Patton-Fuller Community Hospital Networking Project
Hospitals like any commercial business interest rely on the principles of best practices in the treatment of its patients. Without a standard of care provided through these practices, hospitals would fail to provide the basic service that they are designed to provide. Similarly, these standards of best practices extend across the entire organization from clinical functions to administrative operations and none is more publically evident than PFCH’s Internet website. Again, not adopting even the most basic best practices leaves PFCH isolated from its suppliers and the community.
In order for PFCH to best exploit the success and capabilities of the Internets power a review of the current PFCH website will identify what public, patient and, supplier services are currently available on the website. These results will be compared to several equally-sized hospitals across the nation to identify services that would be beneficial to PFCH and its business partners. Finally, we will look at phenomenon of social networking as a tool for expanding and improving PFCH’s relationships with its stakeholders.
Patton-Fuller Community Hospital (PFCH) is a large 600-bed community hospital serving the city of Kelsey and its surrounding area. Since 1975, PFCH has brought the residents of Kelsey needed medical services in the most modern facility of the day. PFCH currently finds itself in transition and requires not just improvements in its clinical and administrative capabilities but also in its approach to interactions with the public, suppliers and, more importantly, the patient.
PFCH currently maintains a simple website that provides a brief view of the hospitals administrative and clinical functions, an overview of the PFCH philosophy, a small location map and four inactive links (Patton-Fuller Community Hospital, 2011). None of the websites pull down menus provides access to any form of electronic commerce or electronic business functions, which are a mainstay of today’s hospital websites.
Understanding PFCH’s need for a fully integrated website that provides services to its stakeholders is critical to the hospitals continued success. The PFCH website should invite the public to explore health options and beneficial services PFCH offers. Patients or former patients should be welcomed to engage in activities that support their health and promote better lifestyles. Vendors and business suppliers require portals that allow them to engage in their core business function in a secure proficient environment. The public, including Kelsey community members should be able to easily access generalized information about PFCH that may facilitate the choice of PFCH as their treatment solution. Additionally, the PFCH website must engage the patients and public with valued tools to monitor and improve their health care as well as their overall experience with PFCH.
Each interaction with anyone of these stakeholder groups is an opportunity for PFCH to develop a positive relationship and engage the group in a form of electronic commerce or business. Electronic commerce or e-commerce may be defined as any type of business, or commercial transaction, which involves the transfer of information across the Internet. These transfers are unrestricted by time or distance and are perceived as one of the most important actions that can be undertaken on the Internet. Electronic business or e-business generally refers to interactions between two or more business entities and is commonly referred to as business-to-business (B2B) transactions. Both e-commerce and e-business are electronic transactions that provide a distinct competitive advantage over traditional methods of business (marketing, accounting, and finance) and treatment. *
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