, and the society are the engine and driver into understanding organizational behavior (Silow-Carrol and Dunchon, 2002).
Strategic Decision SupportThe use of computer-based decision support in the health care centers has received great attention due to the numerous benefits it offers with the application of simulation methods it uses. The European developed software application has received a lot of managerial and heath decision supports although die to its complexity many health care institutions have not yet adopted the program. E-health have created a big impact in many health services offering facilities due to the great access they great for patients in receiving health services. Organizations have seen many benefits that have resulted into improved operations, increased efficiencies. The innovation of ICT in health care units has come up with many applications like strategic decision support that enables managers and stakeholders keep the organization operations at recommended rates. The research conducted by the European people focuses on 3 health information aspects, namely; personal health systems, patients’ safety, and virtual human psychology (European Journal of e-Practice, 2009).
The computer-based modeling and simulation application have been applied in each of the following aspects in order to create a good environment for health care users. Moreover, organization stakeholders have been in the fore front to press the management adapts the computer systems that assist in making good health development strategies. The benefits of the above program and their differences in both an organization and operations are discussed below. First, the organization is saved from the traditional methods of carrying out diagnosis that were time wasting and tiresome. Due to the high demand for the health care in the present fast growing population, people are seeking for better health care practices. The introduction of the strategic decision support application enables the organization carryout outstanding services to the patients and encourages more people to visit the health center. This creates a competitive advantage whereby other health centers come up with more improved services. In so doing, the operational benefits of an organization go down. In terms of operational benefits, the program differs in organization view in that its operations can be used in any other organization apart from the health center.
Secondly, the organization gets an advantage of creating a significant impact on the quality of health service given through having excellent organization structure, quality processes, and good health outcomes. Using the operations benefit application improves health care processes that in return create good patient outcomes. On the other hand, the operational advantage related to the above shows that the system is time consuming and its automation enables all the operations to be carried out at the same time. This benefit also increases patient safety, and improves health care services in all operations carried out. The process assists in eradicating operation errors made by human beings enabling an organization to achieve positive results in a consistence manner. Operationally, the software offers many challenges to clinicians who are not familiar with its use requiring the organization to conduct training sessions for its staff members (Chassin and Galvin, 1998).
Thirdly, a number of factors facilitate the use of strategic decision support due to the benefits the organization acquires from its usage. The technological development accompanied by its implementation puts an organization in a higher position compared to others since it provides faster and reliable technology. Its installation has an economic advantage since the installations can also be used to run other programs there making it cost effective. Moreover, its operation is compatible with different computer applications that make it more reliant and effective in many health centers (Clinical Decisions Support Initiatives, 2009).
Managed HealthIn the recent years, health centers faced the challenge of operational inefficiencies. These in efficiencies resulted from ineffective support and staff scheduling, limited space to treat patients, ancillary service delays, and limited inpatient bed capacities. This challenge of operational inefficiency has resulted in crowding of patients at hospitals with patient flow to the facility being steady. Managed health uses both internal and external best practice to make changes on patient services in health care centers. The managed health software application has presented many benefits both to organizations and operations that use it. This health care technology is the leading in the United States since it enables those with health insurance policies get free health services from recognized health institutions. In addition, the managed health program has many providers that include; Point-of-Service Plans (POS), Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) (Insure me.US, 2012).
Many organization stakeholders in the health sector fail to understand the benefits of incorporating managed health services in hospitals. The agreement between the hospital staff, the stakeholders and the patients leads to development of the managed health program. To the organization the program has a benefit of reducing the costs of health care operations. The main aim of the program is to keep health costs as low as possible whereby every individual can afford. On its operation, the system benefit differ from organization benefits in that employees are in a position to enjoy easier services whereby there is lack of interaction between the patients and employees on issues of payments. Secondly, the program improves the organization communication network enabling employees, stakeholders, and patients to communicate effectively with lo disturbances. Moreover, the patient can request for home-based health care services at no extra cost from the hospital. On the operational basis, the program guarantees patients good health care services by providing them with daily updates in their profiles on any medical activity that takes place. Through this, patient is able to determine his or her medical needs and seek appropriate action from the doctor (PPOs) (Insure me.US, 2012).
The internal best practice involves utilization of knowledge management within the department. In this, communication, channels were open to all staff members and the staff had an equitable contribution to ideas generation. The staff also participates equally in data collection and analysis. This aids in development of individual responsibility from the staff members. The external best practices adopted by the department are innovation. In this, the department adopts the use of technology as a measure of predicting the effectiveness of the changes adopted.
In addition, managed health program assigns a patient to a particular doctor. This assists in reducing confusion in a health organization enabling activities to occur in a managed way. People are given contacts that they should use in case of an emergency. The operations are very effective since the providers named above are in a position to travel in all corners of the state to carry out medical care services. On the other hand, health practitioners can access patients at home and take samples to laboratories for observation while in their perfect state and order. Managed Health software application has been managing many organizations and as the years pass by, different innovations are coming up to improve it.
Positioning statement Following the above analysis, it is recommended that all those associated with a particular health care center should implement health information services and ensure they run accordingly.
Supporting information for positioning statementIt is important for all health centers need to adopt these software applications since they have shown great benefits in the way they operate. The growing recognition on the utilization of health information systems in hospitals has the great potential of improving health care quality, increase efficiency and also reduce costs of operation. These include the health practitioners, stakeholders, and patients. While implementing health information services, several obstacles are faced and managers should look for ways of eliminating them. First, implementing e-health technology services faces insufficient knowledge from users who always make errors while using health software applications. On the other hand, the technologies being utilized have not been proved to have good outcomes to patients. These obstacles are very common in many organizations. Health institutions in collaboration with the government are seeking for ways and means of eliminating these obstacles because there is high-rate of life loss among individuals due to lack of proper health facilities.
On the first issue, most hospital staff lacks the necessary knowhow on using these equipments. Some hospitals are forced to outsource external employees to use their equipments since they cannot afford to pay hired permanent employees. On the other hand, some software applications have very complicated designs that users find difficult to use. For instance, Patient Care application faced some drawbacks since many nurses were not used to the PDAs. It was later realized that training these nurses would be very appropriate. Eventually they learned how to use it, and even educated their colleagues. Still on the issues of difficulties in adopting the new technology some organization stakeholders who are stuck to the old manual methods find it difficult implementing the new technologies. Strategic Decision Support Program is very essential in enabling such individuals understand the need for having modern organization strategies in the health care centers.
The most important facilitating factor that ensures these obstacles are absent involves having a software design that is not very complex and whose cost is affordable by even small and medium sized health care centers. Design flaws affect the efficiency of a software application, which eventually reduce its reliability and ability to produce quality services to stakeholders, patients, and hospital staff. Some health care facilities ignore minor problems that eventually lead to a great loss of property and patients run away (Podolsky, Greene, & Jones, 2012). From research done by Podolsky, Greene, and Jones (2012), if a hospital has to emerge in the current environment they must adopt the most recent technology whereby patients will be fully satisfied by their services and operations. In addition, the hospital stakeholders should encourage staff to undergo Information and Communication Technology training so that they do not face difficulties in using some applications present in the health information systems.
The second factor that minimizes the utilization of health information systems is that some applications are not patient friendly. The condition of e-Health technologies being unproved is very serious since they can affect the individual’s health. The situation is still being researched since people have not yet come with clear evidence showing the risks associated with using some of the applications mentioned above. However, the situation leaves clinicians and the government policies in a dilemma on whether to utilize a certain technology, or use the manual means. From the position statement, health care institutions are encouraged to make use of technology in all their operations since it has a lot of benefits. A research on the review of health system technologies revealed that about 80 percent of technologies were unproven with only 20 percent proved to be commercially developed. This indicates that the health information systems are of great risk to an institution. In order to avoid such situations, the organization should ensure they get their technology systems from authorized dealers (Chaudhry, 2006).
Some factors have led to many people adopting health care information systems. First, developing countries lag behind in technology especially in their health centers. This makes them record high death rates as patients lack the necessary equipments to take care of their problems. There are many cases of people dying while on their way to developed countries to undergo certain treatment because they lack the necessary facility in the home country. Improving health care services in developing countries through the use of health information systems has received a lot of attention. Partnering with other countries has assisted many locals gain experience and realizes a better perspective on how to succeed in a health organization. Moreover, the World Health Assembly (2005) realized that the only way of achieving cost-effective and appropriate use of technology in health centers is through utilizing e-health system.
ConclusionUtilizing technology has an aim of making work easier and saving time in undertaking various operations. Software manufacturers are very competent in producing applications that have the same sense like human beings, and that are more precise and efficient. People attending the health centers where these facilities are used should have confident that they will discover their problems and solve them in a convenient manner. For example, Managed Health software application keeps medical records therefore saving people the cost of reproducing their information every time they visit a hospital. It is good to support technology in the health sector since the increase growth in technology and globalization leaves no chance for manual methods of carrying out operations (Austin & Boxerman, 2003).
On the other hand, there has not been a universally acceptable approach that describes how health information solutions should be utilized. This trend should increase to a greater level in future because of the increased number of users who apply health information services. Moreover, the current population composes of people familiar with computer technologies, which makes adoption easier and less costly. On the other hand, developing countries should start evaluating health information initiatives in order to teach people on how to utilize these applications because it is for their own benefits. As seen from the four discussed software applications, the differences between the organization and operation benefits are almost related. In addition, the benefits are related because when the organization gains its operations also improve.
The future direction of health care centers is promising and this shows how organizations have improved in providing quality health care services through the use of technology. Many organizations have already finished the approach while others are still implementing their projects. Those organizations that have not yet developed into e-health systems should follow the suit in order to have a developed and healthy nation in the future. Both public and private health institutions should utilize health information systems in all their operations in order to create a perfect competition and save more lives.
ReferencesAustin & Boxerman. (2003). Information Systems for Health Care Management. The seventh
edition. Chapter Eight. Chicago: Health Administration Press. pp. 206-215
Chassin, M. R, Galvin, R. W. (1998). The urgent need to improve health care quality. Institute of
Medicine National Roundtable on Health Care Quality. JAMA , 280(11)
Chaudhry, B. et al. (2006). Systematic review: impact of health information technology on
Quality, Efficiency, and Costs of medical care. Ann Intern Med. 144(10), pp. 742-752
Clinical decision support initiative. (2009). Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Duncan, R. B. & Weiss, A. (1979). Organizational Learning. Implications for Organizational
Design: In B Staw (Ed), Research in Organizational Behavior. Green which, CAT: JAI
Press. (1), pp. 75-124
European Journal of ePractice. (2009). Decision Support Systems in Health Care: towards a
Simulated Health System. Retrieved from:
http://www.epractice.eu/files/European%20Journal%20epractice%20Volume%208.5.pdfHealth & Development Information Team. (2005). Health Management Information Systems.
DFID Health Resource Centre. Retrieved from:
http://www.who.int/healthmetrics/library/issue_1_05apr.docHuston, G. (2001). The Changing Structure of the Internet, presentation to APEC Tel 23,
Canberra, March 2001.
Insureme.US. (2012). Advantages and Disadvantages of Managed Health Care. Retrieved from:http://insureme.us/advantages-disadvantages-managed-health-care/Manyworlds. (2001). Tracking the Emerging Technologies and Trends: Taking Advantage of
Technological Acceleration, Houton: Texas, p. 6. Retrieved from:
Podolsky, S., Greene, J., & Jones, D. (2012). The Evolving Roles of the Medical Journal. N Engl J Med,366(16), 1457-1461.
Shemer, J. (2010). Health Information Management systems in Modern Health Care. Retrieved from:
http://www.worldofhealthit.org/sessionhandouts/documents/PL9-2-Shemer.pdfSilow-Carroll, S. and Dunchon, L. (2002). E-health Options for Business: Evaluating the Choices. Retrieved from:
http://www.thecommonwealthfund.com/~/media/Files/Publications/Fund%20Report/2002/Mar/E%20health%20Options%20for%20Business%20%20Evaluating%20the%20Choices/silowcarroll_ehealth_508%20pdf.pdfStolworthy, Y. (2003). RNs are mobilizing. Retrieved from:
http://www.pdacortex.com/RNs_are_Mobilizing.htmTorres, L. S., Dutton, A. G., & Watson, T. (2010). Patient care in imaging technology (7th ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams &