Design And Implementation Of A Mortuary Billing System
Mortuary is a place where dead bodies are preserved with chemicals and kept in the refrigerated body store and examined in the post mortem room. The concept of a modern mortuary, regards the mortuary as a culturally sensitive area in terms of public relation and helping to arrange for the disposal of those patients who die. Facilities and their staff involved in mortuary services have a clear obligation to look after the deceased in accordance with community expectations in turn for a specified charge. Mortuary attendants, especially the billing departmentare faced with the problem of accurately preparing and documenting payments due to the manual method of documentation. This manual method of writing receipts on paper has shown to be prone to many errors, ranging from human mistakes to misplacement or damage of receipts, or assigning wrong receipt to different body. This project curbs the above problem by implementing a computerized billing system for morgues. This system realizes the documenting of dead body information and automatically generates of receipts so as to facilitate managerial decision and reduce a big burden for mortuary accountants. This work improves work efficiency by providing the basic information of employees, bodies and receipt printing. The system was developed using PHP programming language and MySQL for data storage.
1.1 Background of the Study
A morgue or mortuary (in a hospital or elsewhere) is used for the storage of human corpses awaiting identification or removal for autopsy or disposal by burial, cremation or other method. In modern times corpses have customarily been refrigerated to delay decomposition. Mortuary early 14c., from Anglo-French mortuarie “gift to a parish priest from a deceased parishioner,” from Medieval Latin mortuarium, noun use of neuter of Late Latin adjective mortuarius “pertaining to the dead,” from Latin mortuus, pp. of mori “to die” (see mortal (adj.)). Meaning “place where bodies are kept temporarily” first recorded 1865, a euphemism for earlier English term “deadhouse.”Morgue from the French morgue, which means ‘to look at solemnly, to defy’. First used to describe the inner wicket of a prison, where new prisoners were kept so that jailers and turnkeys could recognize them in the future, it took on its modern meaning in fifteenth-century Paris, being used to describe part of the Châtelet used for the storage and identification of unknown corpses (Assmann, 2005).
The dead arrive at all hours of the day, zipped into body bags and delivered to a white-tiled room called mortuary.The routine is the same no matter the name on the tag. The time is noted. The body is weighed. An autopsy is scheduled.A life is over, but the work here is just beginning.And so are the costs to taxpayers.Money isn’t the biggest concern at the morgue, not for the staff and certainly not for the families whose relatives are brought here but its proper documentation is important. But every new arrival carries costs that most people never see, from N1000 body bags and N150,000 DNA tests to the N200,000 payment of the pathologist who performs the autopsy.(Gillespie, 2002)
At the morgue, death is both a personal tragedy and a public burden. Mortuary attendants spend more than N4 million a year to keep it running, and the price keeps going up.Most of those costs aren’t negotiable because the state requires special coroners to investigate fatal accidents, homicides and any other death that police or doctors consider “unnatural.” Last year, more than 1,000 such cases came through the morgue’s doors, a 15 percent increase from just five years ago.It depends. If someone is hit by a car, a long investigation probably isn’t needed to determine the cause of death. But if drugs are involved, or murder charges are possible, the investigation and the expense can grow dramatically.
One of the challenges for the billing department is properly documenting payments made by the relatives of the dead body. Due to the long processes the body goes throughfrom when it came to when it left, proper documentation is necessary. Drug and alcohol tests run more than N150, 000, including labor costs, and the analysis of tissue samples is about N18,000. The fatal shooting case is significantly more expensive because it required DNA testing, which totals about N200,000, and eventually will include ballistics and firearms tests, which involve days of work. Manual documentation of all the payments gives rise to errors which would have been prevented if the process is automated by the computer.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
One of the challenges for the mortuary attendants is proper documentation of payments. Due to the long processes the body goes through from when it came to when it left, proper documentation of payments become tedious. The following specific problems were identified in the existing system at the case study:
- Inability to keep the proper record of number human body in mortuary
- Error in computation of available space in the mortuary
- Inability to accurately calculate bill for mortuary service
- Errors in computation of mortuary bills.
- Difficulties in obtaining mortuary bills report.
This work tends to curb the above problems by designing a computerized billing system for the mortuary. With the developed system, documenting, analysis, searching and computation of bills becomes easy. Doctors and managers can make better managerial decisions due to accurate data.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of this study is to design and implement a billing system for mortuaries for the proper management of payments. To achieve the stated aim, the following specific objectives were laid out:
- To design a system that can be utilized to accurately bill for mortuary services.
- To design a database system that can be used to store mortuary billing records.
- To design a system that can be used to obtain mortuary bill reports.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The billing system will be of great benefit to mortuaries and it will improve the managerial cum administrative strength of the hospital and move the business forward to meet the demand of times and globalization in this era of technology. It provides easy record of goods and proper identification of payments. This piece of work will add to the already existing literature review and act as a reference work for future researchers.
1.5 Scope and Limitation of the Study
This project work covers body registration, payment management and receipt generation. It tends to correct anomalies in morgue business. It provides quick way of operation by capturing the manual process and automating them. Receipts are printed after payment and can be reprinted at will at any number of times. This project uses web technologies to accept and store the necessary information. The users must connect to the system using any internet enabled device. One major limitation of this system is that it doesn’t support all the features of mortuary management system like warehouse management and body status monitoring which are very important features in mortuaries.
1.6 Project Methodology
There are approaches are also referred as Software Development Process Models. These processes model follows particular life cycle in order to ensure success in process of software development. One such approach which is used in this project is waterfall model. It was the first process model to be introduced and followed widely in software engineering to ensure success of the project. In the waterfall approach, the whole process of software development is divided into separate process phases. The phases in the waterfall model are: Requirement specification phase, Software design, Implementation and maintenance. All these phases are cascaded to each other so that second phase is started as and when defined set of goals are achieved for first phase.
1.7 Project Organization
This research work is organized into five chapters.
- Chapter one is concerned with the introduction of the research study and it presents the preliminaries, theoretical background, statement of the problem, aim and objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, organization of the research and definition of terms.
- Chapter two focuses on the literature review, the contributions of other scholars on the subject matter is discussed.
- Chapter three is concerned with the system analysis and design. It presents the research methodology used in the development of the system; it analyzes the present system to identify the problems and provides information on the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed system. The system design is also presented in this chapter.
- Chapter four presents the system implementation and documentation, the choice of programming language, testing, and choice of programming language and system requirements for implementation.
- Chapter five focuses on the summary, evaluation of the study, conclusion and recommendations are provided in this chapter based on the study carried out
1.8 Definition of Terms
A place where dead bodies are stored prior to burial or cremation.
To treat a corpse
A ceremony to honor and remember a deceased person
Amount charged for a service
An activity performed to find out the cause of death.
Summary, Conclusion and Future Work
This project is on the design and implementation of a billing system for mortuaries. To effectively drive home the meaning and concept of this system, the project is subdivided into five chapters, the first chapters evaluates the background of the study, stating the problems that the newly proposed system is about to resolve. In furtherance it explicated the significance, and defines the terms and terminologies required for the implementation and use of this system. The second chapter of this project reviewed relevant literatures that reiterated on the necessity of the implementation of management system in the management of mortuaries. The third chapter of this project evaluated the system analysis and design. It laid emphasis on the nature of the manual systems and described the need for the new system and its advantages over the old system. The fourth chapter is based on the system implementation and how to use the system for effective performance. The final chapter summarised and draw conclusion based on the functionality of the system and make possible recommendation on how to enhance the management of mortuaries in Nigeria.
The Internet has become a major resource in modern business, thus electronic billing for mortuaries has gained significance not only from the entrepreneur’s but also from the customer’s point of view. For the entrepreneur, billing system generates new business opportunities and for the user. As per a survey, most consumers of electronic stores are impulsive and usually make a decision to stay on a site within the first few seconds. “Website design is like a shop interior. If the shop looks poor or like hundreds of other shops the customer is most likely to skip to the other site” .Hence we have designed the project to provide the user with easy navigation, retrieval of data and necessary feedback as much as possible.
This project helps in understanding the creation of an interactive web page and the technologies used to implement it. The design of the project which includes Data Model and Process Model illustrates how the database is built with different tables, how the data is accessed and processed from the tables. The building of the project has given me a precise knowledge about how PHP is used to develop a website, how it connects to the database to access the data and how the data and web pages are modified to provide the user with a payment cart application.
The mortuary billing software developed for a company has been designed to reduce the time taken to handle the registration and receipt management. It is designed to replace an existing manual record system for reducing time taken for calculations and for storing data. The system is strong to handle daily operations where the database is cleared over certain time. This system will reduce manual work, calculations and will also provide periodic reports any time.
5.3 Future Work
This system is online management and administration system in a future we will upgrade, develop and change this system in a system with a finger print. Also stock control can also be added to help control stock in the warehouse.
The management system will be of great benefit to mortuaries and it will improve the managerial cum administrative strength of the business and move the business forward to meet the demand of times and globalization in this era of technology. It provides easy record of goods and proper identification of sales. This piece of work will add to the already existing literature review and act as a reference work for future researchers.
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