Managing and Evaluating the Success of Healthcare Management Systems
The health information system requires great investment from organizations. In recent years, a whole lot of capital has been invested in health information technology.
People who are in charge of spending on health care information systems know whether the money is well-spent or not.
The question may seem obvious to many in the industry, but it is one that still needs to be asked. All organizations ask the question of whether the value of healthcare information systems is as efficient as it seems to be.
Although the use of applications based on information technology has existed for quite some time now, the question that begs asking is whether they are good enough.
In this article, we take a look at ways you can follow to access a management system in the healthcare industry. We also look at ways to improve efficiency and increase overall results.
Determining Efficiency of Management System
In all honesty, determining a method to assess the performance of a healthcare management system is a challenging act.
Not many companies have figured out a way or a pattern to assess the efficiency and results of implementing an organizational structure based on healthcare management.
The challenge that many organizations face is evaluating information technology. Very limited research focuses on evaluating methods that integrate and automate functions in the name of healthcare management. The challenge lies in quantifying the improvements made by the healthcare information systems.
For example, let’s take the case of the Hospital Information Support System (HISS) in the UK. The program was introduced using a single UK hospital that “cost over 12 million pounds in capital and revenue during development”. The quantified savings in the Radiology and the pharmacy department were 40,000 and 86,000 per annum.
Many in the 80s believed that the impact on patient outcome was a great metric to measure the efficacy of the healthcare management system.
However, the flaw in the process was that consultation took longer using the doctor-medical component, which led to an increase at the expense of the patient-social component.
In view of the considerable expenditure involved with the implementation of the system, experts have now realized that the traditional approach of transferring power from top to bottom is bound to fail.
Local ownership must be promoted to ensure a proper understanding of the benefits of implementing the program.
A sound approach taken by many hospitals and healthcare facilities in Africa involved elements of the society that were stakeholders of the initiative.
The program included the views of the users and what they thought about the product. It also included the possible problems and flaws in the program and the factors that the evaluation should address.
In the orientation study, a total of 250 potential users were interviewed generating 35 questions that should be addressed by the evaluation.
Creation of an Evaluation Framework
The aim of the framework was to incorporate as many ideas as possible to design a program that uses a rigorous technique for the implementation of an effective healthcare system.
The following sub-projects were agreed upon by all stakeholders and have become the recommended framework for evaluating the system.
- Assessing the optimality of training or changing the management
- Assessing the reliability and the credibility of the information integrated using the various sources of network, hardware and software.
- Assessing the performance of project management
- The goal of the evaluation is to assess the improvement of communication between the healthcare facilities and the patient.
- Data protection should also come under scrutiny
- The evaluation will assess the quality of decision making and the utilization of information by the systems
- Ensuring and evaluating whether the administration process is more standardized or efficient
- Assessing the reduction in costs per unit
- Another indicator of improvement in performance is an increase in the revenue collected
- The evaluation should observe whether the information is used for the purpose of research
- The data collected and the information stream should be subject to regular audits and stringent checks.
Going by the changes made and the evaluation process used in the hospital mentioned above, it is easy to take away three key issues.
Firstly, evaluation is a process that needs to be designed at an earlier stage. Rather than delaying the process at a later stage while compromising the development of a robust model, healthcare facilities should look for initial development.
The implementation and the evaluation process should work in complete harmony. Synergizing both the processes will make observing data much easier and will also lead to the development of efficient strategies for countering the problems faced.
Hence to evaluate the implementation of a healthcare information system, organizations should look to modify the time scale to provide a robust design and piloting of the summary.
Secondly, observing many case studies, it is safe to say that ignoring the human element in developing a robust hardware or software mechanism is a risky strategy.
The human element is based on two core strategies, the first is effective training of the end users, and the second is to account for the inconsistency that exists in the healthcare management system.
While the first section of human development is fairly easy to understand, it involves the management instilling an understanding of the values and shared practices. The end user must be aware of the significance of using a well-designed healthcare information system.
The second section is related to a lot of exogenous factors that are not taken into consideration when developing an information system.
Major investments such as healthcare information systems have to be sensitive to changes. An understanding between the commissioners of the system and the implementers needing a change can go a long way in preventing the disruption of the system.
Lastly, the system needs to have an evaluation system that prevents the invalidation of summative components and the generalizability of the results.
Like the implementation of the healthcare information system, the evaluation should also be placed tactfully.
The success of the system depends on a robust evaluation system that is able to provide generic solutions to the prevailing problems.
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