The selected project was on the development and implementation of a new computer system for the Community Mental Health System within the state of Michigan and its partner agencies. The project will not only result in a direct line of communication between computer systems of these agencies through the establishment of a secure network, but it will also result in better coordination, efficiency and quicker authorization of services for clients regardless of the location within the state. It will also result in better filing of and access to medical records, by linking all involved mental health systems. When it comes to billing, the new system will allow for faster billing, as well as the appraisal of the duration it takes to provide the services the client is being billed for. Through the automation of services, the system is also bound to improve the degree of accountability observable in the provision of services, by ensuring that all stages of service to a client are documented, and fall within the list of services available to a given client, or usually utilized by the client in question. In line with documentation, will also be the question of continuity of care: the system is implemented, will ensure that regardless of where and when a patient seeks care, information on care previously provided is readily available for the care giver currently providing the service, making the provision of similar and accurate care easier. By allowing for direct contact between care providing agencies, Link Up will ensure that assessment, treatment planning, progress notation as well as the implementation of any new services are done correctly and promptly, eliminating the need for future briefs and reports in case of transfers involving agencies operating within the state of Michigan.
a. Decision 1: What should be included in the curriculum when training staff, technicians and management
This decision is very important when designing the training program to ensure the entire project is aimed to achieve the desired results. Training should focus on the essential areas of the project to assist all the stakeholders in adapting to the changes expected to come in line with the implementation of the program. Computer skills will be essential in the program implementation; therefore the training curriculum will include information on computer programs and software that will be used in the implementation. However, the training team will ensure the curriculum concentrates on enhancing efficiency and timeliness of providing mental health care.
i) Control 1.1: Steering: Using approaches used in other related programs. For instance, community mental health has introduced technology based programs before. A good example of these programs is the previously adapted psychotic and nursing care system that relies heavy on therapy. The system is designed to assist patients heal and life normal life with the help of their favorite activities such as pets, games and technical gargets. Since the program has been a success for nearly three years now in the Michigan health community, borrowing the training system adapted for the staff and top management at the time will be an added advantage our current program.
ii) Control 1:2: Steering: Asses information needs for existing employees. The employees require different needs for their performance to improve. For these reason the top management will be expected to assist in designing the curriculum for training their staff since they are likely to know them better. Therefore, when training the technicians and top management on how to embrace and work with the computerized program, they will also be trained on how to deal with specific needs of their subordinate staff. In this light, the curriculum will address issues such as time management, effective communication methods, crisis management and quality management.
b. Decision 2: Deciding on the most effective training schedule to adopt to ensure the 100% employee training.
After identifying specific information to be included in the training curriculum, it is essential to understand and communicate the channels of training. There are different channels and styles of learning and adapting the best for the team will assist in gaining the most desired results. For these reason, the training team will be expected to come up with a number of training aids such as modules, illustrations and lectures during the training. Using different training aids and arranging appropriate training time will assist in ensuring 100%emplyee training with the scheduled period.
i) Control 2.1: Steering: Liaising with the agencies in the 83 countries to develop a training schedule that fits all. To ensure that the training schedule is effective for all countries proper research and consultations are essential. This will mean that the training modes and the training time stated will consider the characteristics of all the countries. Countries may have differences when it comes to selecting communication channels due to technology advancement and language differences, therefore liaising with each and every country to find out a system that will fit well for all will ensure all countries are effectively trained. Differences may also be noted in allocating training date and time due to geographical locations, for these reasons considerations should be made to limit the rate of absenteeism during training sections.
ii) Control 2.2: Steering: The selected technicians and upper management will be asked to formulate and present their time tables for training of other employees following the competition of their own training. The benefits of this stage will be to ensure that the top management clearly understand the project and are work together with their subordinate staff in countries to ensure the overall project goals are achieved. Ensuring all the stakeholders from the upper management, technicians to employees or subordinate will make the project cost effective and quality oriented. In short this control will ensure the training of employees must fall within the overall schedule.
c) Decision 3: Approaches to take when it comes to identifying and dealing with glitches that may arise in the course of implementation and/or usage of the Link Up system.
As with all new systems, there are bound to be a few glitches within the system, that may come up prior to implementation or even after implementation. These glitches may come about due to bugs within the system, errors of omission, or simply due to situations previously not anticipated. It is therefore quite important to have in place controls that provide a way of dealing with or eliminating such problems in a swift and timely manner, hence the need for controls on this decision. These controls are bound to ensure order, a serious necessity, more so when one considers the sheer number of technicians that might get involved with the system in one way or another (at least one technician per agency per county). Having a clear guideline on how to deal with any glitches is therefore, very important.
i) Control 3.1: Go/No-Go: A beta test run of the system will be run after the completion of the staff training program, but prior to the implementation on 31st of October 2013, in order to appraise both the program, as well as the readiness of the trained staff. The test run will only involve ten counties out of the 83 with some of the employees being selected t6o play the roles of model patients presenting with different needs. This will not only allow for the appraisal of both the program and the employees’ readiness, but also allow for the discovery of glitches or omissions that would need rectification before the program can be successfully implemented.
ii) Control 3.2: Post-action control: Even after successful implementation, glitches and other maintenance needs are bound to arise. In order to effectively deal with any glitches or any needs for upgrades, a team of technicians selected from the 83 counties and partner agencies shall be formed to work round the clock to deal with glitches or provide guidance on upgrades or software and hardware changes that may arise from time to time, based on the continuous flow of feedback from the users of the program: management, employees, clients and the mental health system in general.
Human Reactions to:
1. Control 3.2: The control requiring the establishment of a team of competent technical support following the implementation of the program is bound to be met with enthusiasm. Most likely, such a control if not assisted by the establishment of a proper communications and employee support center, will likely fail to serve its purpose, as employees and other Link Up system users, are bound to make enquiries and suggestions on matters not applicable to the system due to its newness. Not providing a screening center for all enquiries and suggestions is definitely a weakness of the control that needs to be addressed. However, providing such a forum for the continuous appraisal and improvement of the system makes for a very important control, as it allows continuous improvements.
2. Control 2.1: Although an important step in the training process, employees are most likely going to react negatively and dishonestly towards efforts to establish gaps in their knowledge of the new system, mainly due to the belief that it could either lead to loss of employment or a loss of standing in the eyes of fellow employees. The strength of the control is however that it is bound to result in a training program that is tailored to address specific knowledge gaps.