HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Miami is a certified inpatient facility. It caters for patients recovering from such conditions as stroke, brain and spinal cord injuries, and amputations. Other specializations include neurological, pediatric, and orthopedic care. In spite of the significant technological advancements in the institution, a large portion of the patient and administrative information is still documented through the paper process.
In this paper, the author will propose the appropriate IT system to be adopted by HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Miami to replace paper recording. To this end, the author will highlight the IT software selection process and potential vendors. In addition, the writer will conduct a qualitative return on investment (ROI) analysis, discuss how the system will improve quality, efficiency, and customer service, as well as state the strategies that should be put in place for the successful implementation of the IT system.
The Need for an IT System to Replace the Paper Process
The paper process has for a long time been the main mode of documenting medical records at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Miami. The medical personnel and patients have complained about a number of challenges associated with the procedure. The problems linked to paper recording include missing pieces of patients’ information, wastage of time when looking for files, and security in terms of clients’ privacy (Berkowitz & McCarthy, 2013). The numerous challenges associated with the manual process of data handling highlights the need for the adoption of an IT system by the Rehabilitation Hospital. Consequently, the problems are the needs to be addressed by the proposed technology.
The Proposed IT System
The preferred IT system to replace conventional paper process at the Rehabilitation Hospital is the Electronic Health Records (HER). The system is software-designed to gather and share information from all the parties involved in the provision of care to the patients (Eichenwald, Petterson, & Wapola, 2014). Compared to paper recording processes, EHR helps medical experts to store accurate data regarding their clients. Such information includes demographics, previous and current medication, personal statistics, and immunizations. In addition, EHR systems allow for easy and quick access to stored data.
The Benefits of the Chosen IT System
The selected system will improve HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Miami’s operations in terms of quality, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. In addition, the technology will help the institution to reduce its expenses.
Improved Quality and Efficiency
The adoption of EHR will help the facility to provide high quality care by improving operations coordination. The IT system allows doctors to examine the patients’ full chart (Berkowitz & McCarthy, 2013). As a result, medical practitioners in the facility will have access to accurate information pertaining to their clients. In addition, the EHR will facilitate a smooth switch of patients between the facility and other hospitals in times of emergencies.
Reduction in Expenses
The use of EHR will help the Rehabilitation Hospital to save money by eliminating chart rooms and record clerks (Scarlat, 2012). In addition, the system will reduce the expenses associated with copying, mailing, and faxing of patients’ information.
The technology will improve customer satisfaction in a number of ways. According to Eichenwald et al. (2014), EHR minimizes the risk of repeating medical procedures and tests. As a result, the system improves the safety of care. In addition, the software will help to reduce the identification time once patients are admitted to the facility.
The Selection Process for the Proposed IT System
The selection of IT systems is a critical and costly process. The procedure can be time consuming (Scarlat, 2012). It may be affected by the risks associated with the selection of the wrong computer software. As a result, the hospital will form a team of highly experienced IT experts to help in the selection process.
The selection process will comprise of six key steps. The stages include planning and budgeting, analysis of IT system requirements, vendor research, demos, software decision, and contract negotiation.
System Planning and Budgeting
It is the initial step in the selection process. The phase entails setting up a project team to determine the need for the system. It also involves putting together an estimate budget for the software (Kelley, Brandon, & Docherty, 2011).
IT System Requirement Evaluation
The process entails evaluating all the prerequisites associated with the undertaking (Scarlat, 2012). It also involves the differentiation and prioritization of these prerequisites.
Conducting research on potential vendors is a crucial step in the system selection process (Kulhanek, 2011). The phase will involve evaluation of proposed retailers and reducing the catalog to about three of the best software dealers.
IT System Demos
At this juncture, the shortlisted vendors will be invited to demonstrate their systems. Berkowitz and McCarthy (2013) note that in this phase, managers and IT teams check how the software from each retailer handles the key requirements. In addition, they evaluate the systems in an equal manner.
IT System Decision
The decision will involve reducing the list of vendors to one (Scarlat, 2012). The choice will be based on how the software best meets the needs of HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Miami.
It is the final stage of the selection process. According to Glaser and Salzberg (2011), most agreements are written by software retailers. As a result, it is important for the organization to negotiate the contract to protect its interests and save money before acquiring the chosen system.
Potential Vendors and the Team to Make the Final Selection
The team that will make the final selection and approve the software to replace the paper process will be the Hospital’s top management. However, the decision will be made after consultations with other parties, such as key stakeholders and the IT team. There are various certified health IT vendors in the US (Eichenwald et al., 2014). The potential retailers to provide HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Miami with the needed software will be Epic Systems Corporation, eClinicalWorks LLC, and NextGen Healthcare. The three retailers have extensive experience in the field of healthcare systems.
The vendors will be differentiated on the basis of a number of aspects. The facets include the technological capability of their IT systems, price, and security (Kulhanek, 2011). Other important factors to be taken into consideration in the differentiation process include ease of use and functionality. Based on these criteria, NextGen Healthcare will be selected. It scores highly on all the differentiation elements.
A Qualitative Return on Investment Analysis
Berkowitz and McCarthy (2013) note that the analysis helps to determine the benefits of the chosen technology to the organization. In the case of the proposed HER system, the qualitative ROI will entail assessing such factors as customer satisfaction, productivity, and the efficiency of the system. Based on the extensive research conducted on the software and consideration of key factors required in ROI analysis, the adoption of the technology will be beneficial to the rehabilitation centre. The reason is that the system will improve the efficiency of the organization and save time and money. In addition, the software will enhance customer experience in the hospital.
Strategies that should be put in Place for a Successful Implementation of the System and Barriers to Success
The implementation process of an IT system has far reaching implications on the success of the chosen software (Glaser & Salzberg, 2011). The strategies to be used by HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital will include user training, project communication, and utilization of advice from information technology experts. The strategies will address the various barriers that may affect the success of the system.
Lack of experience among the end user is one of the barriers to the success of the technology. To address this problem, the users will be trained on EHR systems to (Kelley et al., 2011).
The strategy will entail continuous sharing of information related to the proposed technology among the stakeholders (Kulhanek, 2011). As a result, potential opposition to the change will be addressed.
Utilizing Expert Information
Working with IT vendors is vital to the successful implementation of the software (Scarlat, 2012). The stakeholders will provide the hospital with the right information related to the system. Consequently, the risk of system failures will be addressed.
The healthcare sector has undergone significant changes over the years. Technological advancement is one of the major drivers of change. The shift from paper process to electronic recording of information will help HealthSouth Rehabilitation improve its operations. The system will improve service delivery and address the issues currently faced by the medical personnel in relation to the recording of information and handling of patients.
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Eichenwald, S., Petterson, B., & Wapola, J. (2014). Using the electronic health record in the healthcare provider practice. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar.
Glaser, J., & Salzberg, C. (2011). The strategic application of information technology in healthcare organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Kelley, T., Brandon, D., & Docherty, S. (2011). Electronic nursing documentation as a strategy to improve quality of patient care. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 43(2), 154-162.
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