Healthcare Information Systems

Automation from a Personal Perspective

Information systems have revolutionized the workings of healthcare professionals. A few years ago, before computing took over, paperwork was the only way to record, retain, communicate, and reference information, which was bulky. Clients had to book appointments days ahead to ensure that the hospital clerk or the person tasked with information processing has passed through of the large volume of data files, and produce the right document for the specific client, which  would then be availed to the doctor for studying before the patient got in to see the physician. Ever since, automated information systems have replaced the manual systems, allowing healthcare providers with real-time access to patient records.

The implementation of new systems has not come without challenges. For instance, ERP systems pose a challenge of learning, especially to the old members of staff. These members will have to learn these systems and ensure that they understand the system requirements and the way they work.  Notably,  it is apparent that a new information system is more likely to face significant resistance from healthcare professionals. However, if this is overcome, it is possible to increase productivity over the sustained use of information systems as evaluated by Cresswell & Sheikh (2013). Additionally, despite the criticism that information systems lead to layoffs, the systems also lead to improved productivity and service delivery even from the clients’ point of view.

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Challenges of Information Systems in Healthcare

As noted, information systems in healthcare pose multiple challenges as highlighted by Kudyda (2016) on pages 195 and 196. For instance, the challenge of the ever-changing and advancing knowledge base in healthcare is highly prevalent depending on how scientists and involved stakeholders generate new knowledge. The funding problem is also another problem. Governments, whether state or federal, budget once every year and as such, if the problem of underfunding is experienced on a particular year, it remains the same until the following year when the budgeting activity is repeated. Conflicting standards and regulations from local, national, and international stakeholders is mostly a one-off problem that is mostly solved in seminars and meetings of such stakeholders who address the problems as they arise. The frequency and modalities set to address problems arising from inconsistencies in standards and regulations on local, national, and international arena might prove to be elusive especially if the bodies involved at all the three levels are not operating on the same frequency, which can, in turn, become a challenge.

The challenges that Kudyda (2016) failed to note are in-house. These challenges include the acceptability of information systems in an organization. It is easy to say that information systems will be developed, deployed, and consequently be used to bring positive change with a complete disregard of users of the information systems in the organization. Users can easily develop a resistance to information systems, which can easily erode the efficacy of these systems even before they are used for the first time. For instance, those who feel that information systems will take their jobs are bound to resist the move so that they can remain relevant in the organization. The other challenge is that of shifting from the ordinary systems to improved information systems. For example, information from a manual system to an automated one would take a considerable amount of time with possibilities of making critical errors. The other challenge that information systems present is the security of data. If there is a breach of data, hospitals can be faced with significant lawsuits and loss of trust from patients.

Analysis of Case Studies

The case studies have presented a well-analyzed case from Trinity Health. Each of the case studies has provided a piece of a journey towards the realization of functional information systems. The case studies are reliable and present issues, which are solid and backed by real-life methods and analysis. In the first case study, customer relationship management (CRM) has been assessed with physicians in mind. The case study found out that through the involvement of a physician in the system called the Physician Profiling System (PPS), the hospital incurred a bill of $163,000 against a return of $1.42 million in savings. This case study is reliable because it presents hard data in terms of Cost-Benefit Assessment. 

In the second case study, it was found that by using an Integrated Information Shared Services Intranet, hospitals were able to compare their performance before they released their information to the public for scrutiny by government agencies. The intervention resulted in higher performance, which was sparked by conversations around performance improvement strategies among the involved hospitals. The discussions led to the development of action plans and improvement strategies. 

The third case study is an example of a value-added application, which eases the work of a medical professional. The case studies present multiple lessons. To begin with, costs are intricate elements that every hospital or healthcare provider must deal with every day. Costs have proved to be critical inhibitors to quality healthcare. As such, the Physician Profiling System has proved to be a significant method that can be used to save on costs. In an article by Nickerson & Rutledge (1999), it was evident that the PPS system is sufficient to cover two aspects of quality and costs. The second case study presents the need for hospitals to have significant integrated information systems even with other independent hospitals for cross-referencing, since it makes it easy, as well as standardizing information from different quotas. Through competition of the different independent entities, it is easy to retain high levels of morale and in return, boost the morale of healthcare providers who will get challenged by the better-performing colleagues as evaluated by Gasparas & Monteiro (2018). Lastly, the last case study has hinted out the importance of leveraging an ADE alert system and the deployment of value-added information system applications. The third case study underpins the relevance of applicability and extrapolation of knowledge gained while interacting with information systems. Practitioners in the medical field need to be in a constant pursuit of how a given element of an information system can be applied in an area of the medical field and yield substantial results. 


Cresswell, K., & Sheikh, A. (2013). Organizational issues in the implementation and adoption of health information technology innovations: an interpretative review. International journal of medical informatics, 82(5), e73-e86.

Gasparas, J., & Monteiro, E. (2018). Cross-contextual use of integrated information systems. arXiv preprint arXiv:1803.04183.

Kudyda, S. P. (2016). Improving Efficiency through Technology, Analytics, and Management, CRC Press (Taylor & Francis), Boca Raton, FL. ISBN-13: 978-1498746359

Nickerson, C., & Rutledge, R. W. (1999). A methodology for choosing a physician profiling system: the case of First Option Health Plan. Journal of health care finance, 26(2), 5-13.

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