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Computerized healthcare information systems

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Computerized healthcare information systems

3 Pages, 2 Sources, APA Style; Preferred language style: English (U.S.)
Visit or research a healthcare professional who works with computerized healthcare information systems.

A. Describe the future Internet developments being planned at your facility or office.

            The facility would get a health information system and a computerized patient record system.  The cost of the project would be about 50 million dollars.  The system would consist of a database connected to a mainframe computer and a server.  This in turn would be connected to end-user computers from where information can be accessed, stored, etc.  Each of these units would in turn be interconnected with other systems in the hospital.  The main aim of implementing the health system would be to improve the quality of healthcare.  Some of the functions of the health information system perceived included:-

·         Ensuring details of various patient encounters are being documented

·         Documenting the case history, diagnostic tests, treatment, etc

·         Ensuring that lab order, X-rays and prescriptions are sent to the electronic media

·         Serves as an effective communication means for the physician

·         Reporting of test results, X-ray images, etc

·         Improving the quality of care as prompts, reminders, alerts, etc would be provided

B. What are the benefits and/or advantages of these changes?

·         Provides better access to patient information

·         Patient data including prescriptions can be legible leading to a decrease in the errors

·         Medical knowledge and references can be better utilized

·         Information can be accessed at a quick rate thus helping to deliver timely care

·         Clinical decision-making can be improved

·         Better accountability and productivity

·         Information can be analyzed for research purposes

·         Reduction in costs of care

·         Evidenced-Based information can be provided

·         Supports telemedicine

·         Critical reporting can be handled better

·         Helps to meet national and international standards of healthcare

·         Information of one patient can be transferred from one hospital to another

C. What barriers to implementation are perceived by you or were observed?

·         Training of the staff regarding use of the health information system

·         Implementation in a phased manner which means that uniformity in the healthcare services cannot be delivered

·         The costs of implementation are very high

·         Initially, the system would be slow due to the database and networking problems, which could be a problem for delivery of healthcare

·         Administrative problems

D. Explain why an information system is important in controlling cost and maintaining quality.

·         The need for diagnostic tests, X-rays and treatment processes need to be validated using evidenced-based research.  Only required tests and interventions would be permitted which could help to reduce the costs of care

·         Several processes which were initially handled by the human resources can now be automated

·         Decrease in medical errors helping to improve health outcomes and malpractice cases

·         Greater productivity as one healthcare provider can handle several patients

·         Improvements in quality can lead to organization to reduce the costs

·         Information can be viewed in an analytical format thus helping for planning

·         Several features such as alerts, reminders, e-prescriptions, orders, etc, can help to deliver timely care and thus prevent any adverse-effects

·         Better support for patient education

E. Does the organization use, or plan to use, an Application Service Provider (ASP),

            Yes, the ASP would provide the software, hardware, connectivity, firewall, servers, training of the staff, and the maintenance of the system.  Once the system has been implemented all up gradation and trouble-shooting works would be done by the ASP over the internet.

F. and if so, what are the perceived benefits? (An ASP is an application outsource vendor.)

Benefits of using the ASP:-

·         Reduction in the costs

·         No need of having an in-house technical person

·         ASP can be contacted 24/7

·         Remote solution to the network problems

·         Installation of software can be done at the location of the ASP

F. What impact will these changes have on the rest of the facility?

·         Greater communication and interactions between the staff members belonging to several departments

·         Provision of care under a multispecialty team consisting of several healthcare professionals

G. What changes were made in the organization because of HIPAA?

            The EMR has to comply with the HIPAA requirements regarding privacy and security of the patient information, during transfer.  Some of the measures included physical security, system security, network security and user security.  Each of the systems, database, server and other network were kept in secure and locked rooms that could be accessed only by appropriate personnel.  Each user would be given an account consisting of a username and password.  These would be kept confidential.  Each user would be given a certain number of rights.  All transactions done on the network would be recorded.  The healthcare personnel can access information of his/her patients.  The system would also include a disaster plan wherein the data would be backed up by a server located in another place.

H. Where is the organization with EMR, CPOE, and e-prescribing?

            The organization is using EMR, CPOE and e-prescriptions since the last 2 years.  Initially, a very basic system was utilized.  It was not connected to the internet.  The system was ideally a mere communicating device.  Later as the plan expanded, it became more and more upgraded.  Today physicians and other healthcare professionals are getting alerted about any issue during the care of the patient.  They can also refer evidence-based information or communicate with specialists.

I. If they do not have an application, get their thoughts on how it might impact the organization and what they see is the barrier to its implementation.

            The organization has the applications and hence they are able to understand the benefits and barriers to the implementation.

J. Is your organization part of a regional health information organization (RHIO)?

            The organization is a part of the RHIO which is making a strong effort to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of care.  IT is also contributing towards building the National Health Information Network (NHIN).  These organizations would share some amount of information regarding medical errors, building a patient information database, etc, thus helping to improve healthcare.  Several organizations are a part of this network.

K. Is it considering being part of a RHIO?

            The organization is currently a part of the RHIO

L. Is your organization active in informatics and information technology groups such as e-Health Initiative (www.ehealthinitiative.org), American Medical Informatics Association (www.amia.org), Bridges to Excellence (www.bridgestoexcellence.org), and the Health Information and Management Systems Society (www.himss.org)?

            The organization is a part of the HIMSS and the E-Health Initiative.

M. What value have they received within the organization for their membership?

            These organizations are helping to build a network of organizations that use Health information system, thus helping in connectivity.  Organizations are also meeting with certain standards set so that uniformity in healthcare quality can be provided.  E-health initiative is also helping to develop the EMRs and further upgrade it to a better level.  The process of quality improvements is continuous.  Besides, the HIMSS and E-health initiative are conducting conferences, workshops and training programs for the staff regarding use of the health information system.

References:

HIMSS (2008). HIMSS RHIO / HIE, Retrieved on November 15, 2008, from HIMSS Web site: http://www.himss.org/ASP/topics_rhio.asp

Lowe, H. J. (2003). “The Electronic Medical the Electronic Medical Record.” Retrieved on November 15, 2008, from Stanford University School of Medicine Web site: http://clinicalinformatics.stanford.edu/scci_seminars/slides/oct24_elec_health_record.pdf

Milne, M. (2008). HIPAA in a “Nutshell” – Guidelines for EMR and Paper Medical Records Compliance, Retrieved on November 15, 2008, from E-Zine Web site: http://ezinearticles.com/?HIPAA-in-a-Nutshell—Guidelines-for-EMR-and-Paper-Medical-Records-Compliance&id=156737

Shah, M. A. (1998). “Hospital Information System and Computer-based Patient Record Architecture.” The Kuwait Medical Journal, 30(1), 52-57.

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