1.1 Background - Problem statement:

A significant part of the operation of any hospital involves the acquisition, management and timely retrieval of great volumes of information. This information typically involves; patient personal information and medical history, staff information, room and ward scheduling, staff scheduling, operating theater scheduling and various facilities waiting lists. All of this information must be managed in an efficient and costwise fashion so that an institution's resources may be effectively utilized.

The City Hospital currently uses a manual system for the management and maintenance of critical information. The current system requires numerous paper forms, with data stores spread throughout the hospital management infrastructure. There is a fair bit of initial training required for staff to become familiar with the paperwork and a fair bit of time is required to physically complete and manage/organize the forms correctly.

A major problem with the current system is that often information [on forms] is incomplete, or does not follow management standards. This requires corrections either at billing time, or worse, after a bill has been rejected by AHC or an insurance company. For these reasons payments are often late (some being delayed by many months). Forms are often lost in transit between departments requiring a comprehensive auditing process to ensure that no vital information is lost.

Multiple copies of the same information exist in the hospital. It is not uncommon for patient information to be updated on some but not all data stores. This lag between the request for a change and the actual change may result in a potentially damaging misinformation of staff.

Finally, staff scheduling for both the wards and the operating rooms is difficult and fraught with errors under the current system. Staff scheduling conflicts are common, causing havoc when a ward is either understaffed or overstaffed. Sometimes, staff with the wrong skills are scheduled, or staff are required to work too many consecutive hours.

It is clear that the present manual system is quite cumbersome and inefficient. While the current system is functional, the hospital's human and capital resources are not being utilized in an efficient fashion.

1.2 Proposed Solution - the Hospital Management System:

The City Hospital has requested that Sirius Software Products design and implement an automated Hospital Management System (HMS) to replace their existing manual, paper based system. The new system is to control the following information; patient information, room availability, staff and operating room schedules, and patient invoices. These services are to be provided in an efficient, cost effective manner, with the goal of reducing the time and resources currently required for such tasks.

The proposed HMS will increase staff productivity and efficiency by:

1.3 Users of the HMS:

Any person on staff at the hospital will be able to use the system. Normally, clerks and admitting nurses will input patient information and print invoices, while administration staff will prepare and enter schedules. Doctors and nurses will also be able to access the information in the HMS. In short, the people involved with implementing the current manual system will be the end users of the HMS.
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Last Modified Jan. 25, 1996 by
Darrell Nash