Applications of MIS in Service Sectors

Applications of Management Information System in Service Sectors

Customer satisfaction is the main goal of the service industry while this is not true for the manufacturing industry and varies from industry to industry. To maintain its position in the market and remain ahead of others the industry must provide services that are distinct in nature. The service industry must know the services that are required, perceptions and expectations. It must also perform customer and market research to identify the segments that it is going to serve. It is also necessary to carry out the research on perceptions, requirements and expectations on a regular basis for enhancing and upgrading the facilities provided by the services because the demands for services are dynamic in nature as compare to products.

The service sectors are more susceptible to change as compared to the manufacturing sectors. The service sectors get returns much faster compared to the manufacturing sectors. In order to stay in the competition the managers in a service sector give maximum efforts to provide distinctive services.

In the service industries, Management Information System (MIS) gives its prime focus on the services that are needed to the people. Hence, a continuous monitoring should be done in order to understand the changes occurring to the services demand on the basis of level and scope.

A regular scrutiny should be done to understand what the customer perceives by good service. After that a strategy should be adopted that will address the perception of good service to a customer. With the help of the MIS, the management is able to provide services. of the highest level by understanding the needs that enhances the communication, physical and human related processes to maintain this level.

Major Service Management Systems

Information systems are also used in the service sector for process automation in order to take competitive advantages over the others. The information system that is being used differs from service to service. Some of these services are listed below :
Hospital Information Systems
Hotel Information Systems
Banking Information Systems

Hospital Information Systems

Hospital's management has to provide distinctive services to a wide variety of customers having different perceptions and expectations regarding the services. Discrimination can be easily carried out by the customers regarding various aspects such as personal and medical treatment (quality of caring and quality of care), effective and efficient service and service provided at minimum cost. Customer mainly focuses on the end result of the service and appraises the management on the performance of service process.

So we can say that, "Hospital Information System (HIS) is a computerized system that regulates all the medical and administrative information processing activities in order to achieve an efficient and effective work performance by health professionals of a hospital."

The hospital information system is also known as Integrated Hospital Information Processing System (IHIPS) because it integrates various components like Clinical Information System (CIS), Financial Information System (FIS), Laboratory Information System (LIS), Nursing Information System (NIS), Pharmacy Information System (PIS), etc.

Components of Hospital Information System 

1) Clinical Information System (CIS) : 
With the help of the Clinical Information System (CIS) it is possible to collect, store, manipulate and make the clinical information available that is required for the healthcare delivery process. The Clinical Information Systems serves as a store house of the information related to the illness history of a patient and detail of the care providers who have interacted with the patient.

2) Financial Information Systems (FIS) : 
FIS manages the financial activities of the hospital. The FIS have the following characteristics: 

i) Payroll : 
Various kinds of payments and deductions of the employees are managed using this system. The payments are of two types. The recurring ones are generated in an automated manner when the payroll is prepared and the non-recurring ones like overtime are added to the payment once they have been approved.

ii) Patient Accounting : 
This module keeps the track of the financial transactions that have been carried out when the patient visited to the hospital. The various records that are kept such as doctor's fees, charges of operations, medications and procedures and the fees collected from both inpatient and outpatient.

iii) Accounts Payable : 
The payments and invoices generated within the hospital are managed by using this module.

iv) Accounts Receivable : 
Using this module the records related to the clients, payments and invoices are managed.

v) General Ledger : 
The financial data generated from all the transactions are collected, processed and reported using this module. It helps to obtain the financial status of the hospital at any point of view in an accurate manner.

vi) Fixed Asset Management : 
This provides support for retaining asset data and forecasting the depreciation.

vii) Claims Management : 
It deals with the claims that are made to the insurance companies.

viii) Contract Management : 
It handles all the ongoing projects and contracts.

3) Laboratory Information Systems (LIS) : 
Laboratory Information System (LIS) is a specialized computer information system that provides support for various activities related to the laboratory. This includes hematology, clinical chemistry and microbiology, etc. These laboratory disciplines are used by laboratory officers.

Features of Laboratory Information System :

i) Patient Management : 
This system keeps the details of the patient such as admission number, admission date and admitting doctor.

ii) Decision Support : 
Classification codes like LONIC and ICD-9 can be also used to cross reference the lab orders. This will help in verifying the correctness of the test conducted.

iii) Patient Tracking : 
The various tests of the patients are listed in catalog. This is referenced when it is required to review them in future.

iv) Quality Assurance : 
This ensures that the current standards have been followed while tests are carrying out.

v) Management Reporting
vi) Workload Recording

4) Nursing Information System (NIS) : 
A Nursing Information System helps the nurses to improve patient care by using clinical data related to different healthcare scenarios. NIS maintains this data and also makes the information available to the nurses in time and in order.

Features of Nurse Information System :

i) Patient Charting : 
The system keeps the data related to the vital signs of a patient, care plan, nursing assessment and nursing notes in the form of free or structured text.

ii) Staff Schedules : 
By following the scheduling rules given in the shift modules, the nurses can prepare their own schedule. After that the scheduling manager or coordinator confirms or changes their shifts.

iii) Clinical Data Integration : 
The nursing staff can retrieve, view and analyse all the clinical information from here. After that they integrate all these to design a care plan for the particular patient.

iv) Decision Support : 
The system can provide guidance related to disease such as symptoms/signs, patient populations, related factors/etiologies and reminders and also prompts regarding new updates.

5) Pharmacy Information Systems : 
These are complex systems that provide support to the pharmacy department of a hospital. It makes able the pharmacists to supervise and understand the use of medications in a hospital.

Features of Pharmacy Information Systems :

i) Clinical Screening : 
Such system provides patient care support to the pharmacists regarding interactions of drugs, drug allergies and other complications related to medication.

ii) Prescription Management : 
Such systems also provide management support to prescriptions for both outpatients and inpatients.

iii) Inventory Management : 
Pharmacy Information System also provides an internal inventory of the pharmaceutical products. The systems generate alerts whenever the quantity of a particular item goes below a defined value. It also contains an electronic ordering system and sends requisition to the approved suppliers.

iv) Patient Drug Profiles : 
Pharmacy Information System also manages drug profiles of patients that contain details about the past and current medicines that have been provided to the patients. The physiological parameters and known allergies of the patient. are also noted. Whenever a prescription is generated for a patient, a clinical screening is carried out using the profiles.

v) Report Generation : 
PIS also generates the various types of reports like the reports related to the price of medicines dispensed and purchased and the pattern of medicine use.

vi) Interactivity with other Systems : 
The Pharmacy Information System must be able to communicate with other systems such as the financial information system to get the information related to charge and bill for medications and clinical information systems to get the information related to the prescriptions.

6) PACS (Picture Archiving Communication System) : 
The PACS helps in archiving. viewing and processing of radiological images that have been recorded digitally. It also manages the information related to the images.
The greatest facility provided by PACS is that one can access the images efficiently within a time. So the related information can be interpreted easily in a hospital. A number of doctors can access the same images with the help of network. This helps in making the process of diagnosis better and efficient.

7) Radiology Information System : 
This is a specialized computer system that helps in providing radiology services. The user can store, manipulate and retrieve information.

Features of Radiology Information Systems :

  • Registering Patient
  • Scanning of Request and document
  • Entries of Result(s)
  • Reporting
  • Result(s) Delivery including faxing and e mailing of clinical reports
  • Tracking of Patient
  • Interactive Documents
  • lectronic Medical Record (EMR) is a medical record in digital format

Front-End and Back-End Applications of Hospital IS

Following are the front end applications of HIS : 

1) Patient Database : 
It handles the queries regarding patients who are currently being treated and also who have been already discharged. These queries are made by any patient, staff or doctor of the hospital.

2) Medical Server Database : 
It handles the information regarding name, telephone no. address, holidays, locations, work times of all the hospital staff including doctors, technician and nurses. It also provide important support service centers that provide services during emergency including blood banks, laboratories, special clinics and other special facility centers.

3) Resource Planning and Control : 
Online queries regarding the scheduling, rescheduling and availability of facilities and resources are answered by this module. The facilities are used in a proper way after determining their usage.

4) Medical Case History Database : 
It contains the knowledge database which includes the case history that facilitates research and provides guidance. It also supervises the drug's effect to measure its adequacy by recognizing the patient's feedback's. It plans the health service strategy after analyzing the demand for health care services.

Following are the back office applications of HIS : 

1) Core Applications :
The various core applications are as follows : 
  • Manpower and personnel planning.
  • Payroll and the employee related applications. 
  • Hospital billing and recovery. 
  • An inventory control-procurement, planning and control. 
  • The expiry data management. 
  • Financial accounting. 
  • Capital budgeting and expense control.
  • Maintenance of the service facilities. 
  • Resource utilization and analysis.

2) Critical Control Applications : 
The basic standards used for control are derived. Various reports are provided to the management so that forward control and planning can be carried out easily. Reports are related to the following activities :
  • Patients waiting time and service cycle.
  • Non-use of critical resources. 
  • Stock-outs of the critical drugs and time needed to get the supply. 
  • Patients admitted, treated and cured during a time period. 
  • Cost and revenue of the hospital. 
  • Understanding the new trends in services and analysing what to be done to satisfy the services.
  • Analysis of the delays in terms of duration and causes. 
  • Reporting the causes and analyzing the number of patients which have been sent to some other hospital due to lack of facilities.

Barriers of Hospital Information System

Though there are numerous benefits that are provided by the Hospital Information Systems there are some reasons that result in the rolling out of systems from a hospital. Some of the reasons have been given below :

1) Initial Cost of Acquisition : 
Many healthcare organisations face difficulty in implementing HIS due to the high cost of setting up the infrastructure.

2) Privacy and Security : 
Ensuring the privacy of the data about the patients and other related information is one of the prime concerns of the healthcare sector. To address few of these concerns the government have passed The Data Protection Act and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) respectively.

3) Clinician Resistance : 
Most of clinicians dedicate 10-20 minutes to communicate with the patients. They resist such systems if they are proved to be taking too much time than needed.

4) Integration of Legacy Systems : 
It is the most important system of the HIS. It helps to meet the HIS and various needs evolved from clinical organisational and managerial level. That is why many organizations face great challenge to achieve integration.

Hotel Information System 

People generally take the service of the hotels when they are visiting some other place and don't have a place to stay there. It is considered to be a place where a person can stay conveniently. However, in the recent times there have been a number of changes in the concept of hotel due to a number of causes. People always search for differentiated services in a hotel.

There has been a remarkable transition from convenience to comfort, from comfort to enjoyment and finally from enjoyment to total service. This has happened because a large number of people are taking the service of the hotels. The profile of the customers has also undergone drastic changes. Initially the hotels were designed to suit the individuals. Later they had to carry out modifications to accommodate tourist groups, family and business executives. Each time changes must be carried out in the design of the hotel to accommodate the changes in the customer demands. Depending on the budget of the customers the concept of star hotels has come up so that various segments of customers can be served.

One of the common problems that are faced by the managers of hotels is regarding differentiated service to the customers. The prime objective of any hotel is to offer a room with the basic facilities and amenities to the customer and ensure that the stay is comfortable. The hotel gets a successful business if the most of the rooms are occupied and the visitors take those services that can be billed separately. The hotel business is said to perform well if its occupancy and turnover is high.

The MIS that is used in the hotels helps in understanding the expectations and perceptions of the customers. The hotel is then able to fulfill these expectations in the best way.

Responsibilities of Hotel Information System

1) Keep Track of the Customer Profile : 
The customer database stores the information related to the customers as listed below :
  • Type of the customer,
  • The nature or purpose of visiting or staying,
  • The time period of staying,
  • The service requested,
  • The socio-economic class of the customer,
  • The religion, the language and the culture of the religion.
The management of the hotel can use this information to determine the perceptions and expectations of the visitors regarding the service. They can also design an efficient way of offering the service and get the maximum facilities.

2) Monitoring Occupancy Level : 
Every hotel aims in maintaining high occupancy. The MIS should report high or low occupancy along with the reason. Based on this report the management of the hotel can design various discount schemes, personalized service, attractive gift and tariff schemes to provide differentiated services to the customers. If the decisions are taken correctly the hotel will be able to boost occupancy and increase revenue.

3) Project Future Needs : 
Information regarding the new needs that might arise in the very near future should be reported by the MIS.

4) Monitor the Level of Expectations : 
What the customer expects depends on the class he belongs to or service he is expecting. How much the process will be effective and efficient will be determined by the training, knowledge and understanding that the manpower has developed. The competence and strength of the manpower will determine the speed with which the processes will be completed. Thus, in order to provide a high level of quality of service, the manpower grid must be properly built.

5) Monitor the Communication Needs : 
It is necessary to train and upgrade the skills of employees so that they develop enhanced communications with customers. This will make customer - employee relationship more comfortable and the varying needs of the customer can be addressed smoothly.

6) Customer Database : 
In order to handle different types of applications the reputed hotels create a customer database that stores the customer's personal information such as choice regarding room, food, special liking's and contact details. Records about those organisations that has preference for the hotel is also stored. The management uses this data to show concern and care for the customers that helps to build a strong customer relationship.

Types of Hotel IS Reports 

The various reports generated by the hotel information system are as follows :

1) Scheduled Reports : 
These reports are generated periodically according to a defined schedule such as daily, weekly or monthly.

2) Demand Reports : 
These reports are generated to satisfy any specific query that has been made by the manager. These reports are not generated on routine basis for example, when the manger wants to know the revenue generated by a particular item during a specific time, he will see the information provided by the demand report.

3) Exception Reports : 
Such reports are generated when a certain situation has gone out of control and the manager is required to take immediate action.

Benefits of Hotel Information Management

1) Higher Degree of Accuracy : 
In case of manual systems the reports produced might have some fault because multiple employees are responsible for maintaining accuracy. Faults might creep in during cross-checking. In case of computerized systems the accuracy of the report is assured by both the employees and the computer system.

2) Timeliness of Documentation and Reporting :
To produce the routine reports the manual systems sometimes take a significant amount of time. This time can be notably reduced with the help of the computerized systems. Such a facility can greatly help in the preparation of reports relating to nutrient analysis of menus and payroll.

3) Labour Efficiency : 
A lot of labour is required to run manual systems. This labour is reduced by using the computerized system.

4) Data and Information Integrity : 
For carrying out an operation only accurate and relevant current information is used. This is not possible with the manual systems because manual systems lack the information discrimination capability. Such problems absent in are automated systems because they have in-built check-and-error prompts.

Process of Hotel Management

Consider a case where a customer wants to reserve a room for four days and other facilities like laptop and transport to name a few. The details of the SMS system flow has been shown in figure.

1) Customer places the order for rooms through e-mail, telephone or a website that allows hotel booking. This contact will help the customer in getting answers to his questions and give him an opportunity to choose. In case the customer confirms the reservation his call is coded and put in a queue. This information is used when the customer actually reaches the reception desk.

2) The customer starts getting the service when he arrives at the hotel on the specified date. The customer has to show voucher or copy of the e-mail where the reservation number of the service is written. Once the receptionist at the reception desk has checked and confirmed the reservation record, the room reservation is acknowledged. The customer is then asked to validate his identity by providing a valid identity proof like letter of the company or visiting card. The customer has to then fill his details in the register of the hotel This process completes with confirming identity of the customer, payment mode and choice of room. The customer is then handed over all information including the hotel voucher for getting any further service.

3) In the pre-service phase, the room keys, city map, discount coupon and other information is given to the customer. The customer is also given assistance so that he can reach the room without getting any hurdle.

4) The actual service process begins in the service phase. Various secondary demands made by the customer like meals, room service, calling facility and laundry are carried out in this phase. The transactions of such demands are processed in real time in both back-end and front-end system.

5) This is the last phase in which the service to be given to the customers is completed. The bills are prepared and the payments are processed. Payments are made once the bills have been checked. Lastly, customer is requested to write his feedback in a form.

Banking Information System

Banks are organisations that provide various types of financial services such as savings, clearing checks. and providing loans to the account holders. The function of the bank in today's world has increased as they are offering financial assistance to the customers by offering various policies. The bank also has to meet various socio-economic obligations.

The banks handle a large number of transactions which are different from each other in terms of complexity and length. Like the customer of any other service, the customer of the bank also expects to get the end results as fast as possible. The prime service that is offered in the banking industry is to solve the financial problems that the customers of the bank are facing. The time elapsed for executing a transaction is the most widely used measurement for performing a service. The MIS in a bank must be designed in such a manner that it is able to provide differentiated services to the varied service requests of the customers.

Factors and Requirements Affecting Bank IS Design 

1) Customer Database : 
There are some factors that determine the perceptions and expectations of the customers regarding the service. These factors are as follows:

i) Customer : 
They can be any company. institution, individuals, etc.

ii) Operator : 
They can be any employee. officer, worker of an organisation, a housewife, etc.

iii) Range of Service : 
These services may be any type of savings, account checking, payments or any other types of financial services.

iv) Class of Customers : 
The class of customers may be any income groups, corporate bodies etc.

v) Working Hours : 
It may be any time or any second of a day.

The bank management maintains a database of the customers. They use this database to analyse the customer's needs on a regular basis to design the package that is most suitable and appropriate to provide the required services.

2) Service to the Account Holders : 
The account holders of the bank seek continuous information on the status of their accounts. The balance of the account is continuously changed as most of the customers carry out routine payments. Sometimes there may be a lot of balance in the account and no transaction has been carried out. The management must get the following reports from the MIS:
  • The non-moving account or dormant account. 
  • The account having balance more than say Rs.50,000. 
  • The account going down below minimum balance.
  • Not making routine payments.
  • Not getting the routine credits. 
  • The defaults on loan repayment.
  • The delays on crediting cheque amounts. 
  • Rise and fall in the transactions of accounts suddenly.
  • There are about 80 percent account holders from whom the bank gets business to take personal care of the perceptions and expectations related to the service.

3) Service for Business Promotions : 
The operations of the bank can be increased in a number of ways by giving the finances of the bank to the prospective customers. To make this successful the bank has to attract customers from the growing and upcoming businesses. This can be only done by a thorough study of the latest trends in the business sector. The bank can take the help of MIS to collect relevant data from different sources and then analyse it to formulate future strategies. Using this information the bank's employees can communicate with the customers and bring business to the bank. It also helps to eliminate the risk of bad debts to a great extent.

4) Index Monitoring System : 
Another prime characteristic of MIS should be to analyse the ratios and indices related to the operations that are carried out internally in the banks. The ratios are used for various needs; some of them meet the policy needs, while others meet the statutory needs. The MIS must be built in such a manner that it assists the manager in keeping the different ratios, norms and indexes within desirable limits.

5) Human Resource Upgrade : 
The banking operations take into consideration various human aspects. The only way to improve the financial services of the business is by offering differentiated services. In order to serve the customer specific problems the services must be more aggressive in nature. The needs of the customer must be identified by the MIS. So that the training must be imparted to the employees to enhance their knowledge about the financial and banking sector.