Making a More Efficient Hospital Research Essay Assignment Paper

Making a More Efficient Hospital Research Essay Assignment Paper

Making a More Efficient Hospital Research Essay Assignment Paper

Brief Company Background

The Cleveland Clinic is one of the largest hospitals in the United States and has a long history of patient care. It was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1921 on the basis of Frank J. Weed’s surgical practice. It staff originally included 60 employees, which included four nurses and 14 physicians. The hospital steadily grew over the years with new buildings being purchased and constructed to accommodate more patients and new types of treatments. However, on May 15, 1929, a terrible fire broke out in the hospital, taking 123 lives. The fire began due to the combustion of nitrocellulose x-ray films that were stored in the basement of the building. However, the reason for their ignition was not discovered (“Access anytime anywhere,” 2017). Making a More Efficient Hospital Research Paper

Through the efforts of a philanthropist Samuel Mather and a number of people from the community, the hospital was able to temporarily move to a building next door. The original building was subsequently renovated. Throughout the following decades, the hospital continued to grow, with larger volumes of patients requiring additional buildings and staff. This subsequently grew into a major issue with the organization of health records (“Access anytime anywhere,” 2017).

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Discussion of the Business Problem

Due to the long history of the hospital, it has accumulated a great number of patient records. Historically, the records archive was maintained at a physical location in the hospital, with staff being responsible for its service. It was always a complex system of patient’s medical records divided into various categories. The files are placed in boxes which are then stored on shelves. With growing volume of patients, this system cannot stay reliable for long.

The problem comes from the inefficiency of the current registration process. The hospital still uses physical files as the main type of patient registration, and it creates many problems for the organization. Registration is slow, files can be lost, and they cannot be quickly accessed. This means that patients have to wait for a long time before their treatment can start. People responsible for the registration are often stressed out as a result. Also, the system makes working with files a much harder process than it should be. Although there previous attempts at implementing rudimentary computer systems for patient record management, the effort did not involve the latest technologies and only partially addressed the issue. Making a More Efficient Hospital Research Paper

High-Level Solution

This is not a rare problem in the world of modern medicine. Due to such factors as the phenomenon of defensive medicine, and the boom of medical technology, hospitals all over the United States are starting to deal with more patients than they can accommodate. The difficulty of keeping and managing physical records has become a major issue which the introduction of electronic health record systems is trying to address (King, Patel, Jamoom, & Furukawa, 2013). The systems allow almost instant electronic access to the patient’s health records from any computing device on the network (Nguyen, Bellucci & Nguyen, 2014). I believe that this type of systems can be the perfect solution for this issue. Making a More Efficient Hospital Research Paper

Benefits of Solving the Problem

There are many studies that show that when a hospital creates or updates its patient registration system to use electronic health records, the efficiency of the work quickly rises and improves different aspects of the organization (Lee, 2014). Systems like these improve the speed of patient registration, decrease the level of stress in patients and employees, decreases the waiting time for medical treatment, improves customer service, and reduces the phenomenon of burnout. Also, the hospital would be able to treat more people at a faster pace when paperwork becomes easier to work with. As a bonus benefit, the system can be used as a database of patients where any file would be easily accessed by a doctor or any other person working in the hospital. This would improve efficiency in many hospital operations.

It is likely that the number of patients will continue to grow, and with time the physical archive systems will become inefficient to the point where it cannot be maintained, even if additional people are hired for this task. However, this would not be the case with a system based on electronic health records. Although the initial process of converting physical records into electronic ones will take considerable time and effort, it will make it possible to quickly transfer them in the future. Making a More Efficient Hospital Research Paper

This ability allows the system to receive radical updates without losing access to any of the previously acquired data. It is inevitable that in the future, a new and improved version of the electronic system will be developed and implemented, and this time the process will take much faster due to the electronic nature of the records. Therefore, this solution will not only increase the efficiency of the system, but it will ensure that the system would be able to improve without extraneous issues.

Business or Technical Approach

By analyzing the reasons for the inefficiency, it becomes clear that a mostly technical approach is required for this task. The efficiency is low because of the method that the hospital uses to store information about its patients. It takes too long to register new patients and to retrieve the previously inputted information. The solution lies in the implementation of a powerful information system that would store the information digitally. This solution would involve a range of technological hardware.

Servers would be used to store and access the records. Due to the large size of the network, it would have to be a powerful machine that can send and receive large amounts of data at a fast speed and without a chance of a malfunction that could destroy the database. Another essential type of hardware would be computers. To ensure the highest possible efficiency, computers could include mobile computing devices such as tablets. The business side of the hospital would remain mostly undisturbed. However, some staff and organizational changes would be required to make sure that the system performs reliably. Making a More Efficient Hospital Research Paper

Business Process Changes

Some parts of the business process would have to change after and during the implementation of the system. Electronic health records require the employees to be able to operate computers on a relatively competent level. To ensure this, a temporary coach might need to be hired to teach the staff on how to use the new operating system, software, and hardware. After the current staff becomes familiar with the new work process, they would be able to help new employees acclimatize to the work environment faster. Research shows that such systems do not take an extended amount of time to teach due to the competencies currently required from the hospital staff.

Another business change might lie in the need to open or expand the current IT department of the hospital. A system of this type requires a lot of maintenance to operate without errors. The team would be responsible for servicing the system in case of a malfunction, helping the hospital staff to acclimatize to the new system, updating and expanding the system if necessary, as well as general maintenance of the system. Making a More Efficient Hospital Research Paper

A security specialist might also be required if the currently employed staff member is not able to address the new types of dangers. One of the largest risks and potential points of failure lies in the digital and interconnected nature of electronic systems. Although currently this issue has been given extra attention due to its high priority, there have not been a massive loss of confidential patient records information yet. In the current age of constant danger coming from the internet and malicious software, no one wants to have such valuable information to be accessed without permission, with a full leak being a possible worst case scenario. This should not be permitted, and therefore, the electronic security department would have to be either established or additionally trained to ensure safety (Ben-Assuli, 2015). Making a More Efficient Hospital Research Paper

Technology Used to Augment the Solution

As previously mentioned in the paper, the augmentation of the solution would come from the technological approach. The system would consist of efficiently powerful hardware tailored specifically for the tasks commonly performed in hospitals. These tasks would revolve around patient record management and access. For example, currently, a physician might want to take another look at the x-rays for their current patient, but cannot do it immediately because it would take additional time that they cannot spare. With the new system, this would be possible due to the use of tablets which can provide access to patient records and display them onto a screen (Ben-Assuli, 2015). Making a More Efficient Hospital Research Paper

This type of technology is provided by a large number of companies with the leading five systems being: Cerner PowerChart Ambulatory EHR, EpicCare Ambulatory – Core EMR, Allscripts Professional EHR, NextGen Ambulatory EHR, and athenaClinicals. The vast number of these systems allows for additional choices for the hospital depending on the requirements of its staff. Each system is slightly different and provides various capabilities to its users (“The top 100 EHR companies,” 2017).

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