Saturday, April 10, 2010

Case Study: New Century Health Clinic (Chapter 2)

Case Study: New Century Health Clinic (Chapter 2)

1.       Dr. Jones has arranged an introductory meeting between the associates of New Century Health Clinic and you to determine if mutual interests exists in pursuing the project. What should the associates try to learn about you? What should you try to learn about in this meeting?
-->           Since, the computerized system would reduce the paperwork as well as the load of work done by all the associates of New Century Health Clinic; there exists a strong business case in pursuing the project. The associates are the one who would be actually using the system that I would be developing, hence, they should look in to the system that I propose and the way I communicate with people. They should make sure that I can communicate with them very well and they understand what I say. They should be able to provide me with every tiny detail of the processes in the business so that I could make an efficient system for them which would make their work easier.
          In this meeting, I would try to learn all about the business. The mission, objectives and vision of the businesses are very important for me to feel them so that I could design the system that would match those needs. I should talk to each associate and their tasks in details so that I can convert them in to computerized system. Since, none of the member of the staff has computer experience; I should avoid using jargons while I talk to them or while I teach them to use the applications. I should also consider the budget provided by the company and the rough feasibility study. I should figure out if the system could be built within the budget separated by the company. I have to think about the risks involved in re-engineering the system. I should also consider the future growth of the company and my system being capable of supporting the possible changes in the business processes.
          Basically, we need to have a very good, two way communication and the support of management in every aspect.

2.      Does the proposed system present a strong business case? Why or why not?
          In my opinion, the proposed system presents a very strong business case and they should re-engineer their system completely in to a digital system which would increase their profit, market share, decision making capabilities, faster services and efficiency.
          Since, the clinic is busier than ever and more profitable than ever the current manual system would be inefficient to handle the growing business. If the clinic would use the digital system to perform its business processes then the efficiency would increase and more application softwares could come handy for the manager and decision makers to see the graphical representation of current business and make decisions based on the digital information. They could use marketing tools to promote the business and so many things which would be next to impossible if they would continue with the same manual system.

3.      For each type of feasibility, prepare at least two questions that will help you reach a feasibility determination.
 Operational Feasibility:
         1. Will the new digital system would ease the current and future work overload, due to company’s increasing market share?
          2. Will the new digital system be user friendly as none of the member of the staff has computer experience?
Technical Feasibility:
          1. Will the company have the necessary hardware, software, and network resources which supports the system that I’m going to built for the business? If not, can those resources be acquired within the budget the company is setting to separate for the re-engineering?
          2. Will the system be able to handle future transaction volume and company growth?
Economic Feasibility:
          1. Does the projected benefits of the proposed system outweigh the estimated costs usually considered the total cost of ownership (TCO)?
          2. Does the budget provided by the company to build the new system to make profit in long run be supported by the tangible and intangible benefits the system would provide to the company?
Schedule Feasibility:
          1. Can the project be completed within the timeframe the company wants us to finish? If not, are they willing to increase the budget to finish it on that particular time frame?
          2. Will the project management techniques be available to coordinate and control the project?

You begin the preliminary investigation. What information is needed? From whom will you obtain it? What techniques will you use in your fact-finding?
          I would need the information as current business process, problems, opportunities, project scope and constraints, project benefits, and estimated development time and costs. I would obtain this information from the manager of the clinic and the staff working for her.
          To gather data about project usability, costs, benefits, and schedules different techniques are used. I would prefer to analyze the organizational chart and conduct a user survey to perform fact-finding for the clinic. I would get the understanding of the business processes of the clinic and I could decide whom do I inquire to collect the data that I need for the development the new system for the clinic.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Case Study: New Century Health Clinic

Case Study: New Century Health Clinic

1.       An organization chart of the office.

1.      Identify at least three business processes that New Century performs, and explain who is responsible for the specific tasks.
          A business processes is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that produce a specific service or product (Source:
          Basically, New Century performs its business processes mainly with the management of Anita Davenport. She manages Fried Brown who handles office payroll, tax reporting, and profit distribution among the associates. She makes sure that Susan Gifford, performs her job of maintaining the patient records for future references, as well as, Tom Capaletti, handling most of the paperwork  concerning to insurance reporting and accounting for New Century. Also, she has to make sure that the reminder calls to patients and daily appointment list are prepared by Lisa Sung. Finally, as a manager, she has to keep track of supply chain and motivate Carla Herrera performs this job efficiently for her four doctors, three registered nurses and four physical therapist so that, they won’t have any problem in performing their practices.
          Hence, New Century Health Clinic has five business processes if we look at it from its management’s perspective.

2.       Explain how New Century might use a transaction processing system, a business support system, and user productivity system. For each type of system, provide a specific example, and explain how the system would benefit the clinic.
          Since, we need to develop a system for New Century for its operation and future growth we have option of choosing one of the following information systems:-
a.       Transaction Processing System
          Transaction processing systems process data generated by day-to-day business operation. It is a good system which protects the integrity of data in our organization and therefore if single element of a transaction fails, the system doesn’t process the rest of the transaction. (System Analysis and Design [Eighth Edition], Page 12).
          A simple example of such kind of system would be company who sells products and services online. E-bay, where a buyer bids for the item they want to purchase must bid higher than other buyers who are also bidding for the same item. Also, the system would not confirm its sale unless the buyer confirms the payment by check, credit card or PayPal.
          One of the many ways transaction processing system would help New Century Health Clinic would be to set up an appointment or take the patients for the checkups after confirming that the doctors are free and the clinic supplies are enough to perform the checkups of the individual patients.
b.      Business Support System
          Business Support System provides job-related information support to users at all levels of a company. They help replace manual tasks as payroll processing (System Analysis and Design [Eighth Edition], Page 13). We need to collect all the information from every process and enter them in to our system to get valuable information about our business which helps make decisions for our company’s growth.
          We can have all the available information of 3,500 patients and their history of transactions with our business to analyze and make important decisions and increase the sales in future. Susan Gifford could perform her job more efficiently with recording patient’s information in the system which could be used efficiently by the manager for efficient decision making in future. Lisa Sung would be equally benefited by this system to make appointments lists daily and to make reminder calls to the patients. Hence, the system would benefit New Century Health Clinic in being efficient in the daily tasks that they have to perform and also would help better decision making for future growth of the business.
          One of the best examples of business support system is RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips that Wal-Mart and other large businesses are using to keep tract of the inventories in and out and set up a decision making system for the profit/loss, sales growth, most frequently used inventory by customers and other decisions that a system would make it for us and we can make decision based on the system’s results.
c.       User Productivity System
          User Productivity Systems include all the levels of technology that improves productivity which include e-mail, voicemail, video conferencing, database management, desktop publishing, high speed internet, and company intranets (System Analysis and Design [Eighth Edition], Page 14).
          If the clinic would expand its business in future and would have different branches, company intranet would be nearly mandatory for effective data processing and would be very helpful. The processes and system could be shared by all other branches which would decrease the cost of investment for the clinic to expand. Also, the patient information could be retrieved from any other locations of the clinic. They could have a facility of having their checkups in any of the branches of the clinic. The database and video conferencing would help managers and the doctors make decisions on the processes and operation of the clinic respectively. All the user productivity systems are very important. These days, these productivity systems are becoming mandatory for any forms of business as everything we process and perform is going digital.
          Most of the organizations that have branches at different locations, uses company intranet to use the corporate data to perform their jobs are the best examples of User Productivity System. One of the specific examples would be UN (United Nations) that uses the internet to access corporate data from every branch in the world to perform its operations.

3.      During the systems development processes, should New Century consider any of the following: B2B, vertical and horizontal system packages, or Internet-based solutions? Explain your answers.
          System development processes includes the following steps:-
a. System Planning
b. System Analysis
c. System Design
d. System Implementation
e. System Support and Security
          New Century should consider mostly the Internet-based solutions among B2B and vertical and horizontal system packages. The reason behind selecting internet-based solutions in the system development processes is that most of, the users, who are one of the important key components of information systems are accessible to internet and they demand the services as appointment setting and paying bills online. They would want to have their medical history online and it is convenient for them to remember when their next visit is due if they get alert in emails or from the website of the company. They can check out the updates of the company and available time frame they can visit the clinic. Also, many prospective patients would be exposed to the company promotions online and the company could substantially increase the growth in the market by taking many new patients. Therefore, if I were an IT consultant for New Century Health Clinic then I would most definitely consider internet-based solutions in the system development processes.