A regional health authority wishes to procure an information system to help manage the care of patients suffering from mental health problems. The overall goals of the system are twofold:
1. To generate management information that allows health service managers to assess performance against local and government targets.
2. To provide medical staff with timely information to facilitate the treatment of patients.
The health authority has a number of clinics that patients may attend in different hospitals and in local health centres. Patients need not always attend the same clinic and some clinics may support ‘drop in’ as well as pre-arranged appointments.
The nature of mental health problems is such that patients are often disorganised so may miss appointments, deliberately or accidentally lose prescriptions and medication, forget instructions and make unreasonable demands on medical staff. In a minority of cases, they may be a danger to themselves or to other people. They may regularly change address and may be homeless on a long-term or short-term basis. Where patients are dangerous, they may need to be ‘sectioned’ – confined to a secure hospital for treatment and observation.
Users of the system include clinical staff (doctors, nurses, health visitors), receptionists who make appointments and medical records staff. Reports are generated for hospital management by medical records staff. Management have no direct access to the system.
The system is affected by two pieces of legislation (in the UK, Acts of Parliament). These are the Data Protection Act that governs the confidentiality MHCPMS Case Study 2 of personal information and the Mental Health Act that governs the compulsory detention of patients deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.
The system is NOT a complete medical records system where all information about a patients’ medical treatment is maintained. It is solely intended to support mental health care so if a patient is suffering from some other unrelated condition (such as high blood pressure) this would not be formally recorded in the system.
As a lead analyst for MHCPS, it is your responsibility is to plan and gather system requirements. Answer the following questions on how you would gather requirements for the proposed system.
1. Who are MHCPS stakeholders?
2. What are the different ways which can be used to gather the requirements for new MHCPS? Explain each of them.
3. How would you determine the system requirements? Why it is important to identify system requirements precisely?
4. What would be the primary functional requirements for the proposed system? (Hint: you can suggest your own functional requirements which are not listed in the scenario)
5. Briefly describe some possible non-functional requirements for MHCPSunder following categories: