How Health Information Technology Is Improving Healthcare
Health Information Technology (HIT) is an array of technologies that store, share and analyze organized health information through the internet between healthcare providers, consumers, government agencies, and insurers.
It can be the primary means of providing continuity of care for each patient, between the primary care physician and supplementary care from other doctors. If a patient were admitted to the hospital, all hospital caregivers and the primary care doctor would have easy access to the patient’s same medical records, lab results, vital signs and medical orders. This accurate report reduces medical errors through omission, illegible notations, and misplaced records.
The internet can simplify the administrative healthcare system by eliminating unnecessary procedures and reducing myriads of paperwork, which is often duplicative. Internet technology can limit medical errors that increase consumer costs and engender mistrust in the changing healthcare industry.
Improved Care and Treatment
Medical personnel can instantly check a patient’s medical records for allergies, adverse drug interactions. Doctors can ascertain whether a patient’s insurance covers a prescribed drug, then email the prescription to the pharmacy. New medicines and advanced treatments may reduce pain and suffering as well as recovery time.
All clinical data is organized and analyzed, in case an unexpected health crisis should arise. Surgeons and physicians can transmit this data to skilled specialists anywhere in the world, who will consult and supplement the patient’s care.
Benefits to Consumers
Health Information technology enables today’s consumers to be well-informed and interactive participants in their health care. According to Paula Kane, who works with online health information management programs, those who suffer from a chronic illness stand to gain valuable understanding of their condition with improvements in health information technology. This knowledge can initiate a candid conversation with the patient’s doctor by addressing his concerns about medications, symptoms or treatment options.
More Productive Research
Medical groups can learn from each other and incorporate the most recent and innovative treatment methods. Research encourages and produces better diagnostic tools and strategies. Research fosters progressive surgical and procedural techniques. Access to available sophisticated medical equipment and communication with trusted colleagues worldwide, reduces disparities in health care. Health Information Technology promotes the early detection of infectious diseases, and improves the tracking of chronic illnesses.
If Health Information Technology remains an effectual tool, health care is sure to improve. The sharing of medical information between specialists via information technology promotes better standardized treatment for all patients. Focusing on quality comprehensive health care prevents subtle abuses of this technology and helps identify disparities in patient care.
While this decade has seen widespread implementation of HIT, there remain some drawbacks which prevent it from being universally embraced by all healthcare providers. Cybervulnerability and “HIT fatigue”, a symptom of constant alerts and confusing user interfaces, need to be addressed before the full potential of HIT can be realized.
About the Author: Marlena Stoddard is a freelance writer who received her BA from the University of Georgia.
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