Workflow, System Life Cycle and Product Choice

Using the following case study, choose from one of two identified discharge planning software products currently on the market. Your product choice should be grounded in information provided from your readings and other supplemental resources as it relates to: Life Cycle of a Project, Diffusions of Innovations Theory and Work Flow (including task analysis).

Write about your product choice selection in a 3-5 page paper using MS. Word and submit it as an assignment. To help guide your writing, use the following outline:

  1. Statement of the Problem & Background (what is the need within the institution, and/or what problem will the software product address)
  2. Value (what value will the proposed software product bring to the organization)
  3. “Must Have’s” versus “Wants” Requirements in the Discharge Planning Software (what is a must to get the job done for your institution
  4. Compare the two products (using a table is helpful) using the criteria of:
    1. Goodness of Fit (the ability of the software solution to meet the perceived problem)
    2. Interoperability (the ability of the system to exchange electronic health information with and use electronic information with no special effort on the part of the user)
    3. Ease of Use (the ability for people to easily use the software to meet the need)
    4. Support (the technical or other company resources available to assist end-users with questions or problems)
    5. Product Choice (Name the product that you choose and provide a rationale for your choice. Please note, there is no right or wrong answer for your product choice, however, you do need to support your rationale for your choice)
    6. Proposed Evaluation (a brief explanation of how you propose to evaluate the product in the near short term [1-3 months]

* Note, you may have to hypothesize or add some context to the described institution and situation, based on your experience. That is fine, but do remember to make this paper scholarly and reflective of an administrative recommendation, that you would present to a supervisor. An evaluation rubric for this assignment is provided.


Case Study:

You are a case manager for an intermediate size (about 250 beds) community based satellite hospital. Your institution is part of a larger health care system, however, the information systems for each satellite are disparate and are not interoperable. You have been told that each of the satellites will be part of a single enterprise-wide integrated electronic health care record system, but that the planning and implementation for the system-wide change will take between 2-3 years.

As a case manager, you have noted that the discharge planning process at your institution is inconsistent in its effectiveness and efficiency when it comes to discharging patients to other facilities.


  1. Patients are sometimes hospitalized an extra day because discharge planning has not taken place in a timely manner
  2. Documentation of the specific plan has not been uniform and does not meet JCAHO standards
  3. The current discharge planning system is a paper system that is cumbersome and requires a great deal of duplication of information, and
  4. Nurses, social workers and others involved in the discharge planning process do not always know which facilities might best meet the needs of patients who are discharged to other facilities

You have talked to your supervisor, who has asked you to investigate some “stand alone” software for discharge planning use, until your institution is brought on board with the integrated enterprise-wide electronic health care system solution. You investigate several solutions and come up with two final candidates that have very different approaches to assisting providers with discharge planning.

Those products are:

  1. Precision Document Solutions is described as: “Healthcare software that streamlines workflows, improves quality of patient care and reduces costs – from patient admission through treatment & discharge. … What makes Precision’s Healthcare Software different? … PDS will manage the planning, implementation and post-launch—with minimal staff and IT resources” More information about PDS is available at:
  2. Discharge Referral Systems is described as: “online healthcare software accelerates hospital discharge planning and placement. The hosted healthcare software system securely connects discharge planners with more than 100,000 long-term care providers nationwide, online.” More information about DRS is available at: Using the information from both Web sites, choose the product which you think will best meet the needs of the institution

Write a 3-5 page recommendation to your supervisor and provide him/her with the information noted above. Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements: Typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides (APA format).

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