DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTELLIGENT WEB-BASED HEALTH CARE MANAGEMENT EVALUATION SYSTEM

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0 Introduction

Almost everyone would say that they want high quality health care and most people have an intuitive sense of what that means. When one wants to develop a research project related to quality of care, however, one quickly finds what is true in many areas of research; that it is much easier to have a sense of what quality is than it is to develop an operational definition and valid and reliable measures of quality. Part of the complexity in defining quality of care is that different groups can have very different reasons for measuring quality and hence different measurement criteria and emphases. [1]. For example:

Clinicians or those who manage and provide clinical care might be interested in evaluating quality so that they can monitor and improve the services they are providing to individual patients.
Regulators may be interested in ensuring that care provided by a health care organization (e.g. health plan or hospital) meets a minimal standard and/or is making credible efforts to improve care quality.
Consumers and other purchasers may be most interested in information that they can use to select clinicians or health care organizations.
Although all of these parties might agree on a definition of high quality care they might select different measures and researchers studying these different areas might have similar variations in emphases. There is still a tremendous need for more work in measuring and improving the quality of care. In the United States for example, it was found that only 50% of patients studied received recommended preventative care, only 70% received recommended acute care, 30% received contraindicated acute care, only 60% received recommended acute care, and 20% received contraindicated chronic care [2].

Intelligence based systems can be distinguished from conventional computer systems in that: They simulate human reasoning about the problem domain, rather than simulating the domain itself, they perform reasoning over representations of human knowledge, in addition to doing numerical calculations or data retrieval. They have corresponding distinct modules referred to as the inference engine and the knowledge base. With the increasing effect of globalization and technology, organizations have started to use information systems in various functions and departments in the last decades. Developing an intelligence web-based system to evaluate healthcare will enable the hospital management, individuals and other international healthcare organizations to determine the performance level of clinics and hospital in successfully managing the different diagnosed diseases. It will also help in revealing the efficiency of the medical establishment in delivering quality healthcare.

1.1 Statement of the Problem

The following problems necessitated this study:

There is no automated system to evaluate the quality of healthcare of hospitals.
The extent to which the doctors and nurses have successfully treated several diseases cannot be easily determined due to the absence of an evaluation system.
There is limited research conducted in the area of evaluation of health care.

1.2 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of the study is to develop an intelligent web-based health care management evaluation system. The following are the specific objectives:

To develop a web-based system that will capture evaluation data that will be used for health care evaluation.
To develop a system that will be used to determine the performance level of the hospital in handling different ailments.
To develop a system that will be used to obtain reports of healthcare evaluation.

1.3 Significance of the Study

The study is significant in the following ways:

It will help in providing healthcare evaluation information that will help the hospital in determining their performance.
The evaluation information provided will enable hospital management to identify their area of weakness and strengths.
The study will help in providing valuable information that will enable the hospital to improve their healthcare services.
The study will also serve as a useful reference material for other researchers seeking related information.
1.4 Scope of the Study

This study covers the development of an intelligent web-based health care management evaluation system using cottage hospital, Ikot Ekpene, as a case study. It is limited to evaluation of healthcare services delivered by the hospital in relation to patient’s satisfaction and also the evaluation of successfully handled medical cases.

1.5 Organization of Research

This research work is organized into five chapters.

Chapter one is concerned with the introduction of the research study and it presents the, statement of the problem theoretical background, , aim and objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, organization of the research and definition of terms.

Chapter two focuses on the literature review, the contributions of other scholars on the subject matter is discussed.

Chapter three is concerned with the system analysis and design. It presents the description of the existing system, analysis of the proposed system and design of the proposed system is also presented in this chapter.

Chapter four presents the choice of development environment, implementation architecture, software testing, documentation, user manual and source code listing.

Chapter five focuses on the summary, conclusion and recommendations are provided in this chapter based on the study carried out.

1.6 Definition of Terms

Artificial Intelligence: The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence.

Evaluation – The making of a judgment about the amount, number, or value of something. It can also be seen as an assessment of how something is.

Health care – The organized provision of medical care to individuals or a community.

Intelligence system – Artificial intelligence based system that converts the knowledge of an expert in a specific subject into a software code.

Satisfaction – Fulfillment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure derived from this.

Patient – A person receiving medical treatment.

Web-based application: Any program that is accessed over a network connection using HTTP, rather than existing within a device’s memory.

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