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Case Study: Nurses and wards Management System


The client approached us to create an Acuity and Dependency (AD) application to log AD data from wards. The logging of data was based on a set of rules defined by the Association of University Hospitals. The management will utilize AD data to make decisions by creating series of reports which are intended to analyze the impact of both qualified and unqualified staff on the patients.


According to the client's requirement, the system consists of three core parts, which are Nursing Staff, Quality Indicator and Reporting Staff.

  • Nursing staff are responsible for entering ward data which is recorded for a period of 20 days at a time.
  • Quality indicator (QI) staffs are responsible for entering data referred as Nurse Sensitive Indicators (NSI). The indicators are calculated outside of the scope of this application and are simply entered by the QI staff. Figures are then used in calculations during the reporting process.
  • Reporting staff are responsible for generating AD reports. These reports will be graphical in nature and have an export function that allows them to be saved to a local file for the purpose of inclusion into more formal reporting document/presentation.


Technology required

  • .NET, C#
  • ASP.NET / ASP.NET Ajax
  • jQuery
  • Microsoft Enterprise Library
  • ZedGraph Report component

System Architecture

According the requirement, we adopted a 3-layer model (presentation layer, business logic layer and data access layer) for this project to make the architecture clearer and easier to maintain and extend.

Presentation layer

The presentation layer was implemented using .NET Web Form and ASP.NET Ajax. It was implemented with following functions: accepting and validating user's input, acquiring and rendering data from business layer

Business logic layer

The business logic layer was realized using control class. When there was a request to database, Data Access component would be called and then the control class would build the entity class and returned to the caller.

Data layer

All database operations were accomplished in one component in order to reduce the cost of database migration. When an access request arrived, the component would receive a SQL command from the XML configuration file, and then accessed SQL Server by using SqlConnection of ADO.NET.

Challenges of the development process

During the whole process we encountered some challenges.

  • After we have implemented all the functions, the deployment environment was changed. The biggest challenge was the website's permissions issue: the web-host server assigned only Medium permission to the website; it means the website did not have enough permission to access local resource.

    We redesigned some functions and adjusted our environment to match with the website deployment environments. We updated them, making the website's functionalities to work.

  • The project was of medical industry, we must understand multiple terms, and then calculate the reports.

    We created a glossaries and terms document, and actively communicated with our client to confirm our understanding till everything was clear to us.