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Technology And Change Management Paper

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Technology and Change Management Paper

Tonya Gooch, Betty Hoskins, Jennifer Kramer, and Michael McGee

University of Phoenix

Managing the Business Enterprise - MBA/502

Michael Barker, DBA, SPHR

July 18, 2006

Technology and Change Management Paper

Changes are occurring constantly in the health care environment, which impact the overall operations of the industry. Technology is constantly advancing, which forces businesses to adapt to today's information-age economy. "It is the information age - a time when knowledge is power. Today, more than ever, businesses are using information and technology to gain and sustain a competitive advantage" (Haag, Cummings, and McCubbrey, 2005, p.4). In order to compete in this rapidly changing industry, businesses must understand the environment and recognize that technology is the force behind the change. This paper will discuss the best practices used in the health care industry related to electronic tracking, how the industry adapts to the technology and change management issues, and identifies how best practices are used in other industries to meet today's changing environment.

Best Practices in Healthcare

The health care industry has adapted well to change. With the influx of medication errors, malpractice lawsuits, and miscommunication between departments; patient tracking has become the solution to the mismanagement of data. This concept represents "the time dimension of information, it has two aspects: (1) having access to information when you need it, or timeliness, and (2) having information that describes the time period you are considering" (Haag, Cummings, and McCubbrey, 2005, p.6). Automatic tracking allows hospitals to monitor the quality of the data and adherence to documentation policies as well as how they use the data from the computerized patient records for healthcare quality initiatives, medical research and support of accurate charging. A key feature of their work is real-time, on-demand reporting from any workstation (Kindred, 2005).

Automatic tracking systems provides up-to- the second information about the physical location of patients, charts and equipment. The status and overall progression of the visits are monitored as well as the utilization and status of a room. With just the click of a mouse a patient is located in the hospital within seconds. All patients and staff wear small badges, which emit a signal every three seconds that are received by sensors located throughout the hospital. The system associates badge numbers with patients, staff or equipment. Simply locating is just the most basic feature, tracking the progression of visits and determining what has been done and what needs to be done can also be determined through this system. The system also keeps a log of all interactions between patients and staff members. As a result, department managers can accurately measure time spent with patients. In addition, if a patient complains that staff was unavailable to checked on him even though the call bell was used, with the infrared interaction log, it is easy to reveal what occurred.

Automatic tracking of patients allows hospitals and other health care facilities the competitive advantage of gathering comprehensive data that allows caregivers to receive the information they need and does not cause the interruption of patient care with the annoying daily data entry that is required. "Technology is an underlying force that alters everything" (UOP, 2006).

Another best practice used in advanced technology and the changing environment would be computerized charting and medication administration. With the use of technological management application software programs, the tracking of medical errors can occur more effectively. The information collected through the computerized system can be analyzed and interpreted to identify where problems originate. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, "It has been estimated that reducing medication errors through computerized monitoring systems can prevent anywhere from 28 percent to 95 percent of adverse drug events" (Lanser, 2001, p.6).

Computerized charting is changing the health care environment in many ways. Problems can occur when patient information is not communicated effectively. "According to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), poorly communicated medical information at admission and other health care transition points is responsible for as many as 50% of all medication errors in hospitals" (Manno and Hayes, 2006, p.63). With computer charting, patient information on procedures and condition can be stored throughout the hospital stay. Healthcare workers and physicians can log on to the system and view patient information from anywhere in the hospital. The best practice of improved charting and medication administration through computerized information tracking can occur with technology and change management. As a result, improvement of overall patient safety and quality assurance in the health care industry can occur. "Integrating the use of technology throughout your organization is key, and it must be based on your business strategies and initiatives" (Haag, Cummings, and McCubbrey, 2005, p.57).

Other Industry Best Practices

Costco Wholesale Corporation, SMEC, and Microsoft Corporation are companies that are making advances in technology and meeting the needs of their business management projects. Concepts such as knowledge management systems, shared information, transaction processing system and customer self-service system will be referred to within the case studies to follow.

The IT Industry

Microsoft Office is the business world's most widely used software and server provider. Now they are serving the business world with a much needed tool for project management called the Microsoft Office Business Scorecard Manager 2005. They recognized the needs faced by almost all businesses to provide competitive advantages, drive employee productivity, and align key stakeholders with organizational strategies. Their own IT department which is one of the world's largest software, solutions, and services companies also needed to use the Business Scorecard Manager 2005. Microsoft became a customer to itself. If the product needed improvement in any area, this was



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