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IT Assessment: Partners in Health

Free «IT Assessment: Partners in Health» Essay Sample

1. Executive Summary

The aim of this research project is to depict how a health organization (Partners In Health) has encompassed the use of Information Technology in its day-to-day operations in respect to the current technological trends. It therefore depicts how the health organization has used numerous technology infrastructures in order to enhance service delivery to its clients. The research proposal also explains various business applications and interfaces that are used by Partners In Health and further depicts the type of data collected, the manner, in which they are collected and eventually how they are used by this health organization. This research project discusses how privacy and security of the organization is managed through the use of Information Technology in order to protect vital and sensitive data from landing to unauthorized people and explains business continuity of the organization and its disaster recovery planning. Lastly, the research project discusses the extent, to which technology in the organization has been diffused.

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2. Background Information on Partners in Health (PIH)

The Partners in Health is a global health organization that partners with other relevant organizations and institutions in order to make it possible for it to provide expert consultation while at the same time keeping the medical personnel well updated. PIH is also an organization that does more partnerships and even gets more grants in order to technologically advance its endeavors in finding new drugs that can help in dealing with diseases, such as HIV/AIDS. In addition to that, PIH as an organization mentor, supports bright medical students so that they can become good doctors in future. Generally, PIH has helped many individuals across the world, who have been stricken with various diseases like HIV/AIDS and TB in countries, such as Rwanda and Liberia.

3. Making of Decisions Regarding IT Investments

The Organizational Structures of IT Department and the Company as a Whole

IT Department of PIH has endeavored to ensure that the entire organization embraces the use of new technological innovations in delivery of necessary services. The organization has therefore realized the fact that enhancement in the use of information technology can greatly help it provide better health care to its clients. A feasibility study was carried out by PIH’s IT department in order to ascertain how software, hardware, pharmacy equipment, imaging devices, and other important devices can be integrated together to enhance service delivery in the organization. While purchasing the IT equipment, the department ensured that it was well updated and compatible with the relevant hardware and software to make the operations effective.


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Strategic and Capital Planning

IT department ensured that it made a decision of having the IT infrastructure acquired on a long-term basis because rental mode was very expensive and the organization could lose a lot. The organization thus opted to acquire the relevant IT infrastructure so that it can use it on a long term basis instead of renting it.

4. Organizational Structure of PIH

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the general management of the organization. It is composed of several Chief Officers. Indeed, the organization’s model supports IT and therefore the Head of IT is responsible for making all major decisions in the organization. The IT department therefore ensures that the operations of PIH across the world are centralized in one location to make its running effective. As of now, it can generally be ascertained that PIH as a health organization has got a hybrid organization in its IT department. The organization has embraced modern technological innovations in order to give the best medical aid to suffering patients across the world. In partnership with various stakeholders, such as Brigham Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, the organization has also engaged in online education, which avails current information to its medical staff and seeks the consultations of other experts to deal with problematic situations. For instance, it has adopted the use of OpenMRS, software designed with an aim of giving medical assistance in developing nations and rack vital information.

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5. Business Applications and Interfaces

Prove in the use of IT innovation by PIN is quite evident in Butaro Hospital. The use of laptops and wireless network is spread across the hospital and its nursing stations. The introduction of tablets in the year 2013 made the manual data entry come to a halt and this enhanced storage of patient information.

6. Data Collection and Its Uses

To further its technological advancements, in 2013, PIH was affecting its plans in the mental health care sector to come up with mHealth, a mobile health pilot that refers communities to health centers depending on the patients’ condition and symptoms, and in some cases mobile clinics are provided for them for quick medical assistance. Information technology in the previous years is also evident. Income Tax Returns of the year 2008 show that PIH’s expenditure on information technology was $662,847, which was used partly to run the project of construction of Butaro Hospital in Rwanda, run clinical tests of new drugs, which were designed to treat multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis.

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7. Privacy and Security Management

Privacy is mandatory in Partners In Health in order to protect people’s information. Information regarding donors and people who inquire information about them, which is Personally Identifiable Information, is not collected for children under the age of thirteen, which is also recommended for people of age below 18. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is used in a confidential manner; therefore no accessibility is granted to unauthorized people or organizations. The basic idea behind Personally Identifiable Information is processing donations, sending requested materials, sharing information that may be of interest to the person. Also, one may opt out and request deletion of one’s PII. Its information backup is located in the USA, where servers store information electronically. PII is protected by data protection laws of the USA. The use of passwords is also applied on the organization’s computers to prevent unauthorized access.

8. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning

In Partners In Health, business continuity and disaster recovery are important as marketing and business plans. When looking at disaster recovery, the organization has put mechanisms that it will follow in case it is struck with a disaster. These mechanisms have clearly outlined exit procedures and effective communication between employees with the central hub. Things like backup of business information, flashlights and emergency supplies have been put in place to cater for the occurrence of any disaster.

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In situations when Partners In Health has been a victim of disasters, it has outlined business continuity plans that will ensure that the organization still continues surviving. These plans indicate how and where it will be forced to conduct its business in case it is affected by the disaster. These plans, which have been put in place, aid in maintaining generation of profits and stability of the organization.

9. Level of Technology Diffusion

Guttman scaling was developed and used to measure the level of infusion of innovations that were existent in the organization and the overall response rate was 73%, in which individual variables were consistent with the final average. It is evident that the organization trait is one of the crucial factors that affect diffusion of information technology modernization.

10. Level of User’s Technology Adoption and Training Needs

Its partnerships with relevant institutions and organizations will help Partners In Health grow better and reach other places, which also need its assistance not only to eradicate poverty from the community, but also to keep it safe from potential epidemics, such as Ebola, infant mortality and other potential threats like in cases when natural disasters strike the place. The donations that are given to it provide it with financial aid that helps the people involved in coming up with medical solutions to the given problems. It will ensure better new drugs discovery and also better ways of eradicating poverty from the affected places.

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11. Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations

Technological advancements cannot be improved if there are no people behind the change. Therefore, it is recommended that students with potential abilities should be mentored and given support to ensure success in their studies for future advancements.

It is therefore evident that technologically, the organization is at par with standards of a global non-profit making organization to provide high quality medical care with a vision to minimize and eradicate, if possible, poverty. A well-maintained organization, which has spread its wings to an international level, marks one of the greatest strides, technological innovation being one of them.

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