In todays world, the population in various countries is increasing speedily every year, the Medical Billing System has grown-up in importance. The reason for this is that there are far more individuals that have need of some variety of health care, regardless of whether it is physical or mental. In order to receive these services patients need to pay for the services rendered by the hospital. This task requires a billing system that can generate bills of services to patients. Medical professionals are facing problems regarding the billing issue.
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My project for BSc Computing is to develop a web based patient billing software that is of importance to a hospital. . PHP was selected as the language for implementation and PL/SQL server as the database. The patient information will be stored in the database. Any new patient information can be stored in the database via a patient information input screen. The screen will take as input all the details of the patient, the amount to be paid, etc. The system is designed with the intension of allowing for scalability, portability, and re-use. The design of the system is such that it would permit future integration with other systems like online insurance billing for a patient that has a medical insurance, or even a completely different application. This system is also expected to provide a maximum level of security and reliability.
This project is aimed at developing a patient billing software system that is of importance to a hospital. The patient billing system is a local software system. This system can be used to maintain the location and the bed number of each patient either in the ward or the Intensive Care Units (ICU). Information about the patient and the charges to be paid is also stored.
To study the feasibility of implementing a practical billing system for a hospital mainly focusing on scalability issues. As the hospital is speedily getting bigger the system should be able support any future expansions such as dealing with patients with health insurance.
To conduct series of interviews in order to understand the organisational structure and the existing infrastructure service in the hospital and its problems and develop an alternative scenario for the system.
To understanding the advantages and disadvantages of the current infrastructure service and how does the new system will be a benefits to the hospital?
To conduct research about how patients billing systems is used in other hospitals?
To examine the necessary tools that will be needed for the implementation of the proposed system and also examine whether the proposed system will be compatible with the existing system within the budget.
Eg: What type of programming language can be adopted?
What type of database would be best suitable for the system?
To conduct an interview with the hospital data entry operator and the account department in order to find out the difficulties they are facing when generating bills to their patients.
The system is developed using PHP as the front end and SQL Server / Oracle as the back end.
The following steps will be helpful to start off the project.
Study and be comfortable with technologies such as
PHP, SQL server / Oracle, Apache and ODBC Connectivity.
Decide on the number of wards and the number of beds in each ward.
Make a database of all tables and fill some sample data in the tables which can prove helpful for running / testing of the project.
Assign a hospital data entry operator who will enter all the patient details, make updating to the table entries via front-end screens as and when a patient is being admitted to the hospital, transferred from a general ward to the ICU and vice versa and discharged from the hospital.
Since the real-time project needs to be tested in real-time, you can take ‘hours’ as ‘days’ for testing the system. However, the display will still be in ‘days’ only.
Create the front-page of the PBS system giving a brief description about the system and a login box
Create the help-pages of the system in the form of Q&A. This will help you also when implementing the system.
Create other sub-systems like screens for various functions (new patient entry, viewing existing patient details, transfer of a patient between ward and ICU, etc).
Research about client side and server side programming languages
HTML, XHTML, ASP.NET, JSP, PHP, ASP
Research about web based data base applications like Oracle,Mysql
Research about Unified Modelling Language, Activity diagram, Use case diagram, Class diagram, Sequence diagram, Collaboration diagram
Rationale of the project:
Outsource medical billing system service provider is doing great help in terms of rendering medical billing services that could be of help to the doctors in order to concentrate more on their patients. The idea of medical billing outsourcing initiated from the need to hire experts in order to perform a minor task related to the medical profession. However, the most concerned issues of hiring a third party to manage the medical billing services are because secrete information about the company can be leaked out by outsourcing employees, even to their competitor and also they do not provide good quality services as most of their staff have limited medical background and all these issues can cause serious damage to the medical practice and finance. However with the introduction of my proposed system, it will result in the overall improvement of the medical billing processes.
The proposed project can have great significance on the finance of the hospital and also reduce the work load from the account department. This does not only limit on the users, but will also be of great help to my studies and my career as well, as it would give me exposure needed in order to develop my skill on PL/SQL, PHP, HTML and RDBMS.
My proposed web based application is fully focused is being user friendly, simple, but highly accurate at the same time. My program consists of different stages (pages). These can be described as follows.
The project will provide a web-based platform where the hospital data entry operator can
Login to the system through the first page of the application
Enter the ward number for the patient either in the general ward or the ICU.
Settle all bills pending to be paid by a patient before the patient’s discharge.
Keep a track of all beds occupied / free in both the ward and the ICU.
View information of all patients details, their admit time and the amount to be paid.
Update the table fields (patient details, the amount to be paid / any balance remaining, the ward number, the bed number, the registration number, case number, etc.) as soon as a new patient is being admitted into the hospital or being discharged from the hospital.
The system requirements gives more details and explain how the user requirements should be provided by the system and can be used as part of the contract for the implementation of the system and should therefore be a complete and consistent specification of the system.(Sommerville, 2007pg.130) Therefore, Due to the nature of the project, the system is web base application that interacts with the user (hospital data entry operator and the account department) on client side and all the processing will be carried out on the server side. Therefore, both the client and the Server side have to meet the following minimum requirements.
User is going to open the web page of the company that will contain the actual application form and then they have to fill it to make an application for the services.
Internet Explorer or any web browser.
Data Base -MySQL server/Oracle (Optional)
Client-side and Server-side scripting technologies
PHP, ASP.NET, AJAX, Visual basic 6.0
Security – SSL,
PC with Hard disk space more than 1 GB free always for database. (Optional)
Minimum memory of 1GB (Optional)
Back up running.
New technology creates new opportunities for forward-thinking companies. Higher level of automation, high-speed communications and improved access to information can provide significant benefits to a modern business organisation (Paul Boucij, Andrew Greasley, Simon Hickie 2008). Computer technology has highly transformed people’s lives tremendously. This innovation changes the way of our thinking and the way we perform our day by day activities. Computer-based information systems are now used to carry out all functions and activities of an organisation. Nowadays, improved innovations are being put in place in other to help a modern business organisation to make more efficient and automate business processes. Nevertheless, Medical practices are not left out of this great change. In order to run a medical practice appropriately, medical billing has to be automated. Let’s imagine that there is no appropriate medical billing in place. What will happen to the issue of billing in medical practices? Of course, the traditional way of billing will be adopted. Traditional way is doing all the medical billing like sending invoices and generating patients bills manually. This system is good if the medical practice wants to stay small. However, the issue of medical billing is sensitive in hospital management as the hospitals cannot afford losses because of careless billing generated from traditional way of billing.
According to Charles Darwin, the prominent scientist of nature, said, ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change (Case, 2006 pg 27) The fact about nature is also true in today medical practice that works in a fast changing environment. The most efficient and successful hospitals run their finances with modern medical billing software. There is an urgent need to have a good way of managing the billing issue in a medical practice and this issue can only be managed with the help of good billing software. A good billing software is expected to make sure that the billing calculation are done efficiently and accurately. In addition, it is expected to be available to the users on internet so that medical practitioners can be able to have full access to their billing system anywhere in the world. Therefore, a web based medical billing is required.
A Web application is a software application that is deployed on the web. It allows users to accomplish a task like obtaining information about the outstanding bills of a patient or any of the many activities possible on the web (Susan, Melanie, Solomon, Benjamin, 2003). The user can view, manipulate and control the software application through a Web browser connected to a web server through a network such as World Wide Web. In 1989, CERN (the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Switzerland) proposed the development of the World Wide Web in order to enable high-energy physicists across the world to collaborate through the easy provision and accessibility of information (Graham Curtis and David Cobham, 2002 pg 128). Another important aspect of web application is that there is a real-time update of generated content/data and they can be universally accessed via internet/web by the user.
However, The effectiveness of any computerised system is dependent on the soundness of its design and this is particularly true for the database application. The importance of database system cannot be overlooked in medical billing system. For most business organisations, information held in databases can often be more valuable than tangible forms of asset, which are accounted for in monetary terms. To work most effectively for the organisation or company, data stored electronically must be properly managed and protected. (Domanski, peter, Philip, 2000). Thus, a consistence database must be in place in order to avoid inaccurate analyses of stored information, poor cash flow for the hospital and Patient dissatisfaction with the hospital. A web based billing software component comprises the Database Management system and the application program
Different methodologies can be used for a project. However the appropriate one can increase the chances of better results.
I have chosen to use the Unified Process approach and the reasons are;
It concentrates on detailed documentation
It minimises back tracking
It maintains a full constant control on each stage of development
We have a clear idea of all the problems during each stage thereby eliminating chance of bigger problems after coding
I will get to learn useful tools do design Used case diagrams
Enhancing my knowledge of class diagrams
Strategic issue can be explained as the organisation planning options in addressing crucial business issue, engaging in collaborative decision making.
The strategic issue that the school of Technology and Management will benefit from the new system are;
For the organisation
Reduce the amount of paper usage e.g. assignment submission forms
Reduce the amount of storage usage cost
Reduce the number of manpower usage cost
It will reduce the stress levels of the staff
It save time for staffs
It eliminate assignment printing costs
It reduce the long queues at the college e.g. during registration or at the registry.
It saves time as well for the student
The project can be completed within 3 – 4 months if i work fulltime on it.
Milestones and Timelines
from the start
of the project
Complete specification of the system (with appropriate assumptions) including the framing of transfer policy of the patient between the ward / IBU, the payment / balance to be made by the patient etc constitutes this milestone. A document detailing the same should be written and a presentation on that be made.
Attempt should be made to add some more relevant functionality other than those that are listed in this document.
A database of atleast 25 entries of patients with some patients admitted in wards and the remaining in IBU should be entered.
It is important to finalize on the database at this stage itself so that development and testing can proceed with the actual database itself.
High-level and Detailed Design
Listing down all possible scenarios (like new patient, transfer of a patient between general ward and IBU, some balance remaining to be paid at the time of discharge etc) and then coming up with flow-charts or pseudocode to handle the scenario.
The scenarios should map to the requirement specification (i.e., for each requirement that is specified, a corresponding scenario should be there).
Implementation of the front-end of the system
Implementation of the main screen giving the login, screen that follows the login giving various options, screens for each of the options (shifting of patients, usage of beds).
During this milestone period, it would be a good idea for the team (or one person from the team) to start working on a test-plan for the entire system. This test-plan can be updated as and when new scenarios come to mind.
Integrating the front-end with the database
The front-end developed in the earlier milestone will now be able to update the database when a patient discharges. In short, the system should be ready for integration testing.
The system should be thoroughly tested by running all the testcases written for the system (from milestone 5).
Another 2 weeks should be there to handle any issues found during testing of the system. After that, the final demo can be arranged.
Issues found during the previous milestone are fixed and the system is ready for the final review.
During the final review of the project, it should be checked that all the requirements specified during milestone number 1 are fulfilled (or appropriate reasons given for not fulfilling the same)
Project: Internet based admission finder
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