Simulation

Health and Wellness Hospital Network Simulation

The case is a three-phase project to integrate information systems at the Health and Wellness (HEWE) Network for improved productivity and profitability.  Phase 1 integrates the clinical and financial systems.  Phase 2 develops a disaster planning system.  Phase 3 implements a revamped Scheduling System.  Three key stakeholders: CEO Dunn, who wants an efficient and profitable HEWE; VP Wood, who wants HEWE profitable; and CIO Leibermann, who wants a smooth network information system. The organizational requirements (Simulation, 2005a) for Phase 1 are: Redesign the information system for faster and error-free patient processing.  Use new technology to transfer information faster and more efficiently.  Use the new system for better decision-making by providing accurate and timely information.  Use the new system effectively to enhance HEWE’s image.  Comply with market and regulatory requirements as prescribed by Center for Medical Systems (CMS) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations regarding data safety regulations, client confidentiality, and data security.  Train employees to use the system independently and efficiently. Ensure that trained employees are capable of becoming superusers and thus, mentors for new users.  The project budget is $1 million.

My decisions are as follows.  Integrating the Order Entry System, the Pharmacy System, and the Medical Records/Abstracting System meets the budget and, in fact, will be profitable (revenues will be higher than the costs).  These systems, closely linked to the Finance Department, are a source of errors that affect the billing, so linking them will eliminate three error sources.

My  system administration strategy is to manage the administration in-house to protect confidentiality, security, retrieval speed, and costs less to maintain.

My data repository strategy is to aggregate the information into a central database, which costs high initially but will be cost effective later.  This makes it easy to access patient data across the whole network, improves efficiency across the network’s information systems, reduces maintenance costs, increases information access across the network, and simplifies the process of updating data (Amor, 2000).

These decisions meet the goals of stakeholders Dunn (cost-efficiency, eliminate redundancies, and streamlined network), Wood (low cost and downtime, data security and confidentiality), and Leibermann (speed, low cost, and staff support).

Phase 2 (Disaster Planning) requirements as stated in the material (Simulation, 2005b) are: Determine appropriate backup and storage, recovery, and insurance options for disaster management caused by accidents that threaten the system, corrupt data records, leading to loss of profits. Identify vulnerabilities within the organization.  Provide a reasonable amount of protection against downtime and data loss.  Allow time for restoration of equipment, department operations, and services.  Ensure continuity of patient record and delivery of care.  Speed up reporting of diagnostic tests.  Capture charges and support billing and reimbursement claims on time.  Provide a mechanism to capture information for regulatory and accrediting bodies.  Ensure compliance with federal legislation and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Establish backup and restoration procedures for systems, databases, and important files.  Insure losses as a result of disaster.

The best decisions are to choose the Remote Back-up Services Option (low cost, highly secure, and provides authorized personnel easy access to data), Distributed Processing Option (high initial cost but more secure than other options and reduces downtime), and Business Interruption insurance (protects against disaster, the biggest remaining threat, since previous decisions give high levels of security at low cost) will meet the expectations of Dunn who wants to avoid failures in data access, transfer to backup site, downtime, and data integrity which will impact severely on HEWE’s performance (Gagne and Deci, 2005) and Wood whose goal is to prevent disaster, data backup, low insurance costs.

In Phase 3, HEWE wants to implement the Scheduling System smoothly and make sure users know how to use it.  The Parallel strategy is fast, cheaper, and safer.  Having hospital wide or staff development educators is cheap and efficient (Foster and Kaplan, 2000).  This meets the expectations of Dunn (risk-free turnover and no costly mistakes), Wood (cut costs), and Leibermann (system safety, no loss, flexibility, and user involvement).

From this simulation, I learned the importance of looking for the best solution taking into different variables like costs, budgets, relevance of making choices given several alternatives, the importance of data integrity and security, speed of retrieval, the impact of loss of productivity and administrative errors on the bottom line.  I also learned that key stakeholders have different, sometimes conflicting interests, and that I have to balance these needs to come up with the best decision for the company.  This makes the stakeholder approach helpful in solving system problems related to company growth and expansion (Christensen, 1997).

These lessons will be very helpful in making future decisions, especially when you have to make a decision that is acceptable to top management.

References

Amor, D. (2000). The E-business (r)evolution, living and working in an interconnected world. (p. 17).  New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Christensen, C. M. (1997). The Innovator’s Dilemma.  When new technologies cause great firms to fail. (pp. 44-46). Boston: Harvard.

Foster, R., and Kaplan, S. (2001).  Creative Destruction.  Why companies that are built to last underperform the market, and how to successfully transform them.  (pp. 258-260).  New York: Doubleday.

Gagne, M. and Deci, E.L. (2005).  Self-determination theory and work motivation.  Journal of Organizational Behavior.  26, 331-362.

Simulation, University of Phoenix. (2005a).  Phase 1 Organizational Requirements.

Simulation, University of Phoenix. (2005b).  Phase 2 Organizational Requirements.

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