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Application of Management Techniques

TOPIC AREA: Management

CAST STUDY TITLE: Application of Management Techniques


Six weeks ago, Melanie Weaver, RHIA, was hired as the Health Information Department Director. Melanie has reason to believe she has had sufficient time to become oriented to the Department and identify some of the problems within the Department that need to be addressed. Through observation and interaction with the Health Information Department employees, Melanie has noted the following:

1.Sally, the Release of Information clerk, is asking Melanie questions regarding release of information approximately five times per day. Sally appears to be unsure of herself and is afraid she is going to release patient information inappropriately. Requests for information for patient records are backlogged for four weeks. Sally states she is behind on her work because she spends so much time answering phone calls for other department employees. Sally says that responding to phone calls, other than release of information requests, is not supposed to be part of her job.

2.The work performed by the two discharge analysis clerks is inconsistent. One of the clerks requires signatures on all medical record entries. The other clerk requires signatures on only certain entries. It has been noted that the two clerks assemble the patient charts in a slightly different order.

3.The three file clerks bicker among themselves. Two of the file clerks, Anita and Becky, have complained to Melanie that the third file clerk, Sue, does not do her share of the work. They say they have found Sue sleeping on the job.

4.There is no established method to determine which employees should receive merit increases. The department employees state that the last supervisor simply stated they were “all doing a good job” and divided the available merit pay equally. Some of the employees complain that this practice is “unfair,” and that id toes not provide incentive. Some employees say that they work

“harder” and do a better job than others and should be rewarded for their efforts.

5.Finally, Melanie also realizes that she has “inherited” (from the former director) too many routine, time-consuming tasks which could be easily handled by one of the other department employees. Melanie believes that the time performed to do these tasks would be better spent implementing good management techniques.

Reprint from AHIMA Case Study Manual.


1.For each of the above (1-5):

a.Analyze the situations and identify the problems.

b.Utilizing sound management techniques, develop appropriate solutions for each of the many identified problems. Which of the solutions may have department-wide implications?

c.Should problems and solutions be implemented? If so, in what order?

2.What management techniques could Melanie employ to promote employee acceptance of the solutions? How should the solutions be implemented to help assure successful resolution of the problems?

3.What could be some of the possible outcomes if Melanie chooses to ignore the problems?

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Category: Sample Questions