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Information is an essential tool for managers in the retention, recruitment, utilization and evaluation of human resources in health services organizations. Since they support the goals and objectives of the organization, information systems play an important role in planning and management of human resources. These systems will serve as an important personnel administration operational programs, including employee record keeping, budget control, compensation, benefits management, and government reporting.
This paper will discuss the project plan overview of human resources information systems (HRISs) and their strategic and operational use in a health care organization. Certain topics include:
Role and functions of a HRIS for human resources management
Relationship of a HRIS to other information systems
Process of planning, developing, and implementing a HRIS
Implications of effective HRIS utilization for health services managers
Managing human resources effectively requires information from several sources. Computer technology enables hospitals and other health care organizatoin to combine human resources into a single database that can be used to support multiple personnel and managerial functions. A human resources information system (HRIS) is the integration of software, hardware, support functions and system policies and procedures into an automated process designed to support the strategic and operational activities of the human resources department and managers throughout the organization.
An HRIS database maintains an inventory of people, job skills, and positions and its system draws on these inventories for transaction processing, reporting, and tracking. The HRIS provides a foundation for a set of analytical tools that assist managers in establishing objectives and in evaluation the performance of the organization's human resources programs. The level of system complexity progresses from low to high as it affects and supports increasingly complicated decisions and activities.
A health care organization usually aspires to several key goals in automating its human resources management function. The HRIS will provide timely, efficient, thorough and accurate personnel information and analysis. A second goal for implementing the HRIS is to provide an effective match of the needs, skills, and interests of the human resources department staff with other users and departments. The HRIS will also provide uniform processing and utilization of human resources information throughout the organization for a diverse group of the system's users.
I have noted below in detail the key learning points that I will apply to the implementation of the HRIS; strategic objectives, operational objectives, and planning.
Strategic Objectives for HRIS
The well designed HRIS will serve as the main management tool for aligning human resources department goals with long term planning goals.
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In a recent study more than 700 human resources executives in the health care industry, human resources strategic planning was identified as the most critical issue they will possibly face in the coming years. Human resources professionals must be involved in these strategic planning activities. Unfortunately, human resources professionals are sometimes overlooked in the planning process, making it difficult to use the information and expertise they can bring to the planning activities fully.
Increasing number of executives recognized that an effective HRIS can help fashion and support a health care organization's mission.
Managers stress the role human resources information technology can ply in improving human resources management as well as contributing to competitive advantage. As a key component of an organization wide integrated information system, a strategic HRIS will provide important information about human resources needs and capabilities; this information will assist the management team in establishing the organizational mission and setting goals and objectives in motion. The system will become an action tool to help lead the organization toward transforming and redesigning the health care within the community.
Human resources planning and allocation are critical links between the human resources strategy plan and the organizational business plan. Assessing the future needs will require information about current employee levels and their skills, along with projections of patient needs. Another requirement are analytical tools for asking the "what if "questions when exploring alternative service strategies.
The health care organization will utilize the computerization within its function to experience a number of strategic advantages. The three advantages are;
HRIS enables the hospital's human resource department to make a more active role in organizational planning. Computerization will make forecasting more timely, cost effective, and efficient.
Integration and storage in a single database all of the human resources information
HRIS will accelerate the process of comparing costs and benefits of human resources activities.
The need for analysis, collection and management of human resources information has outpaced the development of human resources information systems in many health care organizations. This is further complicated by an increasing trend toward the development of integrated hospital information systems.
The inputs to the system will include knowledge, skills, and abilities that will be developed through programs of recruiting and employee development. Human resources systems outputs will be evaluated through measures of job performance and employee satisfaction.
Effective mechanisms that will be use for feedback concerning outputs are incorporated so the progress is monitored and strategies can be adjusted accordingly. The human resources outputs will be monitored through HRIS include;
Unfilled job vacancies
Growth of service volume
Proportion of new positions filled internally
Voluntary and involuntary turnover
Managerial control and feedback provided by the system include:
Labor analysis reports for each cost center
Labor cost allocations with linkage to the payroll system
Management reports on employee productivity and quality of services
Inventory of special skills of employees
Operational Objectives for HRIS
The HRIS will offer benefits such as an increased in data accuracy, processing speed, more useful and complicated reporting, and improved productivity. An effective HRIS will facilitate the east storage and retrieval of human resources records that are very vital for operations. In addition, to comply with various federal employment laws, the company will have to follow several human resources record keeping requirements. The HRIS will streamline such compliance by automating relevant data collections and reporting.
The basic components of the HRIS generally includes the following set of: human resources planning, personnel administration, recruitment and employment, pension administration, payroll, compensation, benefits management, training and staff development, employee and industrial relations, and government reporting including the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), worker's compensation, Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action (EEO/AA), and Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1975 (COBRA). By using having the system all of these components and functions would be linked by integrated screens, modules, or subsystems and all the information can be retrieved. The database would include:
The two best practices that will be applied towards this project are planning and execution/control to ensure its success. Planning for the development and implementation of the HRIS will be guided by the institution's information systems plan. The institution plan will outline the health services organization's overall method to computer systems architecture, integration of systems, priorities for individual application, data coding standards used and the general approach to software development. The following steps must be performed for both;
Make project goals attainable by prioritizing deliverables to keep the team focused on specific issues
Maintain realism in planning
Don't overload milestones
Delegation of duties
Publicize the plan
Practice change control
Run test on system
Design brief implementation procedures
In summary information can and will play an important role in the strategic management of human resources in health services organizations. As a key component of the organization's management information system, the HRIS will assist managers in planning and evaluating human resources programs, which will contribute to the accomplishment of strategizing goals and objectives. Also careful planning and allocating of the staff will be a critical component of business planning within the organization. The HRIS will be well-designed and implemented which will serve both the strategic and operation functions in the management of human resources.
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