Needs Assessment of a Knowledge Based Application

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Healthcare&Medicine ・APA ・2 Sources

Medical practitioners need to have a network of communication as one of the best strategies for increasing efficiency levels. Therefore it is vital to develop a knowledge based application that can be used in an integrated communication in the hospital setting. Nevertheless, even if applications such as the EMR’s might be effective, there might be some challenges in the implementation phase given that the end users may not be equipped with the necessary know-how on how to use the applications. Notably, the medical professionals are trained mainly on patient care practices, with little emphasis on technology (Li, Liang & Avgeriou, 2013). Therefore, it becomes necessary for the management to carry out a needs assessment to determine the best strategies to use in the practical implementation of the healthcare information systems. Technological tools keep on changing due to advancements brought about by innovation, thus making it necessary to determine the levels of expertise for the end users. The requirements for end users are mainly based on active treatment as well as diagnosis of patients. However, in the nursing homes, such demands may slightly change to patient care, maintenance, and the management of minor ailments. The physicians need to document patient visits, symptoms, medications that have been prescribed, as well as the necessary additional diagnostic if any.

Carrying out a needs assessment is required before the implementation phase given that it allows for the incorporation of the interests of the medical practitioners, who are the end users. Therefore, the existing and perceived gaps in the system need to be addressed to ascertain the optimal conditions that can guarantee efficient functioning after the implementation is over. Notably, the needs assessment can be done in three phases: analyzing the current situation, data collection, and making viable decisions based on the available information. The first stage is critical given that it is used to set the foundation for the expectations of the end users, medical practitioners, as well as the policy makers. The initial phase involves the preparation of a management plan that will be used during the needs assessment. In a healthcare information system, the master plan is vital given that it is capital intensive from the project initiation stage to the completion phase. Therefore, the measurable indicators will have to be determined and then all sources of data given priority to determine whether the proposed system will be able to incorporate all types of information (Hagos, Alemseged, Balcha, Berhe & Aregay, 2014).

The first phase is critical, as it gives the management a chance to determine what should be done and the required amount of resources available for the dissemination of the necessary information, thus increasing efficiency. In addition, the management will have a chance of determining the bottlenecks in the system, thus guaranteeing a possible solution to the problems that might affect the end users. The second step of needs assessment for a knowledge based application in the bid to meet the different end user requirements and expectations in different locations is the collection and analysis of data. In this process, the target groups ought to be identified and determine the possible needs as well as the ones to be given priority.

Moreover, a comprehensive analysis of findings is done at this stage, thus ensuring that before the commencement of the implementation phase, everything has been plannedfor. Therefore, the second step of the needs assessment is meant to make sure that the management has committed the organizational resources into thepromising or viable venture. In fact, even if the use of theknowledge based application is vital to the medical industry, it should be noted that there exist some weaknesses that ought to be eliminated before the implementation phase. Notably, the end users must be taken into consideration given that they will be using the systems as the primary beneficiaries. The last phase of the needs assessment process is the making of final decisions before the implementation starts. At this stage, all the information from the second phase will have to be taken into consideration to determine the best strategy for ensuring that the proposed healthcare information system works optimally.

Notably, it will be vital to set the priorities and possible solutions to perceived problems. The management will also be compelled to set organizational priorities and the process that should be used to solve emerging issues. All these steps are mainly precautions meant to ensure that the utilization of the electronic medical records has been successful. In this process, the end users should be considered as the primary stakeholders given that they will have to adhere to the working protocols that will be set by the implementation team (Hagos et al., 2014). Failure to incorporate their interests means that there will be a little likelihood of embracing the new systems, meaning that they will eventually be destined to collapse and thus loss of resources. Even after the last step has been accomplished, it is necessary to ensure that an improvement cycle has been formed to act as a check on the system and thus correct any possible error or problems that might arise when the new systems are in use. All in all, the end user’s interests must be prioritized to enhance the acceptance and use of the electronic medical records. 


Hagos, F., Alemseged, F., Balcha, F., Berhe, S., & Aregay, A. (2014). Application of nursing process and its affecting factors among nurses working in mekelle zone hospitals, Northern Ethiopia. Nursing research and practice, 8(2014).

Li, Z., Liang, P., & Avgeriou, P. (2013). Application of knowledge-based approaches in software architecture: A systematic mapping study. Information and Software Technology, 55(5), 777-794.

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