Difficult decisions are necessary for the Peachtree Healthcare leadership team, including the Chief Information Officer (CIO), as they discuss issues associated with the company’s deteriorating information technology (IT) structure. Before deciding on whether the change should be organization-wide at once or department-by-department, the team must consider and include doctors’ and other vested parties’ opinions. The team has to study the important aspects of this type of network change that includes buy-in from all interested parties, as well as offering the ability to access data as necessary.
The team should review the following aspects of a new project and determine whether or not the change is feasible at this time: • The Business Model • The Vison • The Goals • Positive and Negative Impacts to Employees, Customers, and Doctors • Expected Features and Characteristics of a New System • System Implementation • Employee Training • Ongoing Monitoring • Cost As a consultant for the company, all the above should to be compared against a full scale and an incremental implementation to help determine the best approach for the company.
As the bigger picture focuses standardization, the smaller picture analyzes the need for reliability, consistency, and security. Recommendation After reading information about service-oriented architecture and understanding its definition by Margaret Rouse as “an approach used to create an architecture based upon the use of services. Services (such as RESTful Web services) carry out some small function, such as producing data, validating a customer, or providing simple analytical services” (n. d. , para 1).
Peachtree Healthcare needs a solution, and the consultant’s original opinion was to incorporate SOA to alleviate much of the stress employees and doctors felt about the inadequate system. Margaret Rouse went on to say, “SOA is really about fixing existing architectures by addressing most of the major systems as services, and abstracting those services into a single domain where they are formed into solutions” (n. d. , para. 2). But Peachtree actually needs and could use a complete overhaul of its network.
After reviewing the commentaries, the opinions of each was quite enlightening, however, their comments regarding SOA changed potential recommendations. The determination was made that SOA was not the right choice for Peachtree Healthcare. Commentator Opinion Each commentator of the case study had his own opinion and while each shared concerns and experiences, each was quite the critic as well. Neither seemed to like the idea of service-oriented architecture (SOA) and that was understandable.
While each appeared to indicate that other health care industries wanted no parts of SOA, each provided his own recommendation of what he thought Peachtree Healthcare should do. George C. Halvorson seemed to have the better recommendation when he stated that “Max Berndt and the rest of the company’s senior managers need to envision exactly what they want to accomplish with their systems” (Glaser, 2007, 11). Halvorson also stated “clear intent is essential, couple with an equally clear strategic pathway to achieve that intent” (Glaser, 2007, 11).
By determining exactly how the company wants its system to work, then develop a plan to accomplish the agreed upon objectives is the right approach to take. Useful Recommendations The University of Rochester Medical Center’s (URMC) eRecords system is what came to mind as the story unfolded. URMC “launched its new electronic health records system” (URMC, 2015, para. 1) at two of its local hospitals called eRecord. The system “integrates all paperwork from your medical history, test results, images, consult notes, and more into one electronic chart” (URMC, 2015, para. ).
This type of system offers secure access to doctors and other healthcare professionals, as well as to patients. The patient can review his or her test results, schedule of appointments, and even send a secure message to his or her primary care physician. Gradual changes to the Peachtree Healthcare infrastructure to incorporate a system similar to URMCs system will provide stability and standardization that is warranted. Also, with a system like eRecords, doctor buy-in will not be hard to gain.
Each physician will be able to review his or her patient’s information and forward new prescriptions to pharmacies as well as perform other activities like post lab results and potential medication changes. This is a reliable system which allows all physicians to pick and choose applications that he or she deems standard for his or her individual practice. Unique Recommendations Because of the potential for negative impacts of incorporating a new system into the company, gradual changes and online training for the new system are a unique recommendation.
The option to upgrade a portion of a few departments at a time will alleviate the possibility of downtime that a healthcare service cannot afford to endure. Placing all departments with the same applications with customization to each department will provide some normalization that is so desired. Online training will provide all employees and doctors with the option to take the courses online in his or her spare time.
The available courses to learn the new system can be taken during breaks with the option to save and return. This will give the employee the flexibility to stop the course in case of an emergency or other duties to contend with. Conclusion The Peachtree Healthcare Infrastructure is in need of change. The current system is failing and a solution is needed. Many aspects are very important and must be considered and one of those things to consider is complete buy-in from all doctors involved.
In order to increase and stabilize the quality of care, one cannot expect all doctors to perform in the same manner using a standardized system that does not meet everyone’s needs. Therefore, obtaining buy-in from all vested parties to establish a system similar to URMC’s eRecords system, the project can begin. Using a department-by-department installation and implementation will minimize negative impacts to the company and its employees.
While installation in one department is taking place, those employees can utilize his or her free time to take the training courses. IT staff will be available to assist with questions and concerns and provide hands on training as needed. As one department is up and running, those employees can assist other department employees with training as their departmental system is installed. As long as every aspect of the project and installation is within the Business Model and its vision and goals, the new infrastructure should be a success.