Information Systems and Technology Projects in Healthcare Organisations

Information Systems and Technology Projects in Healthcare Organisations

Jorge Gomes (ISEG, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal) and Mário José Batista Romão (ISEG, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch326

Abstract

Healthcare organisations must improve their business practices and internal procedures in order to meet the increasing demands of health professionals and the public in general for better information. Hospitals have adopted a patient-centred care approach and have invested massively in information systems and technology (IS/IT), in the hope that these investments will improve medical care and that they will meet patient demands. From the point of view of public service, the focus of healthcare system is the patient, and therefore any intervention should be based on their needs and expectations. It has become more and more important that investments in information systems and technology (IS/IT) support not only short-term objectives, but also long-term benefits, in order to provide a sustainable service for organisations, professionals and users. The main objective of this research is to study how organisational maturity, enhanced by IS/IT investments and project management best practices, leads to successful projects in healthcare organisations.
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Introduction

The challenges facing healthcare organizations require more comprehensive and integrated solutions and efficient resource management as a means of eliminating inefficiencies and of achieving promised benefits. In academic literature, information systems and technology (IS/IT) have been recognized as being an organizational capability that can lead to competitive advantage and better performance (Bharadwaj 2000; Kohli & Devaraj 2003). Organizations recognize project management as being a fundamental tool for the development of initiatives which lead to the implementation of the organizational strategies (Crawford, 2005; Hodgson, 2002). One way that the effectiveness of IS/IT project management capability has been assessed is through the use of maturity models, with the underlying assumption that higher levels of project management maturity imply a higher effectiveness of project management capability (Kwak & Ibbs 2002; Sonnekus & Labuschagne, 2004).

Our research focuses on the combination of the project management and maturity models approaches as a means of strengthening the final results of IS/IT projects in the healthcare sector. It is the authors' belief that this combination of approaches enhances not only the success of projects, but also the realization of the expected benefits. It is also important to emphasize that, by taking advantage of the specific features of each of these approaches, their structure will certainly increase the effectiveness of IS/IT projects in the health sector, by enhancing both the confidence of sponsors and investors, and also the achievement of the promise benefits.

The maturity models approach provides a framework which helps organizations increase their capability to deliver projects on schedule, within budget, and according to the desired technical performance (Levin & Skulmoski, 2000). Projects are temporary achievements that are used to solve various types of tasks of variable size, and are applicable in a very broad range of business sectors (Maylor, 2001). Project management coordinates skills and organizational knowledge and follows the progress of a set of pre-established activities in order to achieve objectives (Kronbichel, 2009). Many organizations fail to review whether the planned benefits of IS/IT projects have been achieved, or not, as they do not possess sufficient resources to undertake such a benefit review, and, moreover, they are constantly under pressure to deliver other projects (Bennington & Baccarini, 2004). Benefits management identifies goals and benefits by combining organizational changes and investments in IS/IT, and also by showing the way to achieve them (Gomes, Romão & Caldeira, 2013; Ward & Daniel, 2006).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Project Management Success: Project management success is measured mostly against cost, time and quality.

Maturity Models: A theoretical framework that helps organizations to increase their ability to deliver projects by assessing strengths and weaknesses, good sector practices and benchmarking with similar organizations.

Critical Success Factors: Critical success factors are elements which are vital for a project to be successful.

Benefits Management: Benefits Management is an integral part of managing change and aims to increase the success of the measurable and significant benefits of investments in IS/IT for an organization.

Project Management: Project management is the application of processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience to achieve the project objectives.

Project Success Criteria: Project success criteria are the standards by which the project will be judged at completion.

Project Success: Project success is measured against the overall objectives of the project.

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