Sample IT Paper on Sustainability and adaptability of WCUMC IT system

Problem statement

The West Coast University Medical Center installed a computerized medical diagnostic system to enhance and sustain research, education, and practices of health care in the institution.  Data was stored in the servers and accessed from computers. The doctors were able to access the information from any location due to the Wi-Fi connection.

Despite the availability of massive growing literature to the doctors on medication, the system went down after one year. It was noted that there were issues of sustainability and adaptability. Technical issues due to system failure also derailed hospital operations and in some cases, halted the operations. The large massive data available in the servers was irrelevant, leading to a wastage of time while looking for the right information. Moreover, the non-availability of customized tabs to enable doctors, pharmacists and lab technicians key in data or access their stored data without numerous navigation skills posed a major challenge.


This report made the following assumptions concerning the installed system

  • The system was connected to central servers where data was stored, sorted, and accessed by doctors, pharmacists, lab technologists, and hospital administration as per their levels.
  • There existed the IT department in the hospital that was tasked with managing the issues of the installed system.
  • All operations in the hospital, from the time a patient was admitted to the time he was discharged, went through the system.

Major issues

There were numerous technological challenges that halted the installed system. This was due to the inadequate deployment of requisite technical problem solvers in time. Consequently, there was a breakdown in communications, access to required data and finally halting of hospital operations. Additionally, political, deep economic, and cultural challenges were also noted to have played a major role in making the system dysfunctional.  The installed system dictated a change in ways in which operations were conducted. It demanded accountability, transparency, and communication. The fear of change and resistance to change caused by the hospital staff also contributed to the failing of the system. Also, the need to invest in skilled computer programmers who were skilled raised the initial cost of the installation.

Minor issues

It was noted that they were times when the Wi-Fi would be low. Consequently, hospital operations would be delayed. Power breakdown was also noted to occasionally halt operations of the systems. Finally, computer literacy levels of the staff were to determine the extent to which they were able to access data from the IT system.

Alternatives and discussions

Innovativeness in computing, information management, and communications handling was noted to be the heartbeat of the installed system. Advancement in computing will lead to the design of usable, appropriate, and highly effective solutions that will utilize the most powerful and deepest insights.  This would, however, lead to additional funding in research, training, and installation of additional features.   Also, the process tedious as IT innovations would require input from various fields of engineering, administration and policy department, ecological section, and safety and environmental department.

Contracting an IT firm, on the other hand, would save the company the costs of research and management of the system. The IT firm would be tasked with modifying the system to fit the needs of the hospital, training the staff and proposing policy frameworks that would enable the system to function. However, the hospital would lose privacy to the data in its servers.  Additionally, this mode is expensive in the long run as it would create recurring wage bills, which may increase in the future. Also, the hospital’s IT department would not be fully utilized. Finally, the hospital will not have the overall decision to manage the system.


Innovation in the design of a system that is resilient, adaptive, robust, and usable was noted to be key in the sustainability of the system.  This was to be achieved by customizing the programing language to fit the hospital’s needs. Also, design thinking and search were to be enabled in the system. This would best be implemented by the IT department of the hospital as they had experienced in the operations of West Coast University Medical Center.


National Research Council. (2012). Computing Research for Sustainability. National Academies Press.