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        Tips and Guidelines for Buying a Hospital Information System

        Bedside computerized information systems used for acquiring, displaying, and reporting patient data and information. Clinical information is provided in real-time tracking of vital signs, as well as administrative information.

        Tips for Buying a Hospital Information System

        1. These systems should provide the following features: a user defined screen, nursing care plans, flow sheets order entry, results reporting, ADT, QA, audit trails, and printed reports. Decision support may be offered as a clinical function. For system security, multilevel user ID and password are minimum requirements.

        2. To provide an effective use, these systems should be interfaced with the appropriate existing information systems. They should also be expandable and able to incorporate new technologies easily without affecting performance.

        3. Facilities need to give special consideration to installation planning, airflow and utilization of floor space and cabling because an entire room may be dedicated to hardware.

        4. Sprinklers should be replaced by inert-gas systems to prevent hardware damage from fire.

        5. Additional equipment, including modems, fiber optic cable, and special conduit may be required for connections between distant computers. Facilities should keep in mind that adding special equipment may cause design problems and increase cost.

        6. Facilities should seriously consider the issue of servicing the computer hardware and software and should discuss it in detail with prospective suppliers. They should touch on issues like: who provides service and software maintenance, where the service representatives are located, and when they are available. Some suppliers offer support via telephone and modem. Facilities should evaluate their current system before making a purchase. Automation will not necessarily solve inefficiencies if there are any.

        7. The objectives and functional requirements of the system should be determined by facilities considering a purchase of a bedside information system. They should then submit requests for proposals to several suppliers. 

        8. A desirable system is one that meets the needs of all the users in the facility.

        9. Facilities are encouraged to hire a health information security officer to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of patients.

        Questions for the Seller

        Before you purchase your Hospital Information System, we recommend you ask the seller the following questions:

        General

        Software installed? (Name + Version)

        Clinical Functions

        • Does it have a user-defined screen?
        • Does it have a user-defined reports?
        • Does it include a nursing care plan?
        • Does it include flow sheets?
        • Does it include nursing?
        • Does it include medical/surgical?
        • Does it include ICU?
        • Does it include order entry?
        • Does it include results reporting?
        • Does it include decision support?
        • Does it include Quality Assurance?
        • Does it include an audit trail?
        • Does it include printed reports?

        Tips and Guidelines for Buying a Hospital Information System

        Bedside computerized information systems used for acquiring, displaying, and reporting patient data and information. Clinical information is provided in real-time tracking of vital signs, as well as administrative information.

        Tips for Buying a Hospital Information System

        1. These systems should provide the following features: a user defined screen, nursing care plans, flow sheets order entry, results reporting, ADT, QA, audit trails, and printed reports. Decision support may be offered as a clinical function. For system security, multilevel user ID and password are minimum requirements.

        2. To provide an effective use, these systems should be interfaced with the appropriate existing information systems. They should also be expandable and able to incorporate new technologies easily without affecting performance.

        3. Facilities need to give special consideration to installation planning, airflow and utilization of floor space and cabling because an entire room may be dedicated to hardware.

        4. Sprinklers should be replaced by inert-gas systems to prevent hardware damage from fire.

        5. Additional equipment, including modems, fiber optic cable, and special conduit may be required for connections between distant computers. Facilities should keep in mind that adding special equipment may cause design problems and increase cost.

        6. Facilities should seriously consider the issue of servicing the computer hardware and software and should discuss it in detail with prospective suppliers. They should touch on issues like: who provides service and software maintenance, where the service representatives are located, and when they are available. Some suppliers offer support via telephone and modem. Facilities should evaluate their current system before making a purchase. Automation will not necessarily solve inefficiencies if there are any.

        7. The objectives and functional requirements of the system should be determined by facilities considering a purchase of a bedside information system. They should then submit requests for proposals to several suppliers. 

        8. A desirable system is one that meets the needs of all the users in the facility.

        9. Facilities are encouraged to hire a health information security officer to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of patients.

        Questions for the Seller

        Before you purchase your Hospital Information System, we recommend you ask the seller the following questions:

        General

        Software installed? (Name + Version)

        Clinical Functions

        • Does it have a user-defined screen?
        • Does it have a user-defined reports?
        • Does it include a nursing care plan?
        • Does it include flow sheets?
        • Does it include nursing?
        • Does it include medical/surgical?
        • Does it include ICU?
        • Does it include order entry?
        • Does it include results reporting?
        • Does it include decision support?
        • Does it include Quality Assurance?
        • Does it include an audit trail?
        • Does it include printed reports?
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