The paper "Comair’ s System Glitch" is an excellent example of a business assignment. The coveted airline company Comair was making a sizeable profit with its decade-old flight crew scheduling software. In the initial phase it was ahead of most of its competitors, but over a period of time, it lost the steam because it was not able to manage the flight schedule as efficiently. The software leased from SBS International was also running on IBM AIX edition of the UNIX operating system. This resulted in the system becoming outdated and slow. Moreover, the new flight scheduling system by SBS was discarded by the company on a recommendation of a crew supervisor, who have already used the system previously.
This delayed the process of modernizing the system during the time of need. Cause of problem The company was in very keen in implementing new software, but it faced time and fund crunch. In the year 1998, the company’ s director, Jim Dublikar, took the initiative to consult SABRE Airline Solutions to replace the existing system on a 5-year phase. This strategy was quite good and was about to bring financial benefits to the company in the long run.
However, the company invested a huge chunk of money to meet the Y2K (the Year 2000) problem and also to take care of the e-ticketing system and the revenue management system. At the same time, the network system of the corporate office was also upgraded. This was all the part of the 5-year plan. Also, the company was quite accustomed to the SBS system, but the decision to select a new system was scheduled for June 2000.
In the meantime, Dublikar left the organization and there was no one to take the initiative any longer. Impact of problemThe problems piled up and in 2001 the company faced internal problems as well. The 89 days strike by the pilots caused the company to lose $200 million in the quarter. In the meantime, Comair, being part of the Delta Airlines group, incurred huge losses after the September 11 attacks. With these problems percolating into the system, the company finally took the decision to replace its software system in 2005.
In the year 2004, between December 22nd and December 24th the company cancelled 90% of its flights due to extreme weather conditions in Ohio. But what no one in the company could ever imagine is that the aged software system was not capable of handling more than 32, 768 changes in the month. Hence, on 25th of December, the company cancelled all its flights and on 26th it did 90%. In just a few days the company incurred huge losses and made a bad reputation in the airlines market.
Q 4) What obstacles prevent computer systems from improving the medical industry? How can these obstacles be removed? Obstacles to computer systems in the medical industryComputer systems are a much-needed requirement in every industry. The medical industry is no exception, but its implementation is a tedious task. Most doctors and medical practitioners are opposed to the system. They feel that the way humans can diagnose the ailments and prescribe medicines, the same cannot be simulated by any system. Though there have been many situations where due to ignorance and wrong diagnosis the patients have died.
It has been studied that usages of the wrong drug have resulted in 41% of hospital admissions. The major reasons are human errors like memory lapses, fatigue and poor handwriting. With software like CPOE (computerized physician order entry) these errors can easily be taken care of. But since these systems are relatively new, hence its usage cannot be accounted for more than 5 to 10 per cent of the hospitals. Removal of obstacles The computer system is a much-needed requirement in the medical industry; however, its entry will not be easy.
It requires approval and acceptance from the medical fraternity. There are a few rigidities in the systems itself. Admittance of the patients cannot be done without a proper entry in the system. Hence, the CPOE system needs to be improved on these aspects. What is required is a partnership between the medical fraternity and the software companies. It has been proved, that with instant information available on the fingertips of the doctors or nurses’ diagnosis and treatment can be done promptly and more accurately.
Similarly, time can also be saved to a great extent. Cost is another aspect that needs to be taken care of. The system costs about $750 per year and the initial data feeding takes quite some time, but a software system in place will allow the doctors to take the right decisions at the right time.