RUNNING HEAD: DECISION MAKING MODEL Decision Making Model MGT 350 University of Phoenix Abstract Decision making models can be very effective in problem solving. Scheduling is a big problem at Direct Home Health Care and a solution needed to be found. Scheduling software which can be very expensive was the only conclusion that could be reached. With much thought and analysis a resolution was reached with critical thought and a decision making model from the Small Business Development Center. Decision making models can be very helpful in analyzing a problem and setting up a step by step process to evaluate and come to a favorable conclusion. Recently there has been a problem at my agency with scheduling and the difficulty the on call schedulers have with toting around several very large scheduling books.

The Small Business Development Center has a decision making model to assist with problem solving and I have chosen their web sight to aid with this problem. The first step in this decision making model is to recognize a problem exist and set a solution objective. Direct Home Health Care's everyday business is making sure patients are scheduled properly and taken care of by nursing assistants. There are approximately 250 patients and 250 nursing assistants. Scheduling books are used to keep track of every patient and every nursing assistant that is scheduled to see that patient. The patient books are divided up by payer source, for example, Medicaid, Social Services or private pay patients.

The nursing books are categorized by discipline and alphabetized by name. These books can be very cumbersome and if they were ever lost or damaged it would be a very lengthy process to put new ones together. A new solution needed to be reached to schedule patients more efficiently. The next step would be to analyze the situation and identify key uncertainties.

After thinking this problem through there was a realization that a computer program was the way to go. Computer programs can be very expensive, some around thirty thousand dollars. This would be a very large expense and I am not sure Direct Home Health Care is ready to spend that kind of money. A new computer program would also mean schedulers need to be trained and that could be very time-consuming.

If the schedulers were not computer literate it could become very complicated. Despite the drawbacks such as expense and training this was the only workable solution. This would eliminate the heavy books and also allow for more precise and efficient patient scheduling. Gathering data is the next step in the model and several software companies were consulted. All of the companies had excellent products with very impressive features. The scheduling software not only scheduled patients but it also kept track of payroll and billing.

Payroll and billing are both very important departments of Direct Home Health Care and the process to fulfill each task weekly is monstrous. If the software could help to alleviate these two jobs it would be a great benefit. After speaking with representatives from a number of companies an affordable solution was found with HOMETRAK. HOMETRAK is a software company that specializes in home health scheduling and the program could be purchased for a little as five thousand dollars. The software was affordable and included all of the features necessary for scheduling, payroll and billing. One of the final steps is developing a plan for implementation and implementing the plan.

In order to implement the plan all of the data had to be entered into the program. This took several days due to the vast amount of information that needed to be entered. Training CDs were used by the schedulers to familiarize themselves with the new program. They were able to take these CDs home and were paid for a total of five hours of training.

New computers were purchased for each office scheduler and also for the on call scheduler. A networking system was set up with a router and wireless networking software. Evaluation of the new program is the last step in the decision making model. The program had to be evaluated to determine its success in solving the problem. The program has proven to be very effective and has resulted in a higher efficiency rate and higher patient satisfaction.

The program has also cut back considerably on the man power and time needed to accomplish weekly payroll and billing. The conclusion is that this software has been a very positive investment and there are no regrets as to purchasing and implementing the program. A decision making process based on critical thought and data leads to good decisions. Some decisions affect several people and some only a few. The scheduling decision at Direct Home Health Care involved several people and was not to be taken lightly.

The decision making model from the Small Business Development Center is a very effective tool in decision making and breaks the process down into several steps which can be utilized by any business to assist with difficult choices. References Small business development center: decision making model, Retrieved May 15, 2005, from web University of maryland, Decision making model, Team handbook, 4-20-4-25. Retrieved May 16, 2005, from web learning/Decision-Making Model. pdf.