Reengineering management of healthcare information at Gamma
The JCAHO (1998) believes that health careorganizations must treat information as animportant resource to be effectively andefﬁciently managed. The management is anactive, planned activity. Information manage-ment is a set of processes focused on meetingthe organization’s information needs. Its goalis to obtain, manage, and use information toenhance and improve individual and organi-zational performance in patient care, gover-nance, management, and support processes. The JCAHO standards describe a vision of effective and continuously improvinginformation management in health careorganizations. The HRD enables the efforts of Gamma,in order to make reengineering a reality. TheHRIS has been identiﬁed as the core of theHuman Resources (HR) function byredesigning jobs within the department toprovide adequate support for the HRIS func-tion, by deﬁning core competencies of thestaff, and by educating HRIS users. Gammais supporting the HRIS function by devotingmore resources to the function, streamliningprocesses, and providing education.
Reengineering the HRIS infrastructure atGamma
Until recently, Gamma’s patchwork of HRISapplications has been viewed as basic data-bases that keep track of personnel transac-tions. In the current reengineering effort,HR’s link with IS and IT is becoming one of collaboration on solutions rather than one inwhich IS supports HR with programmingservices. HRIS is enabling many HRDs tomove beyond personnel’s administrativelegacy to take on a much more strategic role inthe company. In many organizations, HR andIS are collaborating on enterprise-wide sys-tems that are designed to provide manage-ment with critical information about work-force issues (Santosus, 1995). “A comprehen-sive base of accurate, up-to-date HR informa-tion that is readily accessible to decisionmakers throughout the organization isabsolutely essential to HR’s ability to performits key roles” (Minneman, 1996). However,the great majority of health care organizationsstill use relatively outdated hardware, soft-ware, databases, and networks (Groe
.,1996). Current HRIS’s are used for only themost routine of HR tasks, and Gamma’s levelof HRIS sophistication, integration, andstandardization of its IT infrastructure is nodifferent. Traditionally, IT infrastructures closelyparalleled the health care organization’s rigidfunctional hierarchy. Hardware, software,databases, and networks were rarely inte-grated, standardized, or sophisticated. As aresult of these fragmented, and unstandard-ized systems, information ﬂows were unco-ordinated, unreliable, and disjointed (Ander-son
., 1994).Gamma, however, has attempted to co-ordinate information ﬂows via an updatedHRIS core application. This upgrade includ-ed data conversion to a new HR softwarepackage, improved report validation, andgeneral redesign and improvement of theHRIS package. The data conversion process involved thedetermination of the demands and limits of each database. For example, the old HRISallowed the user to import data and populatethe system, but it had difﬁculty integratingand reporting out the new history records. The old HRIS version did not have a data-conversion routine and could not deﬁne theﬁle layout. The new version of the HRIS had adata-conversion utility available which facili-tated the process. The reporting process was also reengi-neered. Current reports were reevaluated andreviewed. Samples of standardized reportswere evaluated using the employee database.Managers were interviewed to determine theirperceptions of what HRIS information wasneeded and what form it should take. Exten-sive HR training, testing of key reports, andprinting of formats and sample reports for therecords management manual were key ele-ments in providing for a smooth transition tothe new system. The reengineering effort was successfulfrom a number of perspectives. There wereimprovements in report writing capabilities of the system. The new system allowed morespace for open-ended comments and addedﬁelds to track and report information byemployee, position, department, and facilityafﬁliation. These improvements eliminatedthe need to maintain separate databases. Theresult was a fully integrated, sophisticated,and standardized system.
Human resource information system at Gamma
J.A. Rodger, P.C. Pendharkar, D.J. Paper and P. Molnar
FacilitiesVolume 16 · Number 12/13 · December 1998 · 361–365