IMPLEMENTING A CAPACITY MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM

Doctors’ Hospital is a 162-bed, acute care facility located in a small city in the southeastern
The United States. The organization had a major financial upheaval six years ago that resulted in
the establishment of a new governing structure. The new governing body consists of an
eleven-member authority board. The senior management of Doctors’ Hospital includes the
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), three senior vice presidents, and one vice president. During
the restructuring, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) was changed from a full-time staff
position to a part-time contract position. The CIO spends two days every two weeks at
Doctors’ Hospital.
Doctors’ Hospital is currently in Phase 1 of a three-phase construction project. In Phase 2
the hospital will build a new emergency department (ED) and surgical pavilion, which are
scheduled to be completed in eleven months.
Information Systems Challenge
The current ED and outpatient surgery department have experienced tremendous growth in the
past several years. ED visits have increased by 50 percent, and similar increases have been
seen in outpatient surgery. Management has identified that inefficient patient flow processes,
particularly patient transfers and discharges, have resulted in backlogs in the ED and
outpatient areas. The new construction will only exacerbate the current problem.
Nearly a year ago Doctors’ Hospital made a commitment to purchase a capacity management
software suite to reduce the inefficiencies that have been identified in patient flow processes. The
original timeline was to have the new system pilot-tested prior to the opening of the new ED and
surgical pavilion. However, with the competing priorities its members face as they deal with major
construction, the original project steering committee has stalled. At its last meeting nearly six
months ago, the steering committee identified the vendor and product suite. Budgets and timelines
for implementation were proposed but not finalized. No other steps have been taken.
Discussion Questions
1. Do you think the absence of a full-time CIO has had an impact on this acquisition project? Why
or why not?
2. What steps should the CIO take to ensure that the capacity management system will be
purchased and implemented? What do you see as the critical first step in this process? Why?
3. Discuss who you think should serve on the project steering committee. Who should serve as
chair? Why?
4. At this point, what do you think is a realistic time frame for the implementation of the capacity
management system? What steps can be taken to ensure the new timeline is met despite
competing priorities?

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