RMC's Approach  |  Systems Performance Audits  

Hardware, Software & Special Applications  |  Typical Assignments


Classification of Specialties in MIS

Systems Planning - facilities planning, staff training and development, application of new computer technology, distributed processing systems, metrication in data processing, and systems organization and management development.

Systems Development - feasibility study and cost benefit analysis, development of detailed system specifications, equipment selection and configuration, software evaluation and selection, technical supervision of programming, implementation assistance, documentation, and user training.

Systems Review and Enhancement - re-evaluation of information processing requirements, complete information system productivity audits, hardware/software performance evaluation and fine tuning, assessment and improvement of application program efficiency, staff productivity, data processing operations, studies of system development and testing procedures/environment, security and reliability.

Special Computer Applications - production planning and scheduling, inventory control, resource allocation, least-cost formulation, transportation and distribution logistics, personnel planning and administration, project management/control, system simulation, corporate models, information retrieval and analysis, process control, scientific and engineering applications.

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RMC's Approach to MIS Design

The need for management information characterizes all modern organizations. However this need is met, from the simplest verbal reporting system to the most sophisticated computerized system, certain basic principles must be observed if the information provided is to contribute to effective management, at a reasonable cost. Management information must be timely, accurate and in a format that lends itself to decision making. The cost of obtaining it must not exceed its value in the decision making process.

RMC believes that an information system must be designed to take account of the nature of the client’s business, the structure of the organization and the managerial styles of the system users. Data to be processed should be captured once only - and preferably by those who originate it and are most familiar with it. This means that the information system must be geared for simple yet efficient use by operators with minimal system training, and must facilitate input error detection and correction. Our goals in information system design are to provide maximum flexibility and growth capacity for the system while minimizing operating costs and implementation disruptions.


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System Performance Audit

Once established, an information system must be audited periodically to ensure that it is performing all the tasks required of it as efficiently and effectively as possible. Growth of the organization, increased volume of business, changes in the business environment, technological changes and newly conceived information requirements all place increased demands on existing information systems and often cause them to be modified or extended on an ad hoc basis.

Our staff has the specialized skills and experience to perform a thorough audit on existing information systems and to recommend changes in design, equipment, software and procedures, to bring them up-to-date and to peak performance.

An information system audit should be performed every three years or when processing capacity appears to be strained and upgrading of facilities is being considered.


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Hardware, Software and Special Applications

RMC’s consultants have extensive knowledge of the most up-to-date computer technology. We have successfully designed and implemented information systems involving:

  • mini computers;
  • data communications and teleprocessing;
  • databases and database management systems;
  • on-line, real-time data processing; and
  • special input/output devices.

Our consultants have access to a comprehensive library of application software for use in modelling and decision making. A wide range of operational research/management science techniques can be implemented on computers of various sizes and capacities, and the incorporation of our applications into operational data processing systems can be implemented.

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Typical Assignments

The following is a selection of RMC's experience with computing and information systems.

  • As part of the Guyana Health Sector Policy and Institutional Development Program (1999-2001) funded by IADB, RMC designed a financial MIS/accounting system for health care delivery at the national/regional level and for the principal acute care facility in Georgetown.

  • Developed a Strategic Information Technology Plan for implementing the RMC designed financial and information systems for the Guyana Ministry of Health (MOH).

  • Conducted a critical assessment of the financial and information systems proposed for the Trinidad and Tobago MOH and recommended appropriate course of action.

  • Secondment of a Senior Principal for a one-year period to be the Director of the Project Management Office (PMO) of a Smart Systems for Health project of the Ontario Ministry of Health. The objectives for the PMO is to design infrastructure to deliver Smart System products and services; establish standards and policy for the future use of technology; recommend governance, financing and security policies; coordinate efforts of health sector and technology partners; and raise health policy issues for determination by the Ministry of Health. About 80 professionals, including three from RMC were involved during the course of the project.

  • In RMC’s capacity as Advisors to the Estonia/ World Bank Health Project, several information systems were developed and implemented for the Project Coordination Unit (PCU) at the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs. These included:
    —a comprehensive project accounting system, addressing the financial reporting requirements for both the Government and the WB. Utilizing commercial accounting software, the accounting system was installed on the PCU’s computer systems and accounting staff trained in its use.
    —a project management system facilitating the planning, scheduling and progress monitoring of project tasks. This system was implemented on the PCU’s LAN and its staff members trained in its application. This system schedules and monitors the project’s procurement activities from the perspectives of both performance against schedule and cost control.
    —specification for Corporate Subject Database Profiles. These profiles serve as the initial guide for developing a comprehensive information system to support the broad information requirements associated with Estonia’s future health financing system.

  • Similar to the Estonia project, an assignment was conducted for the Republic of Georgia World Bank Health Project; and for the Albania World Bank Health Project (1999-2000).

  • As part of RMC’s work advising on restructuring its health services, our professional staff assisted Poland’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to develop an information systems strategy and determine appropriate computer hardware and software requirements. At the national and regional levels, the scope of our work included establishing MIS for planning and monitoring the delivery of health services. At the institutional level, our work covered the development of a comprehensive program for the acquisition of computer systems.

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  • RMC designed a comprehensive portfolio of computerized health management information systems for the Ugandan Ministry of Health to support national and district health information needs. This included systems to gather and manage data resources; analyze the public’s health status; plan the program, service and resource requirements; monitor the effectiveness, cost and efficiency of the health care delivery systems; and support research and development initiatives. Conceptual design of an integrated health care planning system and related planning models was also developed as a by-product of this project.

  • RMC analyzed the existing accounting and management information system for the delivery of health care services in the Bahamas, then designed and initiated an implementation program of an improved, integrated, computer-based accounting and management information system for the Ministry of Health and the two hospitals. RMC also developed productivity standards for the MIS based on the Canadian Health Association’s MIS guidelines, modified to reflect the Bahamian environment.

  • RMC worked jointly with the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia on computer assisted planning for Alberta Hospitals and Medical Care. The Phase 1 feasibility study assessed extent, costs and implications of developing a computer-based tool to facilitate all pre-design and functional planning. Phase 2 included development of software and hardware requirements.

  • RMC completed a preliminary design of a computer-supported information system for a provincial medical insurance plan.

  • RMC developed integrated management control information systems for the Dominica Banana Growers’ Association and the St. Lucia Banana Growers’ Association.

  • RMC designed several mini-computer systems (including system specifica tions and hardware selection/configuration) for data processing and management control information for small to medium-size businesses.

  • On behalf of a major police agency, RMC designed and implemented a sophisticated mini-computer information system for use in criminal investigation.

  • RMC developed a management information and control system for several national, provincial and territorial Native organizations.

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  • RMC designed and implemented system software for the management of direct-access file storage in a large-scale IBM/370 installation.

  • RMC developed a computer-assisted program for hospital equipment requirements and coordinated, evaluated and applied the program to new and existing hospitals.

  • RMC prepared and presented a training program for systems officers of a provincial government.

  • RMC provided advice on design and implementation of a computerized purchasing system for a large basic steel producer in Canada.

  • For a post-secondary educational institution, RMC completed an information analysis and feasibility study, leading to the development of a student information system.

  • RMC prepared and presented a workshop designed to improve the service capability of a computer services group within a large government department.

  • RMC participated in the development of a comprehensive, computerized real-time system for control of production, inventory and labour in a large manufacturing operation.

 

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