Enterprise resource planning is defined as the management of the business processes, which allows the business organizations to use a computer system of integrated applications. The uses of the enterprise resource planning helps in automation of the back office functions and enhance the business of the organization. This assignment highlights the ERP system and its effectiveness in health care systems. Health care systems are an essential sector in the society and hence the enterprise resource planning is effective in automating and enhancing the back end functionalities. This assignment defines the business processes of the health care system, along with development of the business requirements. The ways that the business is enhanced is also highlighted in this assignment. The level of efficiency of the technology implemented is evaluated and the potential security risks are also highlighted. The possible risks of implementing the ERP are also taken into consideration in this assignment.
Defining business processes
The business processes of the healthcare sector consist of various intricate stages, fulfilment of each of these enhances the overall business in the healthcare sector. Attempts to improve the healthcare services across the world have been taken up by various healthcare organizations (Ahmad and Cuenca 2013). The healthcare sector have been facing issues such as lack of effective care, lack of accuracy in the diagnosis of the patients, delay in the various systems as well as manual labour needed (Chou et al. 2014). These business processes needs to be enhanced by the implementation of the ERP. The various business processes that are involved in the healthcare sector are as follows:
- Admission of the patients: One of the most important processes in a health care sector is the admission of the patients. This process is usually carried out manually, without the implementation of the ERP system. This results in manual errors that might occur by the employees of the healthcare sector (Kurbel 2013). Moreover, storage and retrieval of the manual records are a challenge as the healthcare organization grows in size.
- Diagnosis of the patients and categorization: The diagnosis of the patients is essential processes that have to be done flawlessly (Ahmad and Cuenca 2013). Depending of the results of diagnosis, the patients are then categorized into the various departments for further treatment. Thus, the accuracy of the diagnosis is essential for admitting the patient into the appropriate department.
- Doctors and nurses assigned to each patient: The availability of the doctors and nurses have to be maintained by the healthcare sector, in order to keep a record of the patients being treated under which doctor (Nour and Mouakket 2013). This helps in keeping record of the doctor and nurse on duty, on a particular date, in case of any dilemma.
- Complete medical history: Keeping a record of the complete medical history is essential in the healthcare sector. However, manual record keeping might not be accurate and hence the complete medical history might not be obtained. This is essential to have the knowledge of the patient in the database, and the doctors can refer to it, as and when needed. Moreover, many doctors having access to the database are able to view the details of the patients.
- List of medications and tests undergone: The lists of medications that the patient has undergone have to be maintained in a record (Chou et al. 2014). Thus, manual records might be faulty. The simultaneous and remote access to these critical information helps in enhancing the healthcare services provided. In contrast to the ERP system, if the manual system was used, then the overhead of the files would be a great headache for the healthcare authority.
- Release of the patient: Once the treatments of the patients are done, the release of the patients is an elaborate process (Denolf et al. 2015). In order to enhance this process, the patient release system has to be automated. Whether the full payment have been done or not, and whether the patient have to visit the doctor further again or not are obtained easily, by various departments of the healthcare organization.
- Availability of the doctors: The availability of the doctors along with the dates and the time have to be maintained in order to know, which doctor is available when (Ram et al. 2013). Thus, the availability of the doctors is essential to be recorded.
- Overall financial record keeping: The financial record keeping is essential in the healthcare sectors (Shatat 2015). The overall financial recordkeeping process needs to be automated such that effective record keeping could be implemented in the healthcare sector.
- Development of business requirements
All of the above-mentioned processes are essential processes for the healthcare sector. However, all of these process are manual and needs to be automated. The business requirements of the healthcare sector needs automation of the above-mentioned processes. The admission of the patients in the healthcare sector needs to be automated such that the detailed record of the admission history of the patients could be kept in a digital mode. This will enhance the various business processes of the healthcare sector, thus eliminating manual errors. Moreover, the patient information system is will be dedicated online system containing the records of all the patients and all information related to the patients. Moreover, a doctor and medical practitioner system is to be maintained in order to enhance the record keeping system of the doctors.
- Determination of the system requirements
The healthcare sector has to fulfil the system requirements such that the ERP system could be implemented successfully. The healthcare sector has to prepare for the infrastructure, which is essential to host the ERP system successfully. A central database has to be installed by the healthcare sector such that all the ERP systems could be stored in the central server. Moreover, the ERP software has to be installed in order to carry out ERP systems effectively. Along with the central server, various computer systems that are connected to a central server is to be installed. The required platform such as Java, Python, Java script for the installation of ERP system have to be pre-installed in the computers, such that the ERP software could be effectively installed.
- Software and vendor selection
The software and the vendor selection have a key role to play in the success of the healthcare sector. The vendor selected have to be a reputed one, such that the various business processes could be automated with ease. The vendor that could be selected for the healthcare sector could be SAP or Oracle. The software that could be used includes SAP ERP or Microsoft Dynamics GP.
- Three ways to enhance the business using the technology
The various ways that the enhancement of business could be done using the ERP technology are as follows:
- The patient information system is enhanced with the use of the ERP. The information of the patients is stored efficiently and are retrieved with efficiency. Moreover, the accuracy in the information of the patients is also obtained with the use of ERP. Since the ERP system is a centralised system, hence any update in the system is reflected even from remote locations.
- The patient relationship management is enhanced with the use of the ERP systems. The patients could be given remainder of their medicines or regular check up, if their information is stored using the ERP system. The mapping of the doctor with the patients is done effectively, thus enhancing the overall performance of the healthcare sector.
- The financial controls and the accounts are maintained efficiently by the use of the ERP systems (Stefanou 2014). The account keeping is automated by the use of the ERP system, since the manipulations by the accountants cannot be made in the ERP system. The changes made in systems are transparent and could be accessed from any location. Thus, clarity in the transactions is obtained.
- Potential security risks and data breaches
Since the ERP system is a computerised system, hence there are various potential threats and risks attached to the online system. These are as follows:
- Security issues: The security issues that might arise due to the use of the ERP systems are that the ERP systems might be hacked and the sensitive information of the doctors as well as the patients could be lost (Tarhini et al. 2015). Moreover, due to the lack of security of the ERP systems, the administrator could manipulate the sensitive data thus, hampering the integrity of the ERP systems.
- Lack of privacy: Since the ERP system is a centralised one, the information that is stored is not private (Sykes et al. 2014). Moreover, the same ERP system is used all over the healthcare organization; hence, the privacy of information is often lost. The information of the patients are accessed by all and hence, the privacy of the patients are breached. This lack of protection of data might violate the data privacy act.
- Data management risks: ERP and its efficient usage require expert knowledge. Thus, the employees have to posses the required expertise to use the ERP system effectively. However, lack of adequate knowledge about the ERP system will result in data management risks, and loss of sensitive data. If regular backup is not taken, then the complete database could be lost due to system failure.
- Technical risks: The technical risks include the failure of effective implementation of the ERP system. The healthcare sector might not be ready for the successful implementation of the ERP system. Moreover, the technical feasibility and the financial feasibility of the healthcare sector might not be achieved. If the healthcare sector infrastructure is not ready, then the technical risks are strong in the healthcare sector.
- Selection of the wrong software: The software market has various ERP software available and a wide variety of vendors who sell the ERP software (Ozorhon and Cinar 2015). However, it is essential to choose the most appropriate software that is best suited for the particular healthcare sector (Nowak and Kurbel 2016). Thus, this choice has a critical role to play in the enhancement of the healthcare systems. If the wrong software is selected, then the effectiveness of the ERP systems is lost.
- Lack of customization: Customization is an essential part of the ERP systems. The ERP systems have to be customized such that the utility could be effectively utilized. Lack of customization of the ERP might not be effective for the healthcare sector. Since each if the healthcare organization have their own set of requirements, hence such minute customization of the ERP software might not be practical possible.
Mitigation of risks
The various risks that are attached with the implementation of the ERP system could be effectively mitigated by the efficiency of the employees. Moreover, the risks of the ERP system could be mitigated by ensuring data privacy as well as protection of the information of the patients as well as the healthcare practitioners (Tarhini et al. 2015). Moreover, the risks of hacking could be mitigated by using various software that could detect the unusual activities of the ERP system. It is essential that the ERP system is used effectively, with the mitigation of the risks, that are likely to occur.
The enterprise resource planning is an essential computerised system that helps in the automation of the essential functions of the business organization. This assignment highlights the use of ERP system in the healthcare sector and its utility in the enhancement of the healthcare practices. The implementation of the patient information system as well as the healthcare practitioner information system is effective in enhancing the process of record keeping. Moreover, with the effective utilization of the ERP, the patient-hospital relationships are enhanced as the automated system is able to provide alters to the patients regarding the dates of the next check up. The information stored is authentic and could be retrieved easily with the effective use of the ERP.
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