Information Systems Management and a Project Situation

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REQUIRED READINGS

Wager, Lee, & Glaser Text:

 Chapter 6: System Acquisition

 Chapter 7: System Implementation and Support

 Chapter 8: Information Architecture and Technologies that Support Health Care

Information Systems

 Chapter 11: Organizing Information Technology Services

WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS

1. Senior Information Systems Interview

Interview a senior information systems (IS) manager, preferably the chief information

officer (CIO). (NOTE: Before the interview, please be sure to read Wager’s Chapter 11

– Organizing Information Technology Services.

Interview a senior information systems (IS) manager, preferably the chief information

officer (CIO). (NOTE: Chapter 11 is the background material needed BEFORE you do

your interview.) IS managers should be doing everything in their power to maintain

good customer relations with their users. I have often had my IS staff interview

physicians, nurses, other clinicians, and administrators to accomplish at least two things:

a. Find out what keeps them awake at night in terms of job responsibility. Knowing the

needs of information system end-users is critical. Interviews are one way that IS

learns about the needs of the areas they support. In this exercise, end-users learn the

needs and responsibilities of the IS staff.

b. Develop a relationship between IS and end-users to enhance professional

communication and respect for each other’s needs. With current communication

between IS and end-users, IS selection, installation, enhancements, maintenance, and

use can be prioritized and made effective within the strategic mission of the

healthcare provider.

As the IT staff should know the mission of those they serve, so too should you know the

mission of IT. Some information managers you ask to interview may say that the

information requested is beyond their scope of expertise and/or that they are too busy to

meet with you for an in-depth interview. This means you miss the intent of my question

and are not making your request appropriately. I would expect that with a good one-hour

interview, and maybe a brief tour of the information systems area, you will get a feel for the information system infrastructure (hardware, software, network, staffing, strategic
responsibilities, mission, etc.).

Make an appointment and then e-mail a list of your questions to your subject prior to the

interview. Remember, the intent of this question is to get an IS perspective of what it takes

to support healthcare patient and administrative applications. If the interviewee has
propriety information they do not wish to share, skip that question and go to the next

question. Again, deal with the intent of researching the IS perspective on issues in support
of healthcare applications.

An interesting perspective for the interview is to hear what one of my earlier students

reported during an interview as the interviewee compared the old Internet with their new

Internet system. She said:

“The old Intranet and Internet system was very focused toward us (the
organization and employees); all areas of the system were built from the

perspective of the organization. The new systems are built from the perspective

of looking in from the outside. We are focused on our customers and site users
rather than ourselves.”

If you are at an impasse for obtaining an interview, call the CEO’s, COO’s, or CFO’s office

for an interview.

Using the above for guidance, please answer the following questions in a 4 page paper

A. Briefly describe the mission and scope of applications and IS vendors within this
organization.

a. Include information such as the purpose of the major applications, their
vendors (where any applications developed in-house?), and the primary user

(e.g., physician, nurse, finance, administrator).

b. Discuss the role of the Internet. What applications are web-based? What

applications are on their intranet vs. those accessible via the Internet?
c. Are passwords, biometrics, tokens, or other security devices used? Is there an

electronic signature? Do they use Wi-Fi?

B. What would the interviewee suggest for enhancing the current information system

environment? What does the interviewee think the end-users would say about their

level of satisfaction with the applications? How integrated does the interviewee

believe the system to be? Given the opportunity to enhance and implement one

application, which would it be? Why?

C. Do they use Application Service Providers (ASPs)? (ASPs are software vendors

supporting applications over the Internet.) What Internet applications might they
consider for the future?

D. Ask for an IS organizational chart or a description of positions within the IS

department, and get a brief understanding of their respective areas of support. What is

the scope of responsibility and the types of IS staff needed to provide information

systems support to this size organization?

E. Take a risk and comment on what you heard in the interview. What would you
change? Promote? What new insights did you get from this interview?

F. What are the position, experience, and educational backgrounds of the person you

interviewed?

G. Decide one question in your mind that has been left unanswered with this interview.

2. Database Reports and Data Needs

An analogy of the intent of this exercise is that of building a house. Do you collect the

entire material first (your data), and then decide what the house will look like (your

output reports and computer screens), or do you first decide what the house will look

like, AND THEN gather the building materials?

First, be sure to read the Study Notes (Project Situation: Steps One and Two of

Database Project) for this Lesson.

Submit “Step One” and “Step Two” below so that your instructor can comment on your

adherence to the Step One and Step Two sequence.

Similar to the examples in the Study Notes, think of a simple database project, and

follow Step one and Step two to define what you want from the database, and once you

determine your database expectations, you then identify the data you need to meet those

expectations.

Step One

1. Define the purpose of your database application.

A. Include a problem statement—what is the problem your database application

is addressing, and why is it a problem?

B. Describe the methods employed in the present system, including strengths

and weaknesses.

C. Include a solution statement—how your recommended database information

system will resolve this problem.

D. List specific measurable objectives of your proposed database application.

E. Use Microsoft Word to draft a sample output format of how one

report/screen will look. You can determine this sample output by gathering

existing documents and reports and through user interviews and surveys.

You may end up combining reports, re-designing them, or not finding any. If
the user is already familiar with a current report, it may help as a reference as
you draft your database report and screen needs.

You then can draft a report showing how the report (or computer screen) will
look. Be sure your draft report format includes the following:

 Report title
 Column and/or row names
 Dummy data values, etc.

In the real world, besides determining your output reporting formats before you collect
data, you will also provide a short list of questions you will be answering through the
database, such as “What are the nursing homes that have not reported this month?”
This additional list of questions further identifies the data to be collected in Step Two. I
do not expect you to identify data needs other than those required for your sample
report.

Step Two

Using the Step One sample report you created, make a bullet list of the data items
(and their properties e.g. date format, two digit code, text field, etc), needed to
create the report, for example:

 Data Item 1 (Date of Admission in MO/DA/YEAR format)
 Data Item 2 (Patient Name in LAST NAME/FIRST NAME in text format)
 Data Item 3 (Six digit numerical diagnosis code in xxx.xx format)
 Other data items as needed…

Remember, Step 1 and Step 2 are for you to learn the initial (and critical) steps in
designing and developing a database application using the application development
life cycle (ADLC) process. Keep the report simple. Process, rather than content,
is most important here. Some students select a report they can use at work.

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