Information Systems in Healthcare

INFORMATION SYSTEMS IN HEALTHCARE 5

InformationSystems in Healthcare

InformationSystems in Healthcare

Healthinformation systems refers to the use of computer or other electronicgadgets that can be used to store, transmit or manage healthinformation of individuals. Such systems are sometimes complex to useespecially for first time users and some training is definitelyrequired in order to operate. In my experience with healthinformation systems I have realized that the do save the healthassistants and doctors a lot of time. This is because all theinformation about the patient is readily available on the computersor tablets used by the health workers. Therefore such systems come inhandy in case of emergencies when patients are brought in to thehospital and they have no next of kin or relatives who are familiarwith their medical history. Information systems could help addresssuch situations especially when urgent care is need and the when suchpatients have allergies and so forth. However, I have felt that theinformation systems sometimes need to be simplified at the cliniclevels. In my first experience using some of the gadgets at oneclinic I felt that the system was too advanced and was a little bitcomplex for most ordinary people. Therefore, I would recommend thatdevelopers of such health information systems use simplified systemsin order to ensure that health care employees can document patient’sinformation on their system without no having any errors.

Healthcare information systems have their pros and cons as far as patientcare is concerned. I will highlight the pros first before embarkingon the cons. First, health care information systems ensure that thereis easy accessibility of patients records. Data accessibility is oneof the key advantages of using healthcare information systems. Therecords usually show all the patients records such as the last timethey showed up at the hospital and what the patient was ailing from.The use of healthcare information systems ensures that patientsrecords are intact as they do not have to be transported from onhospital to another. The system eliminates the need for storing filesespecially in hospitals that have limited space. These featuresespecially come in handy when patients are admitted in hospitals incase of emergencies and their medical history is required so as toascertain a patient’s condition within the shortest time possible.Secondly, the use of computers and other electronic gadgets in healthinformation systems ensures that the patient’s records are free oferrors or at least minimized due to the use of hand written orders.Doctors can use such health systems in placing orders for theirpatients when a diagnosis has been made. In addition, healthemployees can make prescriptions and assign their patients to labsjust by using the information on health care information systems.Third, health care information systems can be used as preventivehealth care tools for patients. For example, Doctors can be able tomonitor the condition of their patients and they can be able toschedule screenings or other tests for their patients since they canmonitor the patients’ conditions on their electronic charts in realtime. However, the health information systems can sometimes have somecons.

First,there are many health care systems that are utilized by hospitalsacross the country and the sad fact about the health informationsystems is that they are not interoperable. In other words, thehealthcare systems used by different hospitals cannot be shared andtherefore this automatically defeats the purpose of having such ahealth care system if different health care facilities cannot sharethe patients’ information. Since the patients’ information cannotbe shared it could pose a serious challenge for patients who end upbeing transferred from one hospital to another for medical reasonsand it would make the process of transferring medical recordscumbersome. Secondly, the maintenance cost and cost of installingsuch health systems are high thus making the service inaccessible topatients who visit small hospitals as they cannot afford the cost ofmaintain such healthcare systems. Third, the use of healthinformation system usually leads to delay in documentation. Thismight seem as a shock but health information systems require a lot ofdocumentation for the patients. For instance, the patients recordsneed to be ready before and after the visit in order for the doctorsto make out of any changes in their patients progress. The patientsrecords need to be closed at the end of the day and when theirrecords are not closed they may not show the updated records of thepatients and this might pose a serious problem for the patients asthe wrong diagnosis might be made(Palmer,2013).

Forthe case of Aunt Mary, patients need to understand several keyconcepts when it comes to using electronic health records. Healthemployees need to explain to Mary that the electronic health recordassists health care workers record information about her digitally.This ensures that her medical information is kept in a safe place andthat it can be shared with other health care facilities if necessary.Mary also needs to be educated on the benefits of using such healthcare systems. For example, all her information on her medical historycan be located at one place and this could help her access betterhealthcare in the future as information about her health can beshared easily (TheOffice of the National Coordinator for Health InformationTechnology).

References

Palmer,G. (2013, October 14). ElectronicHealth Records: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.Retrieved May 5, 2015, from Becker`s Health care:http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/electronic-health-records-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly.html

TheOffice of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.(n.d.). Talkingto Your Patients about Electronic Health Records.Retrieved May 5, 2015, from The Office of the National Coordinatorfor Health Information Technology:http://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/fact-sheets/talking-to-your-patients-about-electronic-health-records.pdf