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Health care leaders face difficult choices about how to best use their limited resources.

Interview with a Manager on Introducing New Management Information Systems

Health care leaders face difficult choices about how to best use their limited resources. The decision to invest in management information technology can ultimately pay off if it makes the health care organization more efficient. Yet without expert strategic planning and leadership throughout the process, an organization can waste money and cause frustration for those who must use these systems. In this Discussion, you are asked to interview a health care manager who has experience in introducing new management information technology in health care settings.

Prepare for this Discussion as follows:

 

Setting Up the Interview

 

  • As soon as possible, contact a local health care organization–preferably, this will be the type of organization at which you intend to work in the future–and ask if you could interview a manager who has experience in implementing new IT that supports management or administrative functions.
  • When contacting the organization, identify yourself as a student in  X University MHA program and briefly describe your objective in interviewing the manager. Let your interviewee know that you will keep all identifying details (such as his/her name and the name of the organization) confidential.

Preparing for and Conducting the Interview

  • Create your own list of questions. At minimum, however, these should encompass the following:
    • What are the new management IT systems this organization has implemented lately?
    • Focusing on one of them, what have been the challenges and benefits to the organization in introducing this new system? How were you involved?
    • Is this part of a monolithic system, or a best-in-breed? What have been the pros and cons of this choice?
    • How do leaders at your organization determine whether they should invest their resources in management information technology or in another area in the organization, such as direct patient care?
  • Conduct the interview in person or by phone. Take careful notes of the manager’s responses. (Keep a record of these notes, in case they are requested by your Instructor.) If follow-up questions are needed, these may be asked via phone and/or e-mail.

Post by Day 4 a response to the following:

  • Identify the job title of the manager you interviewed, the type of health care organization for which he or she works, and (briefly) the scope of his/her involvement in this project. (For the sake of confidentiality, do not provide details that would identify the actual individual or organization.)
  • Summarize the information you gained through this interview, including the following:
    • Describe one management information system this manager helped to introduce, the challenges the organization encountered along the way, and the benefits that have resulted or are expected.
    • Identify whether this system is part of a monolithic system or a best-in-breed, and indicate any significant pros and cons arising from this choice.
    • How does management in this organization determine whether to invest its resources in management information systems or in another area in the organization?
  • What further insights did you gain from this interview that will help you in the future when managing projects involving the introduction of new IT?

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