Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website!
Question 1 : In the 21st century, information technology has emerged as the fundamental technology of business. Explain how it has helped business and state examples of real time situation which you have read about of experienced.
Decision Support, Problem Analysis and Overall Control
Business managers often need to make decisions that can affect the business’ fortunes one way or other. For example, a company with sales outlets or distributors spread over a wide geographic area might want to optimize the logistical operations of delivering merchandise to the outlets. The best solution might be affected by numerous factors such as demand patterns, availability of merchandise, distances involved and the option of using external carriers (who can find two way loads and might prove a lesser cost option over long distances) instead of own vehicles. While it might be possible to use complex mathematical formulas by hand to compute the best solution, computers transform the whole process into a routine task of feeding certain information as input and obtaining suggestions for best solutions as output.
The task can typically be done in a few minutes (instead of hours or even days) and it becomes possible to examine several alternatives before deciding upon one that seems most realistic. Identifying problems and analysing the factors that cause them also has been transformed by modern computer information systems. In a typical MIS environment, standard reports are generated in a routine manner comparing actual performance against original estimates. The software that generates the report can be instructed to highlight exceptions, i.e. significant variations between original estimates and actual performance. Managers will thus become aware of problem areas in the daily course of their work simply by looking at the reports they receive, without having to do detailed data collection and computations themselves. Identifying the factors responsible for the problem can also be routinized to some extent by using such tools as variance analysis.
Variance analysis is an element of standard costing system that splits deviations from estimates (or standards) into causative factors such as increase in price of materials used, excessive usage of materials, unexpected machine downtimes, etc. With such a detailed report, managers can delve deeper into the problem factor, such as why there was excessive usage of materials. Control is also exercised through variance analysis. Budgets are prepared for all business operations by concerned managers working in a coordinated fashion. For example, estimated sales volumes will determine the levels of production; production levels will determine raw material purchases; and so on. With good information system management, it then becomes possible to generate timely reports comparing actual sales, production, raw material deliveries, etc against estimated levels.
The reports will help managers to keep a watch on things and take corrective action quickly. For example, the production manager will become aware of falling sales (or rising sales) of particular products and can prepare to make adjustments in production schedules, and purchasing and inventory managers will become quickly aware of any mounting inventories of unused materials. MIS thus enhances the quality of communication all around and can significantly improve the effectiveness of operations control.
Effective MIS Involves Humans and Computers Working together The major aspect to note is that MIS provides only the information; it is the responsibility of concerned managers to act on the information. It is the synergy between efficient, accurate and speedy equipment and humans with common sense, intelligence and judgment that really gives power to MIS. As a chartered accountant with business management qualifications and decades of exposure to business in senior to top level positions, Gopinathan helps small to medium businesses with new business start-up, business performance improvement and marketing. He uses structured business modelling techniques to help with all these, and has launched a business support website to provide the help in a convenient manner irrespective of geographical distances and boundaries.
Information technology has grown to permeate the business world, affecting how companies make and market their products, as well as how people communicate and accomplish their jobs in modern organizations. Specialized software shapes best-practices and industry standards, continually changing the face of business in almost every way. Information technology management includes many of the basic functions of management, such as staffing, organizing, budgeting and control, but it also has functions that are unique to IT, such as software development, change management, network planning and tech support. Generally, IT is used by organizations to support and compliment their business operations. The advantages brought about by having a dedicated IT department are too great for most organizations to pass up. Some organizations actually use IT as the centre of their business.
Positive Impact on Business:
First off, I.T. affects how businesses go about with their usual routine. For instance: the technology allows companies to go paperless, depending only on digital databases to store important data. Many pundits see this as a risk; isn’t digital data flimsy and unreliable, they ask. But the shift offers several benefits as well—including reduction in operational cost, since the business no longer has to buy or rent space or equipment just to store data. Information Technology also affects the accuracy of business operations. When a company uses a computerized accounting system instead of relying on a real live accountant, they eliminate (or, at the very least, significantly reduce) human error. And because such systems allow for faster operations, the company’s workers can concentrate on more pressing tasks.
The impact of the Management Information System
The impact of MIS on the functions is in its management. With a good MIS support, the management of marketing, finance, production and personnel becomes more efficient, the tracking and monitoring the functional targets becomes easy. The functional managers are informed about the progress, achievements and shortfalls in the activity and the targets. The manager is kept alert by providing certain information indicating the probable trends in the various aspects of business. This helps in forecasting and long-term perspective planning. The manager” attention is brought to a situation which is exceptional in nature, inducing him to take an action or a decision in the matter. A disciplined information reporting system creates a structured database and a knowledge base for all the people in the organization. The information is available in such a form that it can be used straight away or by blending and analysis, saving the manager’s valuable time.
The MIS creates another impact in the organization which relates to the understanding of the business itself. The MIS begins with the definition of a data entity and its attributes. It uses a dictionary of data, entity and attributes, respectively, designed for information generation in the organization. Since all the information systems use the dictionary, there is common understanding of terms and terminology in the organization bringing clarity in the communication and a similar understanding of an event in the organization. The MIS calls for a systemization of the business operations for an effective system design. This leads to streamlining of the operations which complicate the system design.
It improves the administration of the business by bringing a discipline in its operations everybody is required to follow and use systems and procedures. This process brings a high degree of professionalism in the business operations. Since the goals and objective of the MIS are the products of business goals and objectives, it helps indirectly to pull the entire organization in one direction towards the corporate goals and objectives by providing the relevant information to the people in the organization. A well designed system with a focus on the manager makes an impact on the managerial efficiency. The fund of information motivates an enlightened manager to use a variety of tools of the management. It helps him to resort to such exercises as experimentation and modelling. The use of computers enables him to use the tools and techniques which are impossible to use manually. The ready-made packages make this task simpler. The impact is on the managerial ability to perform. It improves the decision making ability considerably.
Leveraging advances in communications technology is imperative to surviving in the modern business world. Advances in cellular phone technology have revolutionized the way businesspeople communicate with clients, employees, suppliers and strategic partners. The Internet has revolutionized the marketing function in addition to opening up a wide range of communication options. Modern smartphones are changing the game yet again with the introduction of new and innovative applications. A small business owner can now access a web-based customer relationship management service on a smartphone from anywhere in the world, for example, allowing him to obtain vital data about contacts before making calls.
By making communication more convenient, communication technology has helped to make communication more accessible, especially long-distance communication. Through various computer-mediated communication methods–communication done through the use of a computer, such as email, instant messages, and social networking websites–you can easily and instantly communicate with people in other cities, states and countries. This is vastly different from early forms of long-distance communication. Early forms of long-distance communication included the use of homing pigeons and/or runners to carry a message to its destination. How long a message would take before reaching its destination depended on the distance between the person sending the message and the person receiving the message.
Organizations, like schools and businesses, use electronic communication to share information with a large number of people. Businesses can send mass emails to employees in order to inform workers about things like rule changes and important meetings. Many academic institutions use mass communication in order to maintain a well-informed campus. In case of an emergency, such as a spreading fire or presence of an armed assailant, mass communication can quickly inform people of the situation, giving enough notice to allow people to take the necessary actions to stay safe. Computer-mediated communication can be socially beneficial.
For people who are socially awkward, computer-mediated communication such as online forums and chat rooms can help create a more fulfilling social life. For example, someone who fails at personal relationships because he speaks before thinking about the consequences has more control with Internet communication. He can read back his statements before posting, which will likely reduce the number of awkward moments the person creates. Communication technology offers other benefits, as well. Dating websites, for instance, can relieve some of the frustration involved with dating by allowing you to view the profiles of potential dates so you can determine who is the best match for you. This can save you both time and heartbreak.
While information technology solutions can contribute to the success of your organization, there are a number of unique costs to consider. In addition to the cost of implementing an IT solution, you must employ highly educated and specialized workers to maintain, monitor, expand and repair your IT infrastructure.
Question 4 : The role of hospital has changed from medical assistance to health care. What are the important information systems required to be considered while implementing front-end application development for hospital management?
HOSPITAL INFORMATION SYSTEM (HIS)
A hospital information system (HIS) is essentially a computer system that can manage all the information to allow health care providers to do their jobs effectively. These systems have been around since they were first introduced in the 1960s and have evolved with time and the modernization of healthcare facilities. The computers were not as fast in those days and they were not able to provide information in real time as they do today. The staff used them primarily for managing billing and hospital inventory. All this has changed now, and today hospital information systems include the integration of all clinical, financial and administrative applications.
Modern HIS includes many applications addressing the needs of various departments in a hospital. They manage the data related to the clinic, finance department, laboratory, nursing, pharmacy and also the radiology and pathology departments. The hospitals that have switched to HIS have access to quick and reliable information including patients’ records illustrating details about their demographics, gender, age etc. By a simple click of the mouse they receive important data pertaining to hospital finance systems, diet of patients, and even the distribution of medications. With this information they can monitor drug usage in the facility and improve its effectiveness. Many hospitals have as many as 200 disparate systems combined into their HIS.
Hospital information systems have become very advanced and new innovations are continuously being introduced. But a HIS is useless if it confuses the hospital employees. The system must be user friendly and should include training by the vendors. A good HIS offers numerous benefits to a hospital including but not limited to the delivery of quality patient care and better financial management. The HIS should also be patient centric, medical staff centric, affordable and scalable. The technology changes quickly and if the system is not flexible it will not be able to accommodate hospital growth.
It can be composed of one or a few software components with specialty-specific extensions as well as of a large variety of sub-systems in medical specialties
* Laboratory Information System (LIS)
* Radiology Information System (RIS)
* Clinical Information System (CIS)
* Nursing Information Systems (NIS)
* Pharmacy Information System (PIS)
Software Component is a system element offering a predefined service or event, and able to communicate with other components. It should be :
* Compostable with other components (inter relationship with other components)
* Encapsulated i.e., non-investigable through its interfaces
* A unit of independent deployment and versioning
Laboratory Information System (LIS)
Laboratory Information System (LIS) is a software based laboratory and information management system that offers a set of key features that support a modern laboratory’s operations. Those key features include but are not limited to workflow and data tracking support, flexible architecture, and smart data exchange interfaces, which fully support its use in regulated environments. The features and uses of a LIMS have evolved over the years from simple sample tracking to an enterprise resource planning tool that manages multiple aspects of laboratory informatics. Due to the rapid pace at which laboratories and their data management needs shift, the definition of LIMS has become somewhat controversial. As the needs of the modern laboratory vary widely from lab to lab, what is needed from a laboratory information management system also shifts. The end result: the definition of a LIMS will shift based on who you ask and what their vision of the modern lab.
Radiology Information System (RIS)
A radiology information system (RIS) is a networked software suite for managing medical imagery and associated data. An RIS is especially useful for managing radiological records and associated data in a multiple locations and is often used in conjunction with a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) to manage work flow and billing. An RIS has several basic functions:
* An RIS can track a patient’s entire workflow within the radiology department; images and reports can be added to and retrieved from electronic medical records (EMRs) and viewed by authorized radiology staff.
* Appointments can be made for both in- and out-patients with specific radiology staff.
* A patient’s entire radiology history can be tracked from admission to discharge. The history can be coordinated with past, present and future appointments.
* An RIS can generate statistical reports for a single patient, group of patients or particular procedure.
* An RIS can track individual films and their associate data.
* An RIS facilitates detailed financial record-keeping, electronic payments and automated claims submission.
Clinical Information System (CIS)
Clinical Information System is a collection of various information technology applications that provides a centralized repository of information related to patient care across distributed locations. This repository represents the patient’s history of illnesses and interactions with providers by encoding knowledge capable of helping clinicians decide about the patient’s condition, treatment options, and wellness activities. The repository also encodes the status of decisions, actions underway for those decisions, and relevant information that can help in performing those actions. The database could also hold other information about the patient, including genetic, environmental, and social contexts.
* access the medical literature * ask clinical or administrative questions of aggregates of patient data, * receive automatic warnings or suggestions when the patient’s data satisfy certain logical rules * receive critiques when proposing therapies or ordering diagnostic tests, * access guidelines for standards of care
* analyse trade-offs and the likelihood of alternative outcomes (decision analysis) * receive lists of differential diagnoses
Nursing Information System (NIS)
Nursing information systems is a type of health care management system. It helps nurses use their nursing skills and computer knowledge within a health care environment. A nursing information system has different features and benefits.
Nurses can self-schedule work hours based on their work shift and departmental needs. Staff nurse managers or nursing administrators can review each nurse’s schedule and make approvals. Another nursing information system feature includes documenting patient care plans.
One nursing information system benefit includes saving time. For instance, nursing managers can confirm a nurse’s work availability without contacting each nurse. Nurses can review a patient’s treatment plan when working outside the office, such as a home care nurse.
Pharmacy Information System (PIS)
Pharmacy information systems (PIS) are complex computer systems that have been designed to meet the needs of a pharmacy department. Through the use of such systems, pharmacists can supervise and have inputs on how medication is used in a hospital. Some of the activities which Pharmacy Information Systems have been employed in pharmacy departments include:
The Pharmacy Information System can assist in patient care by the monitoring of drug interactions, drug allergies and other possible medication-related complications. When a prescription order is entered, the system can check to see if there are any interactions between two or more drugs taken by the patient simultaneously or with any typical food, any known allergies to the drug, and if the appropriate dosage has been given based on the patient’s age, weight and other physiologic factors. Alerts and flags come up when the system picks up any of these.
The Pharmacy Information System can also be used to manage prescription for inpatients and/or outpatients. When prescription orders are received, the orders are matched to available pharmaceutical products and then dispensed accordingly depending on whether the patient is an inpatient or outpatient. It is possible to track all prescriptions passed through the system from who prescribed the drug, when it was prescribed to when it was dispensed. It is also possible to print out prescription labels and instructions on how medication should be taken based on the prescription.
Pharmacies require a continuous inventory culture in order to ensure that drugs do not go out of stock. This is made even more difficult when there are multiple dispensing points. When don manually it is very difficult to maintain an accurate inventory. Pharmacy Information Systems aid inventory management by maintaining an internal inventory of all pharmaceutical products, providing alerts when the quantity of an item is below a set quantity and providing an electronic ordering system that recommends the ordering of the affected item and with the appropriate quantity from approved suppliers.
Patient Drug Profiles
These are patient profiles managed by the Pharmacy Information System and contain details of their current and past medications, known allergies and physiological parameters. These profiles are used for used for clinical screening anytime a prescription is ordered for the patient.
Most Pharmacy Information Systems can generate reports which range from determining medication usage patterns in the hospital to the cost of drugs purchased and /or dispensed.
Interactivity with other systems
It is important that Pharmacy Information Systems should be able to interact with other available systems such as the clinical information systems to receive prescription orders and financial information system for billing and charging.