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Critical Overview of the Health Clinic System Design

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NEW CENTURY HEALTH CLINIC

Office System Design Preliminary Report Charles Webb Introduction New Century Health Clinic, a traditional medical care facility located in Fullerton, CA, is looking for ways to support their operations through Information Technology that will also allow for future growth. With a patient base of 3,500 patients working for 275 separate companies, the proper maintenance of patient records is a high priority. Concurrent with this is the rapid and efficient processing of insurance forms as New Century Health Clinic currently accepts 34 different insurance policies. Along with patient records and insurance, all aspects of the clinic’s operations, including office payroll, tax reporting, and employee profit distribution will be considered. Through this preliminary report, different Information Systems will be assessed to include Electronic Data Interchange, Vertical and Horizontal Systems packages, as well as use of the Internet.

Clinic Staff Organizational Chart Duties and Responsibilities While everyone employed at New Century Health Clinic is involved in some capacity with the administration of patient records, insurance processing, and appointment processing, several members of the staff have unique responsibilities.

For example, Carla Herrera main responsibility is keeping the clinic and administrative offices stocked and organized with supplies. Tax reporting and office payroll, to include the distribution of profits among the employees, falls to Fred Brown. Lisa Sung’s main responsibility is customer service to include the scheduling of appointments, making courtesy calls to remind patients of appointments, and preparing daily lists of these appointments.

All six administrative employees are involved in the preparation of the end of the month patient statements.

Proposed Information Systems Assessment New Century Health Clinic, by its very nature, is the definition of multi-tasking. As stated above, employees have very distinct responsibilities but also contribute to routine tasks done by all. Because of this, an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) would suit this enterprise. With as many insurance companies as New Century deals with, the clinic would be able to exchange information quickly and efficiently. Inventory levels can be quickly checked and maintained using information from vendors systems. New or departing patients could have their medical history transferred from medical practitioners with an EDI as well.

Because New Century Health Clinic has a narrow focus, a vertical system would be preferred over a horizontal one. As vertical systems are designed to meet the unique requirements of specific industries, New Century could be better served by application software targeted at the medical industry. New Century’s location, near a newly constructed shopping mall in a busy area, has the possibility of bringing in more patients. While a horizontal system can be customized to meet the needs of a company, growth at New Century may occur to quickly for a horizontal system to adapt.

The use of the Internet is beneficial for just about every business, and New Century Health Clinic is no different. Besides giving current and potential patients information on the clinic itself, the site could easily provide some potentially greater benefits. Information on the qualifications of the medical personnel, or new techniques offered by the clinic could be featured. A FAQ could be utilized, answering basic health care questions. Patients could be able to view their billing statements, or a general health record. E-mail could be used to remind patients of appointments, or allow them to schedule appointments. The potential of the Internet for New Century is limited only by the imagination of the people implementing it.

NEW CENTURY HEALTH CLINIC Office System Design Charles Webb COM 320 Introduction As an IT professional, New Century Health Clinic has come to me in the hopes of modernizing their office practices. The main objective here is to provide an IT solution that will not only meet their current goals, but also keep pace with any potential growth within the company. Through implementing a total solution, from installation to training, the transition to a modernized workplace will be efficient, thorough, and cost effective.

First and foremost, a complete understanding of the business processes involved in the operation of New Century Health Clinic is in order. From what tasks are redundant to those that unique to the practice. A complete understanding of the departments, processes, users, and the cross-pollinating that does or does not occur within these elements is only possible through direct contact. By interviewing the administrative employees both separate and as a group, I hope to find the things that they think will improve process flows. Employee input is crucial in the design phase, as they are the ones that will have to ultimately use the system. What the employee feels they need, the end goal of the system, is what I am ultimately after. As such, all suggestions from employees will be received openly, and carry the same weight.

Systems Request Summary Currently, all business processes within New Century Health Systems are done by hand or with a minimum of automation. Six administrative personnel handle the bulk of the work, each with specific duties. New Century currently accepts insurance benefits from 34 companies and has a patient base of 3,500 patients from 275 employers.

Under this proposal, all administrative functions will be computerized. All of the following components are proposed for New Century Health Clinic.

*For the quick exchange of information with all Insurance Companies that support it, an Electronic Data Interchange will be the foundation of the system.

*As billing and supply vendor transactions make up a large part of the administrative processes, a transaction processing system will be implemented.

*A user productivity system will also be implemented to facilitate the rapid and efficient communication between all New Century Health Clinic staff.

Findings Project Scope: The project scope is to fully integrate the administrative functions at New Century Health Clinic within an Information System.

Constraints: All administrative personnel must have the ability to process patient records, appointments, and insurance from their respective workstation. All administrative personnel must also have the ability to prepare the end of the month patient statements from their respective workstation.

Operational Feasibility: As the request for this proposal comes directly from the directing management of New Century Health Clinic, they fully support this initiative. The employees of the clinic, burdened with their current workload, are also enthusiastic about the proposed system changes.

Technical Feasibility: New Century Health Clinic currently does not have the technical expertise, nor the hardware or software, to implement the type of upgrades they desire. As the individual components for the system will be purchased off-the-shelf, this is not a concern. Training, on the other hand, is. As the majority of the software will be vendor software, training can be included in the overall budget for this project.

Economic Feasibility: Because this system does not require the hiring of outside personnel to either operate or maintain it, the costs involved are only the procurement of the hardware, software, and the instillation of the system itself.

With the expected gain of the system outweighing the cost, this proposal seems very feasible. The company as a whole fully supports this initiative, and by using off-the-shelf components, costs are minimized.

Recommendations System recommendations are as follows: *Procure a server that allows for the possibility of expansion within the Information System itself as well as that of New Century Health Clinic *Procure six individual PC’s, one for each person in the administrative department *Procure a vertical software package aimed at the medical industry. For ease of use and reliability, Microsoft’s Office suite will be used as productivity software, and a determination will be made, based on user input, for the transaction software.

*Train one person from the administrative department to act as a systems manager Action Plan The first part of this action plan entails meeting with the end users of the system. This meeting will accomplish two things: understand the problems currently being faced by the employees of New Century and realize the solutions that need to be implemented. An underlying purpose of this meeting would be to assuage any fears or hesitation that the employees may have in conjunction with this change. By giving the employees as much ownership in the process as possible, the system will not only meets their needs, but the transition will be readily accepted.

Secondly, after meeting with the employees, the scope of the project along with any constraints not already identified by this proposal would be discussed with management. A secondary purpose to this meeting is to finalize my working plan and to set timeline goals.

During the implementation phase of the project, each member of the administrative department would be polled to determine if the project is still going to meet their needs, and to assess any changes that may be needed as a result. Any benefits found for the company would be documented, and the integration of each end users requirements will be fine-tuned. From this, a cost-analysis can be formed.

Finally, the results found will be presented to management, along with any recommendations.

Time and Cost Benefits Once the action plan has been approved and is in place, constant communication between the end users and myself will be maintained. This will include any timelines and costs: Estimated Project Completion: 120 days Cost Estimate: One Server = $3,000.00 6 PC’s ($1500.00 apiece) = $9,000.00 System Software = $15,000.00 Staff Training (estimated) = $3,000.00 Estimated Total Cost = $30,000 Expected Benefits Tangible Benefits (estimated): Salary Savings from not having to hire additional personnel = $55,000.00 Gaines in office productivity = $35,000.00 Additional revenue from patients attracted by website =$100,000.00 Savings from increased efficiency with office/clinic stock = $20,000.00 Savings from insurance billing mistakes = $45,000.00 Total Savings/Additional Revenue = $255,000.00 Cost of System Implementation = $30,000.00 Minus Tangible Benefits -$255,000.00 Total Savings/Additional Revenue = $225,000.00 Intangible Benefits: Increased exposure to New Century Health Clinic through the website. Increased efficiency of all office processes. Increased patient satisfaction through greater ownership in the health care process such as making/checking on appointments, web-based billing/payment, and a decrease in billing error.

Timeline: Expected benefits are estimated to be seen 12-18 months after implementation.

Appendix Conducted interviews with Anita Davenport, Fred Brown, Susan Gifford, Tom Capaletti, Lisa Sung, and Carla Herrera.

Reviewed California Building Codes in regards to the possibility of altering the buildings structure to accommodate system implementation.

Reviewed Insurance Industry Standards on what must be included in a patient’s billing statement.

Reviewed AMA guidelines on what credentials must be posted on any informational web-site for individual M..D.’s, as well as any disclaimers that must be posted along with general medical advice.

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