hw 3 - Page 167 Window on Technology When Software Kills...

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Page 167 Window on Technology When Software Kills: What Happened at Panama’s National Cancer Institute 1. What management, organization, and technology factors were responsible for the excess radiation doses at Panama’s National Cancer Institute? Management responsible for the excess radiation doses at Panama’s National Cancer Institute would include the head of the department. According to the case, excess radiation exposure was given to patients wish caused miscalculations in the radiation machines. Ms. Olivia Saldana is responsible in this case. She tried to use more than four blocks, which was not defined into the software, that’s why it miscalculated the amount of radiation exposure to the patients. Also, she didn’t verify the results of the software manually, whether the radiation is enough or exceeds the limits. Panamanian medical physicists who used the software to figure out the dose of radiation for patients are responsible for excess radiation doses at Panama’s Cancer Institute. Under, the Panamanian law, they may be held responsible because they introduced changes in the software that guided the radiation therapy machine used on patients. At Organizational level, National Cancer Institute physicists did not always manually verify the results of the software calculations. Three radiation physicists were working overtime to treat more than 100 patients per day because the hospital was under staffed. The hospital examined only the functioning part of the hardware. It had no quality assurance program for the software of for its results. Physicists were not required to tell anyone they had changed the way they entered data into the system and no one questioned the software’s results. At technology level, radiation machines created by Multi data Systems International of St. Louis, Missouri was designed for treatments only when four or fewer blocks are prescribed, these radiation machines were miscalculating information. . Multi data’s manual did not describe precisely how to digitize coordinates of shielding blocks. Also, the manual did not provide specific warnings against data entry approaches that are different from the standard procedure described. 2. Who was responsible for the malfunctioning of the system? National Cancer Institute physicists were responsible for the malfunctioning of the system. They physicists did not always manually verify the results of the software calculations. Three radiation physicists were working overtime to treat more than 100 patients per day because their hospital was under staffed. The Physicists were not required to tell anyone they had changed the way they entered data into the system and no one questioned the software’s results. The physicists tried to make the software work for a fifth block. They entered the dim
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3. Was an adequate solution developed for this problem? An adequate solution was not developed for the cause of miscalculation using the
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2010 for the course MIS 316 taught by Professor Kristine during the Spring '10 term at York University.

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hw 3 - Page 167 Window on Technology When Software Kills...

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