application and role of management information system (mis) in hospitals

The role of a hospital in today’s world has changed from the medical and clinical assistance to health care with a concern for the people who need it. The hospitals are required to run as business institutions with the mission of best health care for the people. The scope of service now includes medical guidance, preventive care, post-clinical attention, care, and advice. The hospitals may handle an individual who is not a patient and hence, we call a person visiting a hospital a “customer” and not a “patient.” Hence, the customer profile Would include besides a patient, an associate of a patient, a doctor, a consultant, a para-medical personnel, a medicine supplier and so on.

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The management of the hospital has to provide unique service to wide range of customers whose service expectations and perceptions are varied. The customers can easily discriminate between the quality of care, quality of caring, between being treated medically and being treated personally, between being served at least cost and served with efficiency and effectiveness. The customer aims at the final result of the service and evaluates the management on the quality of the service process. Unlike any other service business, in the hospitals, the service provider/ server is a highly knowledgeable resource while the customer is a no-knowledge person with high demands on the service expectations. The risk management in hospitals is highly punitive but not necessarily highly rewarding. It is the management of customer through a high-level human resource management.

Like any other business, the management of hospitals has changed from art to a science and then to technology. Today’s hospitals use a lot of medical hardware and software in health care activity. Health care decisions are based on diagnostic aids and assistance through pathological tests, X-ray, scanning, and knowledge base of the case history. A lot of instrument and equipment specially developed for the purpose of the operational aspect of the health care. The role played by these assistants is so essential that it is called medical engineering. Thus, To reduce the drudgery of health care and concentrate on prescriptions, diagnosis, and treatment the medical engineering has helped the medical professionals. The management of the infrastructure is an important management function of equipment, instruments, which maintaining the effect of offering a wonderful service to the customer.

In hospitals, there are critical resources such as an operation theater, an X-ray lab, hospital beds, etc. These resources are to be managed efficiently and to be used effectively by planning and control by the other associated resources such as the surgeon, anesthetist, physician, and nursing staff. More than any other service industry, handling of emergency in the hospital is highly critical and hence detrimental to the unique service. The resource planning must consider the urgency requirement of the customers, which are difficult to predict and control.

The mission critical applications in the hospital industry are discussed below.

Front-end Applications

1. Patient database

• To handle the queries on the current patients and the patients treated and discharged. The questions may come from a visitor, a doctor or any other staff of the hospital.

2. Medical server database

• The name, address, contact numbers of all the medical staff including physicians, nurses, and technicians, hospitals, locations and work times on weekdays for contact.

• Important service centers in the town where support services can be obtained in the emergency. These are the laboratories, blood banks, specialized clinics and individual facility centers.

3. Resource planning and control

• An online query service to answer the number of questions on the availability, scheduling, and rescheduling of the resources and the facilities.

• For judging the usage of the services and to put them in proper use.

4. Medical case history database

• Knowledge database on the case history for guidance and research.
• Monitoring the effect of drugs to judge patient’s response.
• Analyze the health care demand and service strategy.

Back-office Applications

I. Core applications

• Human resources and personnel planning.
• Payroll and employee related applications.
• Hospital billing and recovery.
• An inventory control — procurement, planning, and monitoring. The expiry date management.
• Financial accounting. Capital budgeting and expense control.
• Maintenance of service facilities.
• Resource utilization and analysis.

2. Critical control application

Evolve the core standards for control and provide exception reports to the management for forwarding planning and monitoring.

• Patients were waiting time and service cycle.
• Non-use of critical resources.
• Stock-outs of the dangerous drugs and the time is taken to restore supply.
• The number of patients admitted, treated and cured. The length of the stay, cost, and revenue to the hospital.
• New trends in service demands and service performance in such cases.
• Analysis of the delays regarding duration and causes.
• The number of patients turned down or sent to other hospitals for want of facilities — analysis and reasons.

Unlike a manufacturing industry, it is not possible to have mechanization and automation in the hospital services. They could be, at the most, aids. The service quality depends on the people who provide it. Most of the management issues are related to the human resources and human resource planning. The MIS mostly revolves around this aspect in the industry. If this issue is not taken care of, the service will suffer badly in spite of the best physical resources available. The hospital management is a high-risk business, both for the server and the customer and the risk spread from business risk to the survival of the patient. It is a business of non-standard activity where every client needs a unique approach. The steps of service may be familiar, but the process may differ putting the strain on the facilities. The MIS in hospital management plays more of a support role in forwarding planning than the present control needs. The MIS plays a support role for a strategic decision-making for expansion, up gradation and training of human resource. The MIS plays a role of crisis management through information support.

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