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Datemed Company Analysis

Essay by   •  May 31, 2013  •  Case Study  •  2,169 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,596 Views

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DataMed is one of the largest privatized medical clinics operating in Vancouver, offering a broad array of services such as post-surgery care, physiotherapy and patient education programs. DataMed's business strategy is to reduce customer wait times. The following is a proposal of how investments in technology can improve efficiency in day-to-day operations and allow DataMed to gain market share. DataMed will generate revenue by establishing a strong reputation for providing an efficient turnover of customers and fulfilling consumers' needs for rapid care with Context-Aware Applications with RFID. See Appendix A for assumptions.

Opportunities for Growth in the Industry

The Canadian Healthcare System is a national health program that aims to provide health services to Canadian residents on a prepaid basis. The average waiting time for a patient in Canada from diagnosis to the actual treatment is estimated at 20 weeks (Appendix B). This issue of wait times has led to many dissatisfied public healthcare clients, which presents an opportunity for growth in the privatized medical industry.

Target Market

According to the 2010 Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Report, the median age in Canada was 39.7 years, with seniors representing the fastest growing age bracket. The trend is expected to continue for the next several years (Appendix C). The 2010 CIHI Report states that Canadians older than 65 account for 44% of all healthcare expenditures, creating a lucrative market opportunity for DataMed. Therefore the target market includes high income and health concerned individuals who are currently dissatisfied with public healthcare.

Marketing

In order to reach its target demographic DataMed uses a click-ad system. DataMed pays for its ads to be posted on search engines and when the ad is clicked. This is an effective method as DataMed will be listed when a potential customer searches keywords relating to any of the various services that DataMed provides. In addition, DataMed has paid contract agreements for referrals with the Vancouver General Hospital and Senior Care Facilities. Potential clients are more inclined to use DataMed's services if referrals are given by a trusted party.

Information Needs

To support DataMed's business strategy of reducing wait times and improving the efficiency of operations, information is needed externally from customers regarding availability, contact and payment method preferences, doctor preferences and medical history. Additional information will be acquired internally from the clinic itself including average length of appointment by visit type. In addition to improving customer service from reduced wait times, information about patient health concerns will address educational initiatives (Appendix D).

Information systems

In order to utilize the information gathered, a decision support system is recommended to assist users with the organization of data and to effectively make decisions on a daily basis (Baltzan, Detlor, and Phillips). Reception staff will use customer information such as contact, payment and doctor preferences to provide appointment reminders, complete transactions and schedule appointments with preferred doctors. Doctors will use the system to monitor patients' history and input new patient information. Prior to the doctor's arrival, a video tutorial will be shown to the patient based on their health concerns and appointment type. Management will use the system to evaluate doctor performance by monitoring return customers, as well as observing the length of each visit which will demonstrate profitable customers, doctors and visit type.

Information Technology

Utilizing particular technologies such as Context Aware Applications with Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) in our business strategy will improve both efficiency and patient volumes. Doctors will each be fitted with a personal RFID (Appendix E) that, once scanned, has the context aware application recognize the presence of the doctor in the room and all technology within the room will be adjusted accordingly. For example, when a doctor walks into a room, the patient tutorial videos will be disabled, and the doctor-client appointment will begin with patient information displayed on an interactive monitor. This eliminates the need for doctors' to carry around paper files while giving patient care. By doing this, efficiency can be greatly improved, as doctors can focus on analyzing patients quickly without having to worry about adjusting surrounding technologies or accessing their files and applications.

Strengths and Weakness Analysis

RFIDs are relatively inexpensive to implement, distribute and replace. Recent developments in RFID technology have permitted higher capacities in memory and data storage. Additionally, there have been significant size improvements that have made RFIDs smaller and easily placed on doctor identification cards attached to a lanyard. Loss or damage of a RFID tag will be an issue that can easily be mitigated as important information and data will already be on a database. The technology associated with context aware applications is able to eliminate intermediate steps by recognizing and automatically programming machines to the doctor's preferences. However, the coordination, maintenance and IT support involved in such a system may be costly.

Economic Feasibility of the Proposed System

With the implementation, we expect to see an increase in costs in the first few months and an increase in sales revenue thereafter. Expenses associated with our proposed system include cost of the RFID tags, which range from $0.10-$0.20 per unit. Approximately 20-25 RFID readers will also need to be purchased to scan the RFID chips inside the clinic, with costs ranging from $500 to $2,000 per unit (RFID Journal). There will also be a need for a Smartboard, an interactive touch whiteboard system, in each room to respond to the context signalled from the RFID and for doctors to update client information during the visit. A Smartboard will cost approximately $2,000 per unit. By implementing this system, we expect to see an increase in sales from current customers coming back for more visits and an increase in market share. The proposed system will allow the clinic to have more appointments per day as doctors will go through each appointment faster, because of increased efficiency. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, 70% of people are dissatisfied with waiting times in the public healthcare sector, and with a growing trend of increasing health expenditures

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