Efficient medical information systems that incorporate high quality integrated electronic records of patient’s medical history are significant to any hospital in the world today. This term paper investigates the design and development of a medical information system in Lalmba Medical Centre. It examines the deficiencies that currently exist in the system and looks into the reliable ways of remedying the information system. According to the literature herein, the problems start with the inability to obtain all the medical information as regards a patient in entirety and in conjunction with other patients that belong to their family line. In order to provide checks for this clinical inadequacy, the literature dwells at length on the feasibility study and the various technical approaches that should be considered in the process of the systems design and development. Furthermore, the literature defines the basic operational requirements for the new system as well as the maintenance concept for the new system. Finally, the term paper looks at the performance of a functional analysis on the system that leads to the identification of exactly when the design should be performed.
Medical Information System Design
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Background Information Leading to the Design of the System
Lalmba Medical Centre has been awarded a grant by the Walter Reeds Foundation to upgrade their information system devices. This was in recognition that it was taking unnecessarily long to for the Information Department of Lalmba Medical Centre to trace the medical history of their patients especially as relates to the entire family. Gaver, W. W. (1991). This eventuality follows an earlier upgrade of the health facility to serve as the County medical facility rather than the small locality it previously served. The grant also catered for the technical training and induction of the personnel at the Information Department of Lalmba Medical Centre for the next three years. The grant includes the cost of purchasing all the auxiliary devices plus their installation into the existent system device. In this regard, the Hospital Head of Information Department assigned a technical team of business analysts to widely explore and report to her office on the hardware and software requirements as regards the medical system. When this was completed, she carried out an extensive probe to determine the kind of improvements that would meet the functional expectations of the stakeholders of the medical center. Lippoff, O. (2001).
The Misfits and Deficiency of the Current System
Due to constant complains that had been emerging from the Information Department concerning the ease of use of the old system in tracing family medical history, the design and development of the information system particularly targeted the efficiency and usability of the user interfaces to provide a reliable data in a timely manner that will ensure the improvement in the quality of electronic health records in Lalmba Medical Centre. Typically, Electronic
Medical Record is a type of digital format that contains the patient’s individual medical records. These often include the current and past information concerning the patient’s health and the associated medical conditions. It is in light of this that medical authorities in Lalmba Medical centre suggested the upgrade of the medical information systems with particular focus to offering emergency services with notable technical improvements as opposed to purchasing a new device all together. Further, the adverse effects that installing a new device would have on the daily operations of the hospital were put into consideration. Ideally, this would have implied at least five days of no medical operations within the premises of the hospital, something that is the situation of the people’s medical needs cannot afford. Kushniruk, A., Patel, V. , and Cimino, J. (1997).
Functional Requirements for the System
The functional requirements of the new system as proposed by the technical team were to a large extent related to family information as well as individual patient information. This was in acknowledgement of the fact that an ideal medical system needs to keep trace of the relevant information on the parents whose children been previously registered with the Walter Reed Child Unit and are therefore eligible to seek health care services from any other unit of the facility. Gaver, W. W. (1991). The new improvements application must be in a position to determine the name of the head of the household, their physical address, mobile phone number, and the identity and location of their insurance company if they have insurance. It was thus necessary that an attending doctor assigns each family a specific identifier that is only unique to them for ease of identification from the Walter Reeds Child Unit. The identifier would consist of the last 3 letters of the family name plus with a three digit number fixated at the extreme end. For instance, if there were several families bearing the last name Downey, the unique numbers for specific families would be assigned as DOW001, DOW002, and DOW003 in that format. Anderson, J., Fleck F., Garrity, K., and Drake F. (2001).
Conversely, the new system was to bear the individual information of the patients who had processed their registration with the Walter Reed Child Unit. In this case, the need for the doctor to identify the individual patients by name was given specific emphasis by assigning a peculiar medical record number to each patient. In order to achieve this peculiarity, a simple algorithm was applied to come up with these numbers. Anderson, J., Fleck F., Garrity, K., and Drake F. (2001). For instance, the number obtained would of consist three different part; the initial four letters of the patient’s last name, the second letter in the patient’s first name and two digits uniquely generated by the system. For example, the name of a David McLure with five kids named David would appear as follows: MCLUA20, MCLUA21, MCLUA22, MCLUA23, and MCLUA24. Wickens, C.D. (1992).
The maintenance concept for the new system was to include regular checks by a technical team of engineers to access the system within the first three months and thereafter at intervals of six months. To this end, a critical Total Productive Maintenance threshold was agreed to involve offering basic training to every person with access to the Information Department. As a matter of fact, a special emphasis was to be put on the machine operator who would be trained to carry out simple maintenance tasks as well as fault finding. This was in a special recognition and indeed in line with the recommendation of the technical team that most constant check-ups were necessary to avoid total damages resulting from accumulation of small defaults within the system.
The functional analyses carried on the system and the implications on the day to day operations within the hospital found that the said system modification was to start on a Thursday when the number of patients visiting the hospital had started to decline. The process was then to run through the weekend and eventually reach a completion on a Monday morning before majority of the patients started streaming in from different regions of the County.
Concerning the subsequent maintenance operations, the corrective measures were to wait till the weekend to be effected so as to avoid unnecessary disturbances to patients seeking medical attention, especially the noise that would result from these operations. This would effectively be after adequate identification of the specific resource requirements of inputs and outputs by the technical team assigned to the system. Further, the team was to install equipment that was to monitor the accuracy and efficiency of the new system especially as regard the traceability of family records. This was to the effect of assuring a working supportability analysis on the system. Weidenbeck, S. (1999).
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