A patient management system for mental health care

This case study describes a system that I have called MHC-PMS, which is a real system (although that is not its real name) which was used (and may still be used) in a number of UK hospitals, including hospitals in Scotland. The system is designed for use in clinics attended by patients suffering from mental health problems and records details of their consultations and conditions. It is separate from a more general patient records system as more detailed information has to be maintained and the system has to be set up to generate letters and reports of different types and to help ensure that the laws pertaining to mental health are maintained by staff treating patients.

This is a secondary safety-critical system as system failure can lead to decisions that compromise the safety of the patient or the medical staff caring for the patient.

Use of this case study in teaching

I use this case study to discuss general issues of around the design of information systems where the system dependability is important and security is a significant concern. It is particularly useful for highlighting requirements conflicts as there is a clear conflict between requirements for patient privacy and safety requirements for maintaining the safety of the patient and their carers.

Supporting documents

Case study description (PDF, from Chapter 1)

System overview (PPTX)

System requirements specification and discussion of requirements conflicts (PDF)

An integrated approach to dependability requirements engineering. This is a supporting paper that I wrote on a method for deriving dependability requirements that uses this system as an example (PDF)