ILM Leadership and Management

Information systems are used to collect, store and organise data, they are usually electronic and contain specific information about a specific subject e.g. sickness. This data is turned into information which is then used to support and influence decision making within an organisation.

Can you give a little more information re how stored ie: files, folders, names, security access. Also information system come in manual for hard copy and so are filed differently like alphabetically for example. Expand on this a little bit more.

Generally there are 3 main types of interfaces –

  1. Hardware interface – electronic devices are connected by cables to ports or networks such as, printers, keyboards and mice.
  2. Software interface – coding that enables applications to communicate with other software packages and the hardware.
  3.  User interface – allows the user to communicate with the operating system, e.g. using the keys on the keyboard to interact with the computer software.

The implementation of upgrading systems can be positive and negative; initially the IT department has to build the system which can take time and resources (financial and additional staff).

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The new system then has to either completely replace an out of date system or be incorporated within an already established system. This sounds easy enough but there are several interfaces that are not compatible with each other and this can cause duplication of tasks which is a waste of resources. When they are implemented, all relevant employees have to learn how to use and navigate the new system/equipment and this can take time especially within a big organisation.

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In the interim, the new functions within the upgrade are not being used to their full potential and this can result in a delayed outcome of whether the new system was a success. It is vital for interfaces to require updates to either improve the system or repair any gaps within the interfaces security. As technology advances so does the technology of hackers, continuous updates to the system should guarantee that the level of security is always higher than the hackers.

Feedback from stakeholders i.e. staff, is crucial when implementing a new system as they are the ones who will actually be using it on a daily basis. A lot of systems are approved by senior management or at a board level; however, staff on lower tiers of the hierarchy may have valuable insights in to how well it functions or flows within a process. Evaluating their feedback can help assess progress and can influence whether the end goal was achieved. This feedback can also result in a much needed upgrade to prevent a data breach or cyber-attack.

Feedback from patients who use our systems to book their appointments is also useful as it is an insight into how it is working from another perspective. Constructive feedback, positive or negative, can have a huge impact on how a system works and how it can be improved to aid the smooth running of the patients experience.

You must call this the GDPR now Rie The Data Protection Act provides guidance on how information is kept secure, that it is accurate and up to date. Patients and employees have the right to know what their information is being used for and who has access to it.

My organisation provides all employees with a work email, this work email is address and personal data of patients and employees can be shared between anyone else who has a email. Sharing of data is secure as long as it is not shared by anyone who does not have a email address.

Having more than one email address and unsecured email networks can cause numerous increased risks of data being lost, copied, used, sold, etc. The bigger your organisation is the higher the risk of a cyber-attack, in 2017 my organisation was hacked and the disruption was immense. Patients lost confidence in our firewalls and the security of our networks, this lead to patients choosing to be treated at another hospital within the county which also had a negative impact on the hospital finances through lost revenue. Although we are not an organisation which has obvious trade secrets, a cyber-attack could cause us to lose our competitive edge and again this can cause a loss in revenue received.

Another implication of a cyber-attack or data breach can be the time lost repairing the hacked system. Any equipment that was connected to a network was immediately unplugged and each one had to be tested before it could be reconnected, within my department alone we had to disconnect all the computers and scanning equipment. This meant that extra resources such as compact disks had to be purchased so that patient images could be manually stored on them instead of being stored electronically through a network. The biggest problem we encountered were the networks belonging to external companies because we required that they all provided guarantees that their networks were secure to a specifically high level. Additional staff were required due to the extra time taken to manually download images on to disks, and this also extended the appointment slots of each patient.

The biggest implication was the reputation to our hospital, employees rely on their employers to protect their personal data and the general attitude among staff was negative and sceptical. Staff morale was low and employees felt betrayed, especially when they found out that the cyber-attack might have been avoided if the firewall was better secured. Retaining staff that felt let down was crucial as losing their experience and knowledge would have a lasting detrimental affect which would lead to the need of recruiting. It took a lot of reassurance by senior management, board members and the Chief Executive that all resources were being prioritised to repair and improve the current security systems in place.

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ILM Leadership and Management. (2022, Jun 06). Retrieved from

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