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Health Information Technology Paper

Health Information Technology Paper

The research proposal aims to investigate the benefits of Health Information Technology in the health care systems across the world. The research will interview various stakeholders and key players within the healthcare such as health care providers, experts and patients to determine the effectiveness of the Health Information Technology in the health care systems in term of improved efficiency of service delivery and quality of health care services.Health Information Technology Paper

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 The research will investigate the impacts of Health Information Technology such as Electronic Health Records on the health care systems. These impacts will be measured in terms of administrative efficiency, cost of healthcare, and quality of the health care service and accuracy of health information. The secondary and primary data collected through the study will be analyzed by the use of statistical software such as Statistical Packages for Social Sciences, STRATA, and Microsoft Excel. The subsequent interpretation of the research findings will be published for general use.Health Information Technology Paper

The expected outcome of the research anticipates that the Health Information Technology (HIT) improves the provision of healthcare services, the administrative efficiency, and the accuracy of health information within the health care industry. The findings of this research will be useful to governments, insurers, health care providers, international health agencies, and medical practitioners in the sense that they will all acknowledge the place of Health Information Technology such as Electronic Health Records in the heath care industry. Consequently, all stakeholders will fully support computerization of the health records over the conventional method of file storage.

Health Information Technology (HIT) provides an overall logical framework upon which computerized systems are used to manage healthcare information within the healthcare sector (Tomasi, 2010). HIT makes the exchange of the healthcare information between the insurers, consumers, healthcare providers, independent quality and governmental agencies possible. The main purpose of the Health Information Technology is to improve the overall efficiency, safety, and quality of the service delivery within the healthcare systems. The health care experts, policy makers, payers and consumers consider health information technologies, such as electronic health records and computerized provider order entry, to be critical to transforming the health care industry.

W.  defines Health Information as the systems of computer program software and physical hardware components that systematically function to process, store, retrieve, use, and share healthcare knowledge, data, and information for the purposes of the communication within the healthcare system. The information, knowledge and data accrued from the Health Information Technology (HIT) are very useful in the development of various public health policies because they provide precise details about the patterns of all epidemics in a given population, prevalence of infections, frequency of various diseases within the healthcare system.Health Information Technology Paper

The concept of HIT has fully infiltrated all the major healthcare systems in the provision of primary health care across the world. As observed by Tomasi (2010) in their health care publication, Health information technologies in primary health care in developing countries: a literature review, all the major health care systems provides for the computerization of their data system within their expansive areas of operation. The report further elaborates that the success of this technological advancement in the healthcare sector calls for the concerted efforts of the IT experts, consultants, policy makers, medical care givers and insurers. Each of these stakeholders plays an important role in the computerization of the healthcare systems.

The information technology experts will develop all the necessary hardware and software programs that will meet the demands of the healthcare services as far as networking of all healthcare systems within a given area of operation is concerned. These are the basic components which are necessary for the effective computerization of the health care systems. Similarly, the contributions of the healthcare experts and healthcare policy makers are also crucial in the development of Health Information Technology because they lay down all the fundamental features to be included in the programs under development. The contributions of these stakeholders ensure that the HIT covers all the major areas of the healthcare systems without any fail.

According to W., there are basic features of the Health Information Technology that must be put into consideration in the development of various healthcare programs. First of all, software programs of the HIT must be user friendly in the sense that all categories of the healthcare practitioners and service providers must find these programs easy to learn and use. This quality will ensure that the HIT programs and the subsequent computerization of the healthcare information is realized considering that all the healthcare providers fully embrace its applications in the management of health information. Secondly, the HIT must indiscriminately integrate all areas of health care operations into its systems for the purposes of universality. In this way, the HIT will comprehensively satisfy all the needs within the healthcare systems.Health Information Technology Paper

The HIT has completely revolutionized the operations of the healthcare provision in different parts of the world. Many governments have made it their policy that all health records have to be stored within the Electronic Health Record . The health records in paper files are no longer kept in the metallic cabins where they are liable to physical destruction, misplacement, or manipulations and are difficult to retrieve should there any need arise. Walker, Bieber & Richard, Electronic Health Record (EHR) is the commonest application of the Health Information Technology applied within the health care industry on a day-to-day basis.

According to W., Electronic Health Record (EHR) is the systematic gathering and storage of an individual patient’s electronic health information within the systems of Health Information Technology. These stored electronic health information could then be retrieved for future uses. EHR provides a technological platform upon which all heath records of a particular individual entity could be all consolidated under one portfolio within the healthcare system. The resultant e-records could then be accessed by different healthcare providers from the system in different locations at the same time. This is the superiority of the EHR over the filing system of health information records. The use of Health Information Technology (IT) in the healthcare sector is a growing reality in many parts of the world- both developed and developing alike.  Many governments have made a policy that the healthcare facilities such as hospitals must keep electronic records of the health information within the HIT and these governments have also provided adequate funds to ensure that the cost of installing HIT systems are catered for. According to the statistics given by W., 61% of the world healthcare systems have fully embraced the HIT in the management of their information, 31% are still in the process of computerizing their health records while a small percentage of 8% use the traditional filing system. However, the Elaine is categorical that in healthcare systems (mostly poor developing countries) where HIT is either partially or not embraced, strategic plans are underway to ensure that all their healthcare systems are computerized by the year 2018 as stipulated in their strategic development goals.

All the information systems within the healthcare systems as given by healthcare providers, insurers, and the medical facilities are interconnected through the highly modernized infrastructure of the healthcare information technology.  The highly centralized healthcare information system acts as a server to all component terminals within the infrastructure. All forms of data are first sent to the central database for storage after which they can be strictly accessed by authorized entities from the system. Besides the data security maintained within the Electronic Health Records, the independent Information systems are capable of storing, relaying and retrieving clients’ information from the database at any given time without any difficulty. For this reason, it greatly increases the efficiency of the healthcare systems.Health Information Technology Paper

The components of the Health Information Technology systems ensure that all the healthcare facilities and service providers can adequately manage their database without any possible error. All information entered into the EHR is accurate and not liable to any manipulation since they system highly encrypted to lock out manipulations of stored data. Unlike in the filing system, the EHR guarantees the clients’ confidential information maximum safety against unauthorized access. This feature makes the EHR a preferred choice of keeping healthcare information. Data security is another reason why healthcare providers resort to the electronic health records. Once clinical/medical information is collected from the client (patient), it is converted into digital electronic records which is then stored into the system for future references. The e-records cannot be lost from the system as would be the case with physical paperwork kept in a file.

There are several side benefits that are associated with the HIT. Considering that the HIT tracks all the clinical history of a patient, all the medications and prescribed drugs are enlisted in the system against the exact dates when they were dispensed.  Most importantly, the system also contains other sensitive information about an individual patient before hand  for example group of drugs the patient adversely reacts to, medical conditions such as hypertension, and asthma. In this way, any attending doctor or medical practitioners will be able to get all the relevant information on the onset of medication. As such, the electronic health record system reduces medical error by a larger margin above 78%.

Furthermore, the improvement of the heath care quality is another advantage that HIT introduces into the health care system. The introduction of the telemedicine allows the patients to directly seek the expertise services of the medical practitioners without necessarily visiting the health facilities. The Health Information Technology will then allow the medical experts to conduct elaborate diagnosis online via Electronic Health Record with precision (Gartee, 2011). This unfolding technological advancement in the health sector makes heath accessible and affordable to an increasing number of people within the society.

The existence of an elaborate Information Technology infrastructure between the healthcare service providers and healthcare facilities such as hospitals and medical care services allows for the maintenance of accurate electronic health records (Kirch, 2008). The electronic health records contain all the necessary medical information about a particular patient in a consolidated manner notwithstanding changes in the medical service providers or geographical location because all these information are integrated at the wider National Health Information Network.Health Information Technology Paper

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The architectural design of the EHR guarantees accurate and reliable transmission of data within the integrated healthcare system. The EHR has made it possible to integrate all the components of the Clinical Information Systems (information about the medications given by medical practitioners to a particular patient) and the hospital information systems (records of patients’ particulars by a particular health facility for their internal use). The introduction of health information technology has brought about much transformation in the healthcare industry. HIT increases efficiency of the healthcare services therefore many hospitals and other healthcare providers have increased their capacity to extend their services clients (Walker, Bieber & Richards, 2006). Similarly, patients are happy with the high quality services of the healthcare providers.

Over the past three decades, the healthcare systems in many countries have experienced serious problems in the management of their medical information across the world. Majority still resort to the use of physical files in keeping patients records. As a result, lots of medical and clinical healthcare information are liable to get damaged or lost altogether. Additionally, the much required information about the increasing numbers of patients becomes extremely difficult to retrieve- a phenomenon that contributes to the inefficiency of the healthcare systems.

For the past three decades, all the healthcare systems have experienced a serious lapse in the management of their health information records following the increasing number of patients who come to the health facilities seeking for the healthcare services. Considering that the healthcare facilities relied on the explicit use of outdated methods of file storage systems to keep their information, they are liable to lose most of their information contained in the files for various reasons. This leads into reduced profitability of the health care firms.Health Information Technology Paper

The method of file storage compromises the security of the healthcare information. Over a period of time as the healthcare facilities and insurance companies expand their businesses, their volumes of data increases far beyond the capacity of the existing conventional types of file storage. This phenomenon compromises the security of patient files stored within file storage system. In the event of transferring files from one storage device to another, information is lost since some parts of the files could be lost, misplaced or get damaged altogether. The limitation of the available space is the major challenge of using the conventional file storage.

The use of outdated methods of file storage presents the problem of accessibility. Due to the increased demand for the health care services, the required data could not be accessed with speed as desired. The administrators will spend more time and energy trying to locate where a particular file is placed. This manner of inconveniences will reduce the efficiency of the health care facilities since their rate of working is slowed down especially if the patient volume is high. Similarly, this system of data storage does not readily allow for the regulatory that ensures that data are verified within the system.

Finally, the compromised data safety within the conventional file storage system renders it obsolete in the management of data since the files could easily to a number of factors. The number enemy to the filing system of keeping health records is fire. In case of any fire break out, the papers files normally stored within the metallic cabins are most likely to catch fire. Over a period of time, the paperwork can also be lost to oxidation and yellowing of the record papers.Health Information Technology Paper

1.3  Objective of study

The main purpose of the study is to asses the benefits of the Health Information Technology into the health care systems across the world in its main goal of transforming the provision of health care services to the growing number of patients. In specific the study will aim at:

       i.       Examine the effectiveness of the Health Information Technology in the management of health information within the heath care sector.
      ii.       Establish the effect of Electronic Health Records on the quality of heath care service offered to the patients by the health care providers such and medical practitioners, insurers, and medical facilities.
     iii.       To evaluate the extent to which the HIT is applicable to the management of health information in the mainstream health care industry.
     iv.       Determine the effects of Health Information Technology in the efficiency of the heath care service offered to the patient population by the health care providers within the healthcare industry.
1.4  Research questions

The study seeks to answer the following research questions

       i.       To what extent does Health Information Technology contribute to the effectiveness of health information management within the health care sector?
      ii.       How does Electronic Health Records affect the quality of health care service offered by each category of the health care providers to the patients?
     iii.       To what extent does Health Information Technology impact on the management of health information in the mainstream health care industry?
     iv.       In which way does Health Information Technology affect the efficiency of the heath care service offered to the patient population by the health care providers within the healthcare industry?Health Information Technology Paper
1.5  Significance of the Study

The research study will be of great significance to the all stakeholders within the health care industry since it will contribute towards the establishment of major impact of Health Information Technology (HIT) within the sector. Through this research study, all the health care providers will acknowledge the importance of Health Information Technology in improving the efficiency of the health care systems so as to increase profitability since the populations of patients served in these facilities are on the increase. In this manner, the health care facilities will be under an obligation to understand the limitation of the conventional methods of file storage system and in turn appreciate the use of the Health Information Technologies within their systems.

The research study will also equip the heath care providers with the expertise knowledge on the technical requirement of the Health Information Technology. This information is critical in the planning and development of policies governing the operations of the health care systems.  All the health care systems will be fully equipped with the necessary their experts need to incorporate Health Information Technology through computerization of heath records in their systems. The insurers and other health care facilities will fully understand the basic requirement of Health Information Technology in their respective areas of operations.

The findings of this research study will be of great importance to medical practitioners who work in the health care facilities on a regular basis. The medical doctors, clinical doctors, registered nurses, and specialized physicians will be informed on how the Health Information Technology can make their work easy, less laborious, accurate and precise given that most of the crucial information they require to know about an individual patient will be retrieved from the electronic health records (EHR). Such information includes medical history, clinical history, and latest health status and blood biochemistry. HIT is a companion and a medical guide to all medical practitioners.

These research findings will cut across the continents. All the governments will be properly informed on the overwhelming advantages that come with the implementation of Health Information Technology across the world. All those governments (especially the ones in the developing worlds) that have not fully computerized the operations of their health care systems in their countries will be find HIT a necessity hence prioritize it in their national policies.  Consequently, the introduction of HIT in all governments across the world can lead to the formation the much desired universal health care systems whereby one health care provider can operate in more than one country.Health Information Technology Paper

Most importantly, the research will offer World Health Organization (WHO) and other international health agencies an insight into the possibility of developing a worldwide health information system that can track and control all infections, epidemiology, and outbreak of other human diseases. This could provide a powerful health care tool for the global prevention of all epidemics such as Ebola, anthrax and SARs. These international agencies can further establish the global patters of various diseases and infections and in turn develop policies to manage them (diseases and infections).

The particular research will also enlighten the general public on the numerous benefits of the Health Information Systems to the end users (patients). The technological awareness will enable patients know the electronic health records can minimize the chances of medical errors by a significant percentage, reduce the cost of health since many unnecessary clinical procedures are bypassed, guarantee accuracy and constant updating of the patients’ health records, and ensure data security of the patient information.  Subsequently, the general public will fully embrace the concept and application of the electronic health records.

The findings of this research will equally important to researchers drawn across fields of technology and health care. These experts would be able to conduct further research into how information technology can be used to enhance quality of health care other through the use information management. The possible areas these researcher might show interest is the new area of telemedicine where these two categories of experts can jointly work together to produce a wonderful online health care solution to larger populations of patients across the world.

1.6  Research scope

The research study will be carried out in different mainstream health care facilities, insurers, government health are agencies in different states/countries and international health agencies. The study will be conducted in different institutions of health care to ensure that all classes of health care providers are adequately represented in the research. The study will then narrow down its research undertaking on the benefits of the Health Information Technology (HIT) in its agenda of transforming healthcare.

The Importance of Health Information Technology in Developing Areas

Health Information Technology (Health IT) is a broad term that describes the technology and infrastructure used to record, analyze, and share patient health data. Various technologies include health record systems, including personal, paper, and electronic; personal health tools including smart devices and apps; and finally, communities to share and discuss information. Some of this technology can tell the patient whether they need to go on a diet too, and most of the time the golo diet is what they should be doing or they should be taking Gynexin pill for gynecomastia like most men should be doing.Health Information Technology Paper

The purpose of Health IT is to provide better care for patients and help achieve health equity. Health IT supports recording of patient data to improve healthcare delivery and allow for analysis of this information for both healthcare practitioners and ministry of health/government agencies. This data is used for the implementation of policies in order to better treat and prevent the spread of diseases.

Health IT improves the quality of healthcare delivery, increases patient safety, decreases medical errors, and strengthens the interaction between patients and healthcare providers. In low and middle-income countries (LMIC) the need for reliable and affordable medical record software is paramount. The Open MRS community helps meet this specific need by developing and supporting the Open Medical Record System – an open-source electronic health record (EHR) platform, specifically designed for low-resource environments, and is completely free.

The use of Health IT in medical clinics improves the quality of healthcare that is delivered by providing accurate patient records and allows doctors to better understand the patient’s medical history. Having a comprehensive patient history empowers doctors to more accurately treat ailments and prevent over-prescribing medications which can be fatal. Without medical records, physician’s would need to depend on the patient’s memory, which can lead to inaccurate medical history due to forgetfulness, complex drug names, and ailments affecting the patient’s recollection.Health Information Technology Paper

Patients that suffer from disease and ailments directly benefit from Health IT because of the improved level of care. The benefits of electronic health records include: Better health care by improving all aspects of patient care, including safety, effectiveness, patient-contentedness, communication, education, timeliness, efficiency, and equity.

The Open MRS community brings together software developers, senior medical and health care staff, implementer s and organizers from around the globe with a wide range of skill sets to work collaboratively to develop the software to support health care in these areas. Open MRS’ global community of over 1,200 volunteers from over 60 different countries and is the backbone of the software. Developers from all over the world contribute code to the reference application as well as provide technical support to their local implementing clinics. The Open MRS community brings together software developers from around the globe with a wide range of skill sets to work collaboratively to develop the software to support health care in these areas. In addition, the community has a large pool of senior medical and healthcare staff, who are also informatics, to mentor and guide the design of that software. Lastly, we engage organizations, implementer s and health care team members from those areas that need our software to provide input into the design and the prioritization of features.

Donating to Open MRS ensures that the infrastructure supporting our developers and implementer s worldwide are funded. This infrastructure is the core of the Open MRS global realm where our free software is available for anyone and everyone with the simplest computer or tablet to run in their health clinic. Historically, Open MRS has been used to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and ebola.

As computer and technology use in hospitals, clinics and private practice expands, information technology is being used in countless ways to improve healthcare delivery, patient safety, and the relationship between patients and healthcare providers.

The most noteworthy use of IT is in patient records and data management. Healthcare professionals used to be tied to clunky paper charts that were easily lost, damaged or misinterpreted. Now, providers can track patient records securely and easily, appending pharmacy records, test results, X-rays and even vital signs to a virtual chart that’s easier to read and share and that can also be checked against other databases.

Patient records aren’t the only use of information technology in healthcare. In fact, an entire discipline called nursing informatics has sprung up at the intersection of IT and clinical care. This interdisciplinary study links together the practice of nursing with the management of IT. It’s where science meets data, and the field is growing ever more popular with increased demand in technology and a workforce that wants to combine their passions for science and data in service of medical patients and improving healthcare for all.Health Information Technology Paper

Fields like nursing informatics are even saving lives. In fact, a recent survey by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that nurses who use IT are more likely to spot medical errors, and with less time spent documenting patient care, nurses can spend more time caring for patients. As more people become insured and seek quality care, the demand for information technology that can accurately track patients and improve health care is only expected to grow.

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Expect more jobs for IT professionals in hospital settings as the field expands. From medical coding specialists, records technicians and transcriptions to healthcare information engineers, support specialists, clinical IT consultants and healthcare systems analysts, healthcare IT roles are growing every year. Healthcare IT will doubtless emerge on the top of lists boasting in-demand jobs as healthcare continues to evolve and change. Additionally, information technology will stay relevant for policymakers and hospital administrators looking to increase the speed, volume and quality of service in their care centers.

Health information technology (IT) has the potential to improve the health of individuals and the performance of providers, yielding improved quality, cost savings, and greater engagement by patients in their own health care. 1 Despite evidence of these benefits, 2 physicians and hospitals use of health IT and electronic health records is still low. 3,4

To accelerate the use of health IT, in 2009 Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HI TECH) Act, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. HI TECH makes an estimated $14–27 billion in incentive payments available to hospitals and health professionals to adopt certified electronic health records and use them effectively in the course of care. 1 The legislation also established programs within the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to guide physicians, hospitals, and other key entities as they adopt electronic health records and achieve so-called meaningful use, as spelled out in federal regulations. 5Health Information Technology Paper

The legislation and subsequent regulations were designed to spur adoption and yield benefits from health information technology on a much broader scale than has been achieved to date. Building on that effort, the Affordable Care Act of 2010 underscored the importance of health IT in achieving goals related to health care quality and efficiency.

Specifically, establishing the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation emphasized the importance of identifying and testing innovative payment and care delivery models. Many of the payment and care delivery model opportunities in the legislation, and in the initial projects specified by the Innovation Center, require an information technology infrastructure to coordinate care. For example, the medical home demonstrations project in federally qualified health centers that is an initial focus of the Innovation Center requires electronic record keeping, communication with patients, and e-prescribing.

Earlier reviews of the effects of health IT have found some evidence of the benefits of the technology. The reviews also revealed that benefits accrued more often to large organizations that were early adopters of health information technology. As a result, an important question is whether or not new evidence suggests that benefits might be more widely attainable than previously thought. This review will update policy makers, innovators, health IT users, and those contemplating adoption on the newer literature about the technology’s effects on care delivery and on provider and patient satisfaction.

Study Data And Methods

Two previous articles presented results from systematic reviews of the peer-reviewed literature from 1994 to June 2007. Basit Chaudhry and colleagues 6 covered articles from 1995 to January 2004, and Caroline Goldzweig and colleagues 2 examined articles from June 2004 to June 2007. We used the methods and selection criteria of these two studies to update their findings on the effects of health IT for the period July 2007 up to February 2010.Health Information Technology Paper

Other reviews evaluating effects of health information technology exist; our study turned up thirty-four during this period. But these reviews do not address the same set of health IT functionalities as the articles by Chaudhry and Goldzweig and their colleagues. Similar to those two earlier reviews, we tried to be as comprehensive as possible and included peer-reviewed publications assessing effects of electronic health records; computerized provider order entry; clinical decision-support systems; health information exchange; e-prescribing for outpatients; patients personal health records; patient registries; telemedicine or remote monitoring; information retrieval; and administrative functions.

Using the same criteria as in the reviews by Chaudhry and Goldzweig and their colleagues, we searched the online journal database MEDLINE for the period July 2007 up to February 2010. The search resulted in a baseline of 4,193 articles. Exact search terms and an “evidence table” depicting study purpose, clinical setting, areas of health IT addressed, outcomes measured, and findings are provided in the online Appendix. 7

Following Chaudhry and Goldzweig and their colleagues, we decided that to be included in this review, an article had to address a relevant aspect of health IT, as listed in the Appendix; 7 examine the use of health information technology in clinical practice; and measure qualitative or quantitative outcomes. Analyses that forecast the effects of a health IT component were included only if they were based on effects experienced during actual use. Evaluations of health IT components not used in clinical practice were dropped. For example, a retrospective analysis of strategies to identify hospitalized patients at risk for heart failure was excluded because the methods were not implemented in a hospital. 8

Using this framework, the review team removed 2,692 articles based on their titles. An additional 1,270 articles were determined to be outside the study’s scope after the team examined the article abstracts. For example, 269 abstracts focused solely on health IT adoption. By the third review stage, the review team had 231 articles. An additional forty-three were excluded after further review because they did not meet the criteria, and thirty-four review articles were dropped from the analyses because they did not present new work. This left 154 studies that met our inclusion criteria, 100 of which were conducted in the United States. This is comparable to the 182 studies found over a slightly longer time period that were evaluated by Goldzweig and colleagues. 2Health Information Technology Paper

Classifying Studies

Studies were classified by study design, care setting, health IT components, functions included in the meaningful-use criteria, and outcomes addressed. 5 In terms of study design, there were sixty-five that tested hypotheses quantitatively; fifty descriptive studies with quantitative results; thirty-two descriptive qualitative studies; three case studies; and four predictive studies. Two different members of the review team classified each article. Differences between first and second abstractions were discussed. Final decisions involving 16 of the 154 articles were made by the study leader, Melinda Beeuwkes Buntin.

Discussions of the health IT systems in the literature usually were not specific enough to determine precisely which meaningful-use criteria were met. As a result, we tracked the components that were included in the criteria to the best of our abilities and coded only those functions that were explicitly mentioned in the articles. Articles were also categorized by overall conclusion as either: positive, mixed-positive, neutral, or negative. In addition, each outcome measure within each article was classified into one of the four categories.

Positive articles and outcomes were ones in which health information technology was associated with improvement in one or more aspects of care, with no aspects worse off. In articles that tested for significant differences, the improvements were statistically significant; in other articles, findings were classified as positive if they were portrayed as improvements by the authors.

For a neutral rating, health information technology was not associated with any demonstrable change in care or care setting according to the criteria above.

To earn our mixed-positive rating, either the authors had to draw a positive conclusion overall in the abstract or conclusion, or, in the absence of a summary judgment, our best assessment of the evidence presented in the article had to be that the positive effects of health IT outweighed the negative effects. However, the article or outcome, or both, had to include at least one negative aspect. Articles in this category had roughly three positive outcomes for every negative outcome (data not shown).Health Information Technology Paper

We created a mixed-negative rating for articles or outcomes with overall negative conclusions but positive aspects. However, we found so few mixed-negative and negative outcomes that we categorized them together as negative. In negative articles, therefore, health information technology was associated with at least one outcome’s being worse off.

For articles that evaluated multiple outcomes, we also assigned multiple outcome categories. For example, a study that assessed the effect of a health IT system on both quality (effectiveness) and cost (efficiency) of care was assigned individual effectiveness and efficiency conclusions and an overall conclusion.

Under this system, it is still possible to have a mixed result with respect to the effect of information technology on the individual measure in question. For example, a study that assessed the efficiency effects of a health IT implementation could find that it both decreases transcription costs yet increases the time physicians spend performing administrative functions related to the electronic health record.

We acknowledge the shortcomings of categorizing often nuanced findings. It is also rarely possible to capture every effect of implementing IT in a peer-reviewed publication. We felt, however, that this rating system allowed us to aggregate the studies findings in a useful way.

Our criteria differed in two respects from the earlier reviews. First, we included descriptive qualitative studies in order to capture focus-group reports, studies using qualitative interviews, and firsthand assessments of health IT implementations, which we considered important evidence when aggregated as in this study. Second, we excluded systematic reviews, because we reasoned that such reviews would cover articles already included in our review or in prior reviews. The opposite choice was made in a recent review of review articles published by Ashley Black and colleagues. 9

Had we followed the exact methodology prescribed by Goldzweig and colleagues, 2 thirty-two descriptive qualitative studies would have been dropped, and thirty-four systematic reviews would have been included. However, applying their methodology would not have altered qualitatively any of the overall findings described below.Health Information Technology Paper

Limitations

Our findings must be qualified by two important limitations: the question of publication bias, and the fact that we implicitly gave equal weight to all studies regardless of study design or sample size. We elaborate on both below.

Publication Bias:

First, publication bias is always a concern when conducting a review. This bias exists in two forms: Negative findings are not published as often; and potential negative effects are not always sought or uncovered. A recent study found that for clinical trials, studies with positive results are roughly four times more likely to be published than those without positive findings. 10

Because the articles were limited to health IT adopters, we anticipated that authors more often approached studies looking for benefits rather than adverse effects. Similarly, we relied on the standards of the journals in which the studies were published to weed out situations in which financial relationships existed between the authors and the systems evaluated, but it is possible that ongoing vendor relationships would affect decisions to publish.

It is important to note that although publication bias may lead to an underestimation of the trade-offs associated with health IT, the benefits found in the published articles are real.Health Information Technology Paper

Equal Weight:

Second, as noted above, we implicitly gave equal weight to all studies, regardless of study design or sample size. We did this, however, with the realization that any method of weighting the evidence would be subjective, given the wide variation in settings and outcomes covered by this review. Hence, when discussing the evidence, we took into account—but did not attempt to formally weight—factors that can increase the generalizability of the evidence, such as sample size, inclusion of multiple measures, and use of statistical methods.

Results

Of the 154 included studies, 96 (62 percent) were positive, which means that health information technology was associated with improvement in one or more aspects of care, with no aspects worse off; and 142 (92 percent) were either positive or mixed-positive. As described in more detail above, mixed-positive articles or outcomes were those in which the authors drew a positive conclusion overall but the article demonstrated at least one negative aspect of health information technology. These 154 studies tracked 278 individual outcome measures. Of these measures, 240 (86 percent) had at least mixed-positive outcomes.

It’s impossible to truly appreciate the current state of health IT in the U.S. without reflecting on how far we’ve come and where we have been. Not that long ago, all records were captured on paper. Charts could only be shared via fax machine or courier. You saw your local doctor for everything – visited your local hospital. Accessing healthcare information was difficult and tedious. Monumental advances have been made in the last 20 years that have improved the way the healthcare industry delivers patient care and the way the public expects to be treated. Not only is the industry increasingly reliant on technology, our patients are tech savvy and expect to be treated as such.Health Information Technology Paper

One of the most important, and highly debated, elements of our society is the quality of healthcare available to patients. And, undeniably, a driving force behind quality healthcare is the adoption of technology that enables clinicians to provide better patient care. National Health IT Week is an opportunity to highlight the value and importance of information technology in healthcare throughout the country. With an increased reliance on technology, it’s important to take the time to convey the mutual benefits for patients and providers to the public and policy makers that rely on healthcare IT and influence its use.

Technology’s role in healthcare has expanded exponentially over the last 20 years and figures to increase in conjunction with our societal technological advancements. Our ability to store, share and analyze health information is directly tied to improved technology. The use of technology increases provider capabilities and patient access while improving the quality of life for some patients and saving the lives of others. We’re moving into an era where physicians can see patients remotely and accurately diagnose t a patient’s problems, even in the most rural areas, through telemedicine. We’ve progressed from using technology to improve patient care and the healthcare industry, to impacting our society as a whole.

However, the industry is entering a pivotal era. As EHR adoption increases, will the technology movement grow stale? Will it plateau or continue to evolve to support the new challenges faced by the industry and society? Odds are it will continue to evolve as technology evolves and technological capabilities offer new ways to treat, communicate and care for patients.

NHIT Week is about raising awareness for the value of health IT. It’s a week that gives those invested in health IT an opportunity to band together and ensure that the message is clear to all that will listen. Health information technology brings a multitude of benefits to our U.S. healthcare system.

National Health IT Week is essential to our goal of improving patient care through technology. With the changes in health IT over the last two decades, and those yet to come, the question isn’t whether we should promote health IT throughout the nation. More appropriately, the question becomes can we afford not to?

The Benefits of Trending Technologies in Healthcare

Hospitals are frightening places to many people. But today, patient outcomes are better than they’ve ever been, and that’s largely due to advances in technology. Surgical techniques, superior imaging, electronic health records and telemedicine have each played significant roles in improving general healthcare.Health Information Technology Paper

Each technological advance requires a period of adjustment while it is adopted by healthcare practitioners. For example, computed tomography (CT), which is also known as a “CAT scan,” was first invented in 1972. It took until 1974-1976 for the first CT scanners to appear in hospitals, and another 4 years before CT technology was commonly available in first-line care centers.

During the time when new technology is taking hold in the medical community, that technology also continues to evolve. Today’s CT scanner isn’t the same as those initial machines from the 1970s. They are faster, have greater resolution, and are designed to offer a better experience for patients. Perhaps most importantly, CTs now expose patients to less radiation and therefore less risk of genetic damage to their cells while providing radiologists and other providers with superior imaging opportunities.

It seems that there’s always some news about another breakthrough medical technology. So it’s easy to take technological advances in healthcare for granted and simply expect doctors and other healthcare professionals to work miracles.

Although underappreciated, each new device requires years of research and development, clinical testing, regulatory approval, implementation by physicians and engineering improvements. Hopefully after this long process, the technology may offer a substantial new benefit to patients. The situation is not unlike actors who become “overnight sensations” after toiling at their craft for decades.

Present Opportunities

There are many opportunities now to further benefits for patients.

For example, did you know that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 1 in 25 patients in US hospitals have at least one healthcare-related infection?  A healthcare-related infection is one that is acquired as a result of the procedures or treatments being performed. Examples include central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections and surgical site infections, among others.

These infections in turn create direct medical costs in the range of $28 billion to $45 billion each year. They result in longer hospital stays, as well as cases of re-hospitalization after patient discharge. More advanced ways to reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) would be a great benefit, thus helping patients and providers alike.Health Information Technology Paper

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One possibility to address this specific problem is to use ultra-violet (UV) light to kill microbes, such as Clostridium difficile (C. diff) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSAs). Xenex, based in San Antonio, TX, has a new product that uses pulsed xenon UV light and has been observed to reduce MRSA and C. diff infection rates by more than 50%.  The device costs about $80,000, but the cost of treating a HAI is about $28,000, so it’s a wise investment.

This is just one example of a new technology in the form of a machine that can be placed into practice in the hospital setting. But there are now opportunities to think more broadly about how technology can improve healthcare. Consideration of how to design operating rooms to more efficiently handle these new technologies and improve patient outcomes is of vital importance.Health Information Technology Paper

The Hybrid Operating Room 

Each new healthcare technology requires a proper setting in the hospital. It requires a new operating protocol; the staff must be trained; and, the technology needs to work efficiently with other existing technology.

This challenge of integrating new technologies is being met in what’s called the hybrid operating room. This is a new way of thinking about the function of an operating room, and it requires innovative interior designs, a variety of modern machines, and healthcare professionals who are open to the potential of this new approach.

Hybrid operating rooms are often larger than traditional operating rooms, because they need to be. They include, for example, medical imaging machines, such as CT scanners and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices. These machines are available to the operating room healthcare workers in order to provide the best imagery with the most immediate results, allowing physicians to perform minimally invasive surgery.

Better Care, More Quickly

A hybrid operating room offers the potential for patients to receive more comprehensive care faster. For example, consider the case of a patient undergoing a stent placement during angioplasty. Michael Jarotkiewicz, executive director of the cardiovascular service line at Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC) in May wood, Illinois, was quoted: “Stent patients would be normally discharged then readmitted, but this gives you the ability to do some things in combination where you couldn’t do those things before.”

When asked what new capabilities his team would have with the implementation of a hybrid operating room, Dr. Marc Ruel, Chief of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, was quoted as saying. “It will give us the best outcome for the patient and the easiest operation for the surgeon.”

Combining procedures also translates directly to cost savings. Hospitals don’t have to reschedule physicians and the rest of their staffs to perform the additional procedures on another day.Health Information Technology Paper

Considering Architectural Design

Hybrid operating rooms are shared by different types of physicians. For example, cardiologists, oncologists and gastroenterologist’s each might use the operating room. Every healthcare provider – each surgeon, anesthesiologist, radiologist or other staff member – might anticipate a different architectural design for the equipment in the room.

It’s important to include input from the entire staff when considering how to design a hybrid operating room, so that it can be utilized most efficiently.  Dr. Guy DeRose, senior medical director of surgery, LHSC, has mentioned that their “hybrid intervention al vascular surgery operating suite features a state-of-the-art imaging system that provides high quality images of the vascular system needed for minimally invasive endovascular surgery, but it can also be positioned away from the operating table by the surgical team should open vascular surgery be needed.”

The design should also include the potential for expansion as new equipment becomes available. The hybrid operating room at the LUMC was built around a permanent imaging arm, but the ceiling and the operating room itself were designed to facilitate future procedures for neurological cases.

Hospitals and Health Networks reported in March, 2014 that 75 percent of cardiovascular surgeons expect to be working in hybrid operating rooms by 2018.   This is particularly true because hybrid operating rooms are associated with minimally invasive procedures; they are well suited for patients who would be poor candidates for open surgery and would face a long recovery.

More advanced equipment also lends itself to training and teaching future surgeons. Dr. Sharadh Sampath, Head of Surgery at Richmond Hospital in Vancouver, Canada, was quoted as saying, “This latest advancement [integrated 3D minimally invasive operating rooms] at Richmond Hospital improves our ability to attract and retain the best and the brightest surgeons to improve local health care here in Richmond…It also bolsters our status as a teaching hospital in the province to train the nest generation of health care professionals using the latest, most advanced equipment in modern facilities.”

It’s Worth It

As you might imagine, hybrid operating rooms are not cheap. Estimated costs run between $2 million to $4 million.  Hospital budgets are tight and it’s not always clear that the investment of such a large sum will be cost effective.Health Information Technology Paper

Susquehanna Health, which governs four hospitals in Pennsylvania, recently faced this decision and chose to go forward with the hybrid operating room. In so doing, they were able to recruit a specially trained cardiac surgeon, retain their vascular surgeons, and the hybrid operating room now supports comprehensive endovascular services.  The services they now can provide put their whole hospital system in a stronger position.

Ultimately, patients benefit from the diverse capabilities that a hybrid operating room offers. When patients are at high risk for complications, a surgical team can be ready to step in if needed. Procedures can be performed in less time, at less risk for complications and infection, and with shorter recovery time.

Service Providers

When thinking about the design of a hybrid operating room, consideration has to be given to every piece of equipment that will be positioned in the room. This includes operating tables, video integration systems, imaging equipment and more.Health Information Technology Paper

A company like Meditek can be vital to the success of a new hybrid operating room.  Meditek works with engineers and architects to design the layout of the room, and it also supplies products that are customized for the room’s functionality. Meditek also provides transportation and installation of the equipment and has a 30-year track record as a foundation to their business.

In addition to maintaining a state-of-the-art facility and designing new hybrid operating rooms, hospitals have another problem: keeping track of their equipment.

It might be difficult to believe, but it’s reported that more than one-third of nurses spend at least 1 hour per shift looking for misplaced equipment. Patients don’t appreciate waiting for a procedure only to learn that their nurse can’t find the device required.

And it’s not only equipment that is misplaced. On average, hospitals lose almost $4,000 of equipment per bed each year due to being lost or stolen.  That’s a stunningly high level of shrinkage.

Inventory Management

Hospitals are turning to inventory management systems to track and manage their equipment. Electronically tagged equipment can be tracked as it moves within the hospital and security can be notified if any equipment is removed from a Geo-fenced zone around the facility.

Typical tracked assets include balloon pumps, cameras, infusion pumps, vital sign monitors, and pacemakers. It seems hard to imagine that pacemakers would need to be tracked, but as is often the case truth is stranger than fiction.

Asset tracking can be done with sufficient precision to know where something is inside a room.  It’s like knowing that your keys are by the phone in the kitchen, rather than merely somewhere in the house. Essentially, it eliminates search times and the frustration that goes with them.Health Information Technology Paper

In one case study, Southeast Alabama Medical Center implemented an asset tracking system and determined that they saved more than $450,000 in five years. The cost calculation included the actual cost of devices in terms of reduced shrinkage as well as the time cost of staff that did not have to search for lost devices.

Hospitals can also take advantage of inventory management systems to schedule maintenance and anticipate when equipment will come back in service. This provides the means for hospital staff to measure efficiency and in turn determine if the equipment they have is meeting their patients needs.

Patient Tracking

In addition to tracking assets, hospitals can also benefit from tracking patients. The use of real-time locator services (RTLS) can assist physicians and other hospital staff in knowing where patients are, how far along they are in a particular procedure, and when to expect them to be moved.

Additional notes on patient details can be tagged to patient records. For example, notes could indicate after a total knee arthroscopy that the patient must be active within a certain number of hours, but also is at greater risk for a fall. That information can then be used by staff to better ensure patient safety and facilitate an improved recovery.

The “situational awareness” this technology offers can provide for greater general hospital efficiency and, by consequence, shorter patient stays, which is a critical component of hospital efficiency.  Shorter patient stays are actually a critical component of hospital efficiency.

Shorter patient stays effectively make a hospital bigger but without the extra cost of additional facilities. The CDC calculated that given a 275-bed hospital, if the average length of stay could be reduced by just 4 hours, that would be equivalent to adding 10 additional hospital beds to the facility.

Patient tracking can also improve hospital efficiency in helping locate patients who have either wandered away from where they were expected to be, or may be visiting with family or friends walking around the facility.

Technology in Hospitals

Healthcare technology today is offering significant potential benefit to hospitals, healthcare providers and patients. Even though some of these new advances are not in form of new machines or the latest medicines, “technology improving healthcare” is a common theme.Health Information Technology Paper

For years, industrial firms have enjoyed the opportunities offered by integrating new technology in their workplace and factories. This had led to increased efficiency, more consistent quality and cheaper costs for consumers.

While it may be somewhat unpalatable to think about hospitals in the same way as industries, it is nevertheless true that technology in healthcare can have similar positive effects.

Hospital management technology is currently advancing in at least two innovative ways. The first is the hybrid operating room and the second is in asset and patient tracking. Consider the following recap:

Hybrid operating rooms offer a potpourri of technology within healthcare, combining imaging, surgical and post-operative needs in one common setting. These rooms are designed with efficiency in mind, and with an eye toward patient safety, minimally invasive procedures and shorter patient stays.
Asset tracking systems can now also assist hospitals and patients by helping ensure complete visibility over all hospital assets, as well as over all patients in the hospital. This too results in more efficiency, less down time and shorter patient stays.
Trust Meditek

There are various companies that have established themselves as knowledgeable leaders in the field of advanced hospital equipment, one of which is Meditek. We service all major Canadian locations and provide onsite support, in addition to specialized medical equipment. Meditek has over 30 years of experience and has extensive knowledge in the specialized area of supporting the care of life in hospitals. Contact Meditek for product inquiries today.Health Information Technology Paper

Technology is in every part of our society. Entertainment, administration, education, healthcare. You name it and you will find some kind of modern technology implement in it. And is technology really beneficial to all of those branches? Definitely, more beneficial that you could imagine. Just think of the times when you need to have huge storage rooms just to store data. Or when it used to take a few days, if not weeks for the mail to come to the right destination. And you would not know if the mail did come to the destination until you would receive mail also which would be, in the end, confirmation that it has come to the original destination. Or think about the times when medical records were written on the paper. How long could it take for the medical staff to find your papers. Now, with just a click of a mouse, they can find your chart and all of your medical history.  Technology is definitely very beneficial for the modern day healthcare. But what are the other ways in which technology is beneficial to the healthcare system? Well, you will find out in this article. So, let`s start.

Faster access to the medical records

As we said at the start of the article, technology has allowed much faster access to the medical records of each patient. With just typing the name of the patient, you would get the access to the to all of his/her`s medical history. There is much less chance for mistakes that could be made by getting wrong medical charts, which, in the end, could lead to catastrophic consequences. This technology also allows you to get the information from any other medical facility in the country, if not, even in the whole world. The speed in which you can get the information in so fast that is not even comparable to the older ways of keeping the medical records. In this field, technology definitely has improved the whole healthcare system.

2.The Internet has become the biggest source of medical information

When the internet was introduced, it has turned the whole world upside-down on its head. The capabilities that have to arise with the introduction of the internet were pretty much endless. Nowadays, you can find pretty much every information online. Anything that is interesting or informative, you will find it online. The same goes for the medical information. The internet has become the biggest medical center in the whole world. You can find information about pretty much any disease or symptoms of diseases, what you can do about them and how to check yourself if there is an option for that. But you definitely need to be careful when you are looking for medical information on the internet. There is a lot of misinformation and false information, a lot of pseudosciences and home medicating propaganda, so you need to be aware of that. Look for medical information from confirmed sources. There is no need to self-checking yourself for some disease, then going to the hospital, and finding out that you got a wrong information from some wannabe medical site. Always check sources and their validity!

3.You can talk to your doctor from the comfort of your home

Modern technology has allowed us to enjoy many things from the comfort of our homes. FromHealth Information Technology Paper

consuming news, movies, food and etc. But one great addition is the capability to contact your doctor from the comfort of your own home.There are many sites and apps that allow you to contact your doctor from the comfort of your home. And if your doctor is tech savvy, you can have a video calls with your doctor through your computer or smartphone. This will, in a way allow your doctor to give you his opinion about what might be wrong with you. And, if there is a need for a more serious check-up, you can manage all of that through the special apps or by after you are done with a video call. This technology has many benefits. One of the most important is that it makes the whole experience more personal and more thoughtful. The patient will really feel that his doctor really does care about you and your health. They really do care about you and your health, but with the amount of work and lines in the waiting room, patients could really feal like they are neglected. But this negates all of those problems. And best of all, you won`t have to waste your time in the waiting room!

4.Better treatment for all patients with less pain

If you ever read about the medicine in the middle ages, heck, even in 19th century, you know how dangerous, brutal and painful it was. How many people died on operating tables because of pain, wrong prognosis, bad surgeon work and etc. But nowadays, that is a part of a past. We have many devices, medications, machines that help us to diagnose and to cure all kind of diseases. In the past, you would have very high chance of dying if your appendices had become inflamed, or worse if it exploded inside your body. But nowadays this problem is just a minor nuisance which can be fixed with a routine operation. We are living in the time in which medicine is as painless as it could be and as effective as it could be. We are really lucky that we are living today. But who knows what kind improvements will future bring.

5.Technology allows doctors to become better at their practice

Nowadays every doctor has a top notch training, there is pretty much no chance that person that is bad at medicine would become a doctor or part of medical staff. With the introduction of modern technology to the medicine, they are becoming even better. There are even VR training tools which allow to every potential future doctor to practice without any chance of harming someone. Technology is definitely a future of medicine, and we need to keep it that way.

 

Medicine and Technology

In today’s world, technology plays an important role in every industry as well as in our personal lives. Out of all of the industries that technology plays a crucial role in, healthcare is definitely one of the most important. This merger is responsible for improving and saving countless lives all around the world.Health Information Technology Paper

Medical technology is a broad field where innovation plays a crucial role in sustaining health. Areas like biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, information technology, the development of medical devices and equipment, and more have all made significant contributions to improving the health of people all around the world. From “small” innovations like adhesive bandages and ankle braces, to larger, more complex technologies like MRI machines, artificial organs, and robotic prosthetic limbs, technology has undoubtedly made an incredible impact on medicine.

In the healthcare industry, the dependence on medical technology cannot be overstated, and as a result of the development of these brilliant innovations, healthcare practitioners can continue to find ways to improve their practice – from better diagnosis, surgical procedures, and improved patient care.

Information Technology and Medicine

Information technology has made significant contributions to our world, namely in the medical industry. With the increased use of electronic medical records (EMR), telehealth services, and mobile technologies like tablets and smart phones, physicians and patients are both seeing the benefits that these new medical technologies are bringing.

Medical technology has evolved from introducing doctors to new equipment to use inside private practices and hospitals to connecting patients and doctors thousands of miles away through telecommunications. It is not uncommon in today’s world for patients to hold video conferences with physicians to save time and money normally spent on traveling to another geographic location or send health information instantaneously to any specialist or doctor in the world.

With more and more hospitals and practices using medical technology like mobile devices on the job, physicians can now have access to any type of information they need – from drug information, research and studies, patient history or records, and more – within mere seconds. And, with the ability to effortlessly carry these mobile devices around with them throughout the day, they are never far from the information they need. Applications that aid in identifying potential health threats and examining digital information like x-rays and CT scans also contribute to the benefits that information technology brings to medicine.

Medical Equipment Technology

Improving quality of life is one of the main benefits of integrating new innovations into medicine. Medical technologies like minimally-invasive surgeries, better monitoring systems, and more comfortable scanning equipment are allowing patients to spend less time in recovery and more time enjoying a healthy life.

The integration of medical equipment technology and telehealth has also created robotic surgeries, where in some cases, physicians do not even need to be in the operating room with a patient when the surgery is performed. Instead, surgeons can operate out of their “home base”, and patients can have the procedure done in a hospital or clinic close their own hometown, eliminating the hassles and stress of health-related travel. With other robotic surgeries, the surgeon is still in the room, operating the robotic devices, but the technology allows for a minimally-invasive procedure that leaves patients with less scarring and significantly less recovery time.Health Information Technology Paper

Technology and Medical Research

Medical scientists and physicians are constantly conducting research and testing new procedures to help prevent, diagnose, and cure diseases as well as developing new drugs and medicines that can lessen symptoms or treat ailments.

Through the use of technology in medical research, scientists have been able to examine diseases on a cellular level and produce antibodies against them. These vaccines against life-threatening diseases like malaria, polio, MMR, and more prevent the spread of disease and save thousands of lives all around the globe. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that vaccines save about 3 million lives per year, and prevent millions of others from contracting deadly viruses and diseases.

Medical Technology and The Law

As technology in the world of healthcare continues to evolve, rules and regulations concerning its use must be established and adjusted to adapt to the new methods of administering care. Regulations like HIPAA and its Privacy and Security Act target the concerns about the confidentiality of patient information and the steps that must be taken to maintain privacy in our digital world. Medical providers and healthcare administration must be careful when choosing to implement new products and technologies into their services, and should ensure that all technologies are “HIPAA compliant” before investing in their implementation. Other initiatives, like the 2010 Health Care Reform bill, state the steps that must be taken by hospitals and other care providers to integrate medical technology into their practices.

Technological innovations in the healthcare industry continue to provide physicians with new ways to improve the quality of care delivered to their patients and improve the state of global healthcare. Through technology’s integration with areas like disease prevention, surgical procedures, better access to information, and medical telecommunications, the medical industry and patients around the world continue to benefit.

Ways Technology is Improving Health

It could be argued that of all the ways technology has improved the lives of humans across the globe, none are as important as the technological advances in medicine. From the invention of X-ray machines to advances in surgical practices, technology has made us healthier and increased life expectancies[1]. As we move further into the 21st century, we continue to develop technologies that cure illnesses and improve our quality of life. Health informatics is heavily integrated with technology and graduates with a Master of Science in Health Informatics degree can help to push the boundaries of healthcare throughout their careers.Health Information Technology Paper

Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

As any student of health informatics knows, the movement toward electronic health records is a huge evolution in the medical field, and one that can facilitate countless advances in medical diagnostics and treatment.

In the past, hospitals had disparate information systems that were clumsy in their ability to share and transfer patient records. With the advent of EHRs, many systems have been connected, allowing for faster information transfers and more integrated and efficient care.

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Telemedicine / Telehealth

Telemedicine refers to methods of advancing healthcare based on telecommunications technologies. There are several reasons telehealth is becoming more popular and successful. First, in rural areas where access to hospitals and other health related services are lacking, patients can use their computer to meet virtually with a doctor. Secondly, the cost benefits associated with telehealth are substantial. According to an Alliance for Connected Care study, telehealth services can save up to $100 per doctor visit [2].

Another study published in CHEST Journal shows patients in an ICU equipped with telehealth services were discharged 20% faster and had a 26% lower mortality rate than traditional ICUs[1].

Remote Monitoring Tools

When patients monitor their health at home, they can save money and reduce unnecessary visits to the doctor’s office. At the end of 2012, almost 3 million patients worldwide were using home health monitoring systems[1].Health Information Technology Paper

Pacemakers for patients with heart disease can automatically send data to remote health centers. Great for patients with chronic illnesses, these tools can allow systems to monitor a patient’s health from a distance.

Wearable Technology

The wearable medical device market is growing quickly. These devices collect data, which helps doctors and patients alike monitor and assess the health of the wearer.

In addition to devices that alert authorities about serious medical issues, there are very popular wearables like wristbands and watches that are allowing users to take an active role in their health. According to Huffington Post, by 2018 an expected 130 million wearable devices will have been shipped to consumers[6].

Genome Sequencing

Some have called personal genomics the future of healthcare. Personal genomics refers to the sequencing and analysis of one person’s genome and then giving that person his or her genomic information[5].

Sequencing the human genome has been one of the greatest advancements in medical technology of the last 40 years. Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, says in Modern Healthcare, “For all of human history, we have labored without understanding our instruction book, and the human genome provided that. It’s like crossing a bridge[4].”

The technological advances in the medical field have allowed for many life saving procedures to become commonplace. Just the thought of virtually visiting a doctor from hundreds or thousands of miles away would have been difficult to believe only a few decades ago. From remote monitoring tools and wearable medical technology to the sequencing of genomes, technology is improving health at a rapid pace. To become a part of the convergence of medicine and technology, consider getting a Master of Science in Health Informatics from UIC.

Health and fitness is among the top nearly all priority of men and women therefore non stop experiments are performed in order to continuously increase the health of the actual human race. This seek out brand new breakthroughs with regard to drugs will be went after in addition to fresh systems formulated to deliver useful in addition to rapid well being support for everyone. Lifetime since everybody knows can be quite valuable along with with the help of technological know-how hospitals around the globe have absolutely much better along with stored a lot of existence. As a result of technological know-how, hospitals tend to be more competent at providing your important wants of most sufferers.Health Information Technology Paper

With regards to surgical procedures along with state-of-the-art proper care method, technology certainly represents a crucial position from the infirmary. Unlike before, private hospitals currently are more effective at carrying out critical and also lifetime harmful surgical procedures due to the fact regarding advanced models to use within surgeries when desired. We have the actual so known as CAS as well as Pc Served Medical procedures that is generally known as the actual laptop or computer well guided medical procedures. Using this method is often utilized by most cosmetic surgeons in some surgery functions in particular on the subject of spinal conditions, otolaryngologic and also orthopaedic operations. Regarding clinic laboratories, well being personnel are utilizing sophisticated gadgets and equipment to execute diagnostic checks which can be much more correct in addition to straightforward as compared with prior to as soon as every thing is done by hand. Nonetheless, for that reason technical discovery, a greater volume of qualified technicians may also be needed within instances while some thing inappropriate may well come about and the appliance won’t act as estimated. Since advanced models demands complicated sustains. Technology in addition has afflicted just how infirmary employees connect from the medical center or perhaps away from medical center. Among which can be using this consequently named “telemedicine” which is described as the use of automated tools to be able to monitor or communicate facts to a new health care capability when it comes to offering vital data to boost one’s health. Importance of Technology in Health Care and hospitals In addition there are rural supervising gadgets becoming produced to make certain individuals in your own home obtained good care even with not necessarily about to a healthcare facility.

Now, nurses as well as doctors may also talk consequently with the use of computer systems. Also pharmacists within the infirmary are capable of doing superior and more rapidly with the help of superior programs wherever they might at this point search within a variety of medicinal drugs along with be given details of which kind of medications really does medical professionals using parts will need. Analysis checks for example CT search within, MRI and also X-rays usually are merchandise connected with design developments that happen to be most very helpful in the clinic. Spill meters, pace manufacturers to the people in the strenuous health care device, syringe penis pumps are now utilized and that is in addition critical to ensure the living of the individual is usually supervised consequently and the essential exact calculations regarding medicines are delivered.

The usage of technology from the clinic establishing is reasonably crucial, with out it health and fitness individuals would never complete their own responsibilities and also obligations within a given day. Without this, existence assist could be impossible irrespective of getting inside the hospital. For that reason you are able to declare that will technologies is usually one particular major issue in which extends the hospital. As a result of these kind of significant technical breakthrough discoveries, medical method has become improved upon and it has stored so many existence.Health Information Technology Paper

The world is witnessing a tremendous shift in all its aspects barring a few and apart from territories and politics; it’s the science and innovation that is shaping this new world with minimum barriers. In one of his famous books, Thomas Friedman (The world is flat) talks about the process of flattening of the world whereby physical distances are losing its meaning essentially. One of the most visible phenomenons is of an individual of particular origin with citizenship of other nation and working for company of a third nation. This is one such example and many more are easily visible in our vicinity. The underlying fact is the increasing inter-dependency of nations on each other. Though the economists classify world as developed and developing countries and it is often understood in the spirit that developing countries are in need of the developed world but it’s the other way round as well. The developed and developing countries both are in need of each other. If the former excel in research and development; the latter provides with the labor and consumer market. Thus, it’s the technology of one nation which is put in use by the labor of another country for the larger benefit of the global consumer.

Today the technology has made its way in every walk of life and medical sector is among st one of those sectors which are reaping its benefits. It is because of the scientific research and innovation in health sector that mankind is successful in controlling mortality to a great extent as illustrated by a continuous increase in elderly population across the globe. The diseases which used to be epidemic are now eradicated. One may argue that newer diseases are being diagnosed in the recent years which are indeed a matter of concern. However, it’s the advancement in the medical field that has brought out these diseases. Further, with the help of technology the disease diagnosed at one place can be treated with the help of experts sitting many miles away.In India, the concept of medical tourism is booming which essentially means getting the disease cured in India at a much affordable price compared to developed world. The research carried out in one part of the world has benefited the individual in another corner of the world. There are hardly any diseases which cannot be cured if diagnosed at an initial stage. Thanks to medical informatics that is playing a vital role in shaping the health of the population.

In spite of the tremendous progress achieved in health care sector, it is an area of never ending experiments which initially began with controlling mortality and now extends up to improvement in quality of life. Further, the changing environment has posed several new challenges to health sector in form of new infections, bacteria, viruses, course of treatment etc. According to Michigan Technological University, medical informatics is the intersection of information science, computer science and health care. This field deals with the resources, devices, and methods required to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of information in health and bio medicine. The technology has thus equipped medical scientists with advanced tools to carry out their research in a much more efficient way. There are numerous surgeries which are being carried out without opening the body for example laser operations [1].Health Information Technology Paper

This generation thus belongs to the generation of research and development and the Journal of Health and Medical informatics provides an appropriate platform for the researchers to share their knowledge or findings with rest of the work by getting it published and also being updated with the recent innovations taking place.

Each year, new developments in healthcare technology are unveiled. Physicians boast on their websites that they have the latest equipment and technologies, and patients flock to hospitals and clinics that promise the latest advances in technology. “New” is often equated with “better” in American society, particularly when it comes to healthcare, and also when it comes to technology. These advances in medical technology are often very beneficial because they can save patient lives, save time, or even save money. However, physicians and healthcare administrators must take care to use the technologies ethically to avoid harming patients instead of helping them.Health Information Technology Paper

Health Records

Perhaps the simplest application for healthcare technology is the advent of electronic records. Electronic records are often heralded as a large benefit to busy hospitals and clinics because they help office workers and physicians alike keep track of patients in an efficient manner. For example, instead of having to order copies of a patient’s medical records, a specialist can pull up their entire medical history on their computer. This saves time and money because the physician knows which tests the patient has undergone and can proceed accordingly rather than wait for the records or redo them. In addition, electronic health records allow hospitals and clinics to identify patients who may benefit from clinical trials, or who need to undergo certain tests of examinations.

However, electronic records can present ethical problems. When records are kept online or in a database, there is always the possibility of an information leak that can lead to a devastating invasion of privacy. In addition, electronic health records can actually make transferring information between physicians more complicated at times, especially when the physician who needs the medical records works in a different health system than the patient’s general practitioner. Finally, the question of ownership has emerged. Patient advocacy groups argue that the patients own their own health records, but many hospitals argue that since the data is contained on their record systems, they own the data. Many healthcare providers charge patients for requesting copies of the data be transmitted to another clinic or hospital.

Equipment

There is no doubt that advances in medical technology saves lives. Healthcare technology makes diagnosing and treating conditions faster, more accurate, and more comfortable for the patient. However, critics also question some of the uses of this technology. For example, tests using new technologies are sometimes more expensive rather than less, and many physicians order these expensive tests without considering the impact the cost will have on the patient and the insurer. This can actually drive up the cost of healthcare, as does the purchase of the newest equipment. These costs get passed along to the patient and to the taxpayer in the case of patients on Medicaid and Medicare. In addition, advanced technologies can keep patients alive when their quality of live is minimal, which not only creates the obvious ethical issues, but adds expense to the patient’s family as well as to taxpayers if the patient relies on Medicaid or Medicare.Health Information Technology Paper

Mandatory Tests and Defensive Medicine

Another ethical problem that new technology can create is that it drives up the standard of care past the point of practicality. For example, patients who exhibit symptoms of certain conditions, such as AIDS, must undergo mandatory tests to help manage their symptoms. However, in many cases, these tests are not necessarily to the patient’s benefit. Instead, they are a move made by physicians to cover every base to avoid malpractice suits. Because newer tests are often more expensive, they can drive up the cost of healthcare.

The Verdict

It would be short-sighted and inaccurate to state that new advances in medical technology do not help patients; the technologies, when used judiciously, almost always help the patient. However, physicians and other administrators should use the technologies as they are needed and only when they are called for to avoid driving up costs. In addition, electronic records should be carefully secured and should benefit patients rather than add to their cost of healthcare.Health Information Technology Paper

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