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Introduction

Angels of Mercy is history dates back to 1829 from a colonial hospital. In 1833, the colonial hospital grew from a tent to a room rented in a house. By 1946, its location was changed to its current address and its name was changed. The name changed from Public Hospital to Angels of Mercy. Currently, the hospital is located in Perth, and it is one of the busiest hospitals in Australia. The hospital has two branches, in Wellington Street and Shenton Park. The hospital together with the branches has a capacity of eight hundred and thirty three beds.

Services

This hospital has employed more than six thousand employees to cater for the large number of patients in the hospital. There are about seventy thousand patients who visit this hospital annually. This indicates an average of one hundred and ninety two patients every day. The services offered include: emergency care, dermatology, internal medicine, imaging, cancer, neuroscience and haematology, among others. Angeles of Mercy is also a teaching hospital for medicine students. The students come from leading universities in Australia. After learning theoretical work in class, they are allowed to practice in this hospital. This gives them opportunity to handle actual cases of sick people and apply their skills when treating them.

Health Information Management

Angels of Mercy Hospital has twenty departments where they offer their services. Doctors, who report to the head doctor of the hospital, head these departments. There is a head doctor who manages all the operations of the hospital and has to report to the hospital management board. According to Mills et al (1996), some of the disadvantages of this organizational structure feature bureaucracy. Some hospital operations are delayed since it takes time to go through the channels of administration. An advantage of this structure is enabling strong administration in the hospital. One of the crucial issues faced by this structure is labor turnover. The human resource department has to recruit employees regularly, due to the doctors’ resigning. This is a sizable hospital; therefore, it needs a large number of staff to manage it.

The government had plans to move the hospital’s location. It was purposed to move to Murdoch where it would access better facilities. The location will also be in the central business district of Perth hence more people will access it. The current location limits convenience of some operations. For example, some emergency cases brought to the hospital come from far. A number of patients have lost their lives because the hospital was far from their homes. The hospital will be more accessible when it is located at a central location.

Scope and Function of HIMS

The Health Information Management System is used to keep health records of patients. Every patient who visits the hospital has to give personal details, as well as health details (Abdelhak, 2001). Thanks to the advanced technology, the hospital manages this information using computers. It is easy to retrieve, edit or carry out other tasks when information is in soft copy. The information management system used by this hospital protects the information from cases of losing it. The computers have backup systems, which prevents data loss. The patients’ health information is confidential and should not be revealed without the patient’s concept.

Committee

The hospital has a committee of management, which oversees hospital operations. The committee consists of the health information manager, head of doctors, head of departments and chief financial officer. These people belong to the committee and have leadership positions in the hospital. They have the capacity of implementing strategies through the areas which they head. For example, the heads of departments will enforce strategies effectively in the department. The committee is an internal body, and it meets after two weeks.

Health and Safety

Angels of Mercy hospital is cautious about health and safety by installing safety equipment. For example, there are fire extinguishers in the building, in case of fire. The hospital building has several emergency exits, which people can use when need arises. Safety measures were put in place following the legislation (Mill et all, 1996). It requires all building to install safety equipment, as well as equipment of the building with emergency exits. The staffs in the hospital have trained on first aid practices, among other drills relevant during emergency.

For health purposes, the hospital remains remarkably clean all the time. The support staffs assists in cleaning the hospital in all areas. The hospital has a kitchen where food for all staffs and patients is prepared. The kitchen workers ensure there is sufficient flow of water for hygiene purposes. Health and hygiene are the priorities of this hospital. Therefore, the health information manager has to ensure the hospital is clean and safe for everyone who walks in its premises.

HIMS Management

Duty Roster for a Month

Employees of this hospital have a duty roster. It is prepared by the health information manager. This roster mostly addresses duties for doctors, nurses and support staff. Employees in the administration have fixed working hours since duties are predetermined. The roster divides the working hours fairly among doctors, nurses and support staff. The crucial issue facing the hospital duty roster is insufficient staff during leaves and offs. It becomes worse during public holidays because many staff members are away yet there are patients coming in for treatment. The information manager tries to control such situations and later compensates all employees who did over time hours. In case of any employees who need a long break from work, the hospital hires temporary workers to do the work.

Performance Management Tools

The health information manager uses performance appraisal as a tool to evaluate the performance. He carries out this activity regularly but uses various methods and approaches. For example, a questionnaire is an appropriate method of evaluating employee performance. The questionnaire contains a number of questions relevant to every employee’s performance. All employees are categorized according to their work load and levels (Grote, 2001). They are later issued with the questionnaire. This method is effective since it saves time, and employees are able to give response to all the necessary questions.

Performance appraisal is done quarterly in one year. This has been beneficial for the employee because they get a chance to evaluate their work and efforts. A regular evaluation of performance points out any issues, which need to be addressed. The information manager looks into areas, which need adjustments. For example, the manager organize training programs, workshops and seminars to improve skills of the employees. Medicine is a dynamic field, and it receives rapid changes. Training programs, as well as seminars, are vital for medical practitioners (Grote, 2002).

Recruitment and Selection Procedure for New Staff

The human resource department has adopted a fair and effective means of ensuring the Hospital has qualified staff. The procedure involves identification of the vacant position and the realization of the required professional skills. The next step involves sourcing the required candidates. During this step, the human resource department uses their professional contacts, comprehensive knowledge and creativity of the vacant position in identified the qualified person for the hospital.

This includes placing vacancy adverts in public media and especially in medical journals and publications. On selection of the required candidates, the department has adopted to the use of Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This involves the use of electronic and online application processes. This method is efficient in identifying the required personnel and validating the documents and testimonials used by the candidates.

Health Record Management

For a hospital of this magnitude, storage of records is essential. The hospital has adopted a combination of both the centralized and decentralized filing system for the storage of all the company records. This system involves storing files throughout the entire premises. With this regard, the management stores these records at the relevant departments where the relevant managers record and control information. For instance, the legal personnel file and store legal records in the legal department, who controls information. This is similar to the financial records and the relevant health records.

The management has adopted this system as it has the following underlying benefits. The first advantage is that the records are strategically located in areas where they are mostly relevant for use. This system does not require additional space, as opposed to the centralized system (Whitlinger, et al. 2007). Furthermore, this system has created a sense of responsibility among the staff as they now feel they are in control of the information they create or offer. One should note that this method is effective for active and current records. This is because accessibly is a vital factor for active records.

The management has adopted a decentralized filing system in instances where the records are vital or are of significant value. For such information, the company has set up off-site storage where the company has identified secure areas where such information can be securely stored. In addition, the offsite facility stores archive information where the respective departments have an overflow of records and lack the relevant space. The off-site facilities optimize the space, as the facility is comprised of a high capacity storage system that suits the company’s requirements.

The hospital has adopted color-coding techniques for differentiating various files. For instance, the different departments contain files with different colors. Consequently, when these files are trans-located to the off-site storage facility, it is easy to retrieve them. For instance, finance documents are coded blue while the legal files have their end frames coded yellow.

The management has ensured the filing of all loose information and documents accurately and timely in their relevant storage facilities. This highly facilitates patient support services that make up the vital objective played by the hospital. The management has further adopted a policy for dealing with loose reports, which involve ensuring that all the loose documents and information received by 6.00 P.M. every day and classify them in strict terminal digit order for filling on the next business day. The procedure for filing loose reports involves locating the information in the active file room, including identifying problems.

Health Information Systems

Master Patient Index (MPI) is a record that maintains a differentiated index pertaining to every patient who attends the hospital. The management has adopted the index in every registration application within the hospital. This is vital as it ensures every patient is logically represented and only using a single identifier. This identifier contains the patient’s clinical information. The MPI has further made it possible the cross-referencing of clinical and demographic information between the various facilities. Some of the information contained in the MPI includes the patient’s name, internal patent identification, race, ethnicity and the date of birth.

The Central Patient Index module acts as a repository for all information pertaining to the patient. The index module stores all the master patient indexes for the hospital patients. When out patient and emergency cases are concerned, the module integrates with the ADT (Admitting, Discharge and Transfer) module (Finn, & Bria, 2009). The Master Patient Index (MPI) is an electronic medical record system recently adopted by the hospital. The system is computerized and stores the patient’s medical information. The system is structured in a way that the relevant personnel are able to have instantaneous access to the patent’s medical information.

Fundamentally, the management has ensured that no person can delete patient information from the database. However, there are allowances for adding information and stating the relevant information. The hospital has adopted a classification system on all the personnel as a form of identification on the person eligible to access patient information and alter such information. With this regard, the system is highly secure, and it ensures business integrity and confidentiality as only eligible administrators and physicians have online access to the database.

Quality Improvement/Clinical Governance (Safety)

A data audit of Angels of Mercy hospital included analyzing the hospital’s health records. The objective of the audit was to establish whether the hospital management was maintaining proper medical health records of patients attending the hospital. This further involves the analysis of the effectiveness of the recording and storage methods adopted by the hospital and whether these were in accordance with the laid out standards in Australia.

The findings of the audit indicated that the hospital was indeed maintaining proper records of the patients in accordance with the laid standards of the Health Ministry of Australia. However, there was some over reliance on the electronic methods for recording information and storage purposes. This action has its own limitation because computerized systems often fail. In addition, electronic information storage techniques are yet to prove whether they are reliable in the long run (Gearon, et al. 2007). With this regard, although adapting to new technology renders the processes highly efficient, it is vital for the company to maintain the traditional system of recording patient in hardcopy.

Review on the record keeping processes in the hospital indicates that the confidentially of the clinical information of the patient is highly maintained. The hospital has an effective access authorization system that ensures only the relevant personnel have access to patient information. Furthermore, the hospital management has ensured that no person could delete patient information in the various databases. This has played a crucial role in ensuring there are no cases, where people maliciously distort patient information. In addition, it is easy to find and investigate instances of medical malpractice.

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