Health Care Information Systems Briefing
With the current advances in technology, most organizations are exploring ways through which technology can enhance their operations. The use of different information systems is one of the major ways that organizations can benefit from information technology. Through these systems, organizational operations are made easier. The health care sector is also set to benefit in numerous ways from information systems. The significance of information system in health care arises from the need to automate record keeping and financial systems such that employees can easily access this information whenever need arises. However, the selection and acquisition of a health care information system usually takes time and resources in order to be successful. Additionally, there are different phases in this process, which require the involvement of all stakeholders.
The first phase in the acquisition of any management information system is the definition of the problem and why the information system is needed. In this process, a project proposal is drafted to incorporate all the needs of the health care organization in relation to information systems (Wager, et al, 2005). Additionally, the drafters of the proposal must explain how the organization has been operating without an information system and what change its acquisition will bring. This process involves board meetings to decide whether the organization has the ability to acquire the information system. Upon agreement, the design team is given the power to go into the second phase of operations.
The second phase involves collecting information on different systems that may be applicable for the organization. Systems that have been implemented successfully by other health care organizations are helpful in this phase (Wager, et al., 2009). This process takes into account the short-term and long-term goals of the organization and how the information system will enhance the achievement of these goals. The senior management in the organization is actively involved in this process as they provide the financial and strategic resources for the project. Additionally, this phase involves an overall analysis of staff and equipment requirements that will need to be met upon implementation of the system. During this phase, the organization must come up with objectives that are both specific and achievable. Underestimates usually result in incomplete projects. The completion of this phase is only realized after the proposal has been passed and the actual selection and acquisition process begins.
The next phase involves drafting a request for proposal paper, which will be sent to different vendors for analysis. The request for proposal must be accurate in the definition of what the organization needs (Wager, et al., 2005). The reason for this is that information systems are highly customized and it is advisable to have a system that perfectly fits the organizational needs. In this phase, the management team in charge of the project has the responsibility of selecting different vendors, to whom the requests for proposal papers are sent. It is expected that the organization have a collection of different vendor profiles to choose from.
The fourth phase is very crucial to the success of this project. It involves developing a suitable criterion through which the organization chooses an appropriate vendor. After the organization has received replies from vendors, it is time to choose one who will sell and facilitate the implementation of the system for the organization (Gortzis, 2010). In this perspective, the organization must form a diverse team of experts to analyze the responses given by vendors. This group of experts may be comprised of executives from the organization and other experts from independent organizations. This will help them form an unbiased opinion on each of the vendors. The people chosen to join this team must have a deep understanding of health care information systems and should have prior experience in their selection. The phase is completed when the evaluation team is formulated and they begin the process of evaluation.
The final phase involves interviewing shortlisted vendors for a better understanding of their products. Additionally, the vendors must perform an actual demonstration of how their systems work and how they are fitted for the organization (Wager, et al., 2009). The evaluation team then selects the system best suited for the organization and presents it to the management for approval. After it is approved, financial dues are met and the vendor starts installation and implementation of the system.
The role of different stakeholders in the selection and acquisition of this health care information system is very crucial. In fact, decisions about the project must involve the stakes of all stakeholders. First, the stockholders play a major role in deciding whether the organization has the financial power to support this project (Wager, et al., 2005). As seen above, the validity of this project can only be approved by board members who largely represent the stockholders. Additionally, they have the power to revoke any project if it does not fit the organization’s needs. Secondly, the employees as stakeholders have a major role to play in the selection and acquisition of an information system. The senior management plays the role of supervising and facilitating the formation of various teams for this project. Additionally, the design team is usually comprised of employees and they play the role of creating a proposal that is appropriate for the organization. Additionally, it is important for employees to be equipped with the necessary skills for operating the system. Their cooperation in the process of design and implementation is crucial for its success. Customers also have a role to play as they provide important feedback on the efficiency of the system. Additionally, all the operations of the named stakeholders must be in line with the organizations’ goals and objectives. With this in mind, an organization will successfully select and acquire a suitable health care information system.
Gortzis, L. G. (2010). Selecting healthcare information systems provided by third-party vendors: a mind map beyond the manuals. Information Health and Social Care, 35 (1), 1-9.
Wager, K. A., Lee, F. W., & Glaser, J. P (2005). Managing health care information systems: A practical approach for health care executives. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Wager, K. A., Lee, F. W., & Glaser, J. P. (2009). Health Care Information Systems: A Practical Approach for Health Care Management. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.