Information Utilization in Tactical Decision Making of Middle Management Health Managers

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Abstract

Healthcare is an information-intensive field, as information is needed to make strategic, tactical, and operational decisions. The purpose of this study was to identify the tactical decisions that middle management healthcare managers make, the information that is available, and the necessary information that is missing using the cardiac care process as an example. Data were collected through focused interviews of nurses and physicians who work in middle management in a secondary healthcare field. The interviews were coded and analyzed using the thematic content analysis method. We identified two main categories of tactical decisions: those concerning the process of care and those concerning the resources for the care. We termed the categories “process decisions” and “resource decisions.” The availability of information varied. Much of the necessary information was created and processed manually. Our results show that the collection, mining, and systematic use of information are difficult because of the existence of many types of information systems and their varying abilities to produce and report information. Finally, much of the important information is missing. In conclusion, the information management process in healthcare settings needs to be improved, and a new generation of information system is needed to support tactical decision making in middle management.

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