For an average person, it is highly unlikely to think about the use of information technology in in the healthcare industry. We cannot simply deny the way IT has revolutionized the medical sector. Therefore, we need to have an idea of the basics of IT in healthcare and which steps will lead to improving our medical system.
What is Healthcare Information Technology (HIT)?
- 1 What is Healthcare Information Technology (HIT)?
- 2 Applications of Healthcare Information Technology
- 3 1: Practice Management Software:
- 4 2: Electronic Medical Record:
- 5 3: Electronic Health Record:
- 6 4: Patient Portal:
- 7 5: Scheduling Softwares:
- 8 6: Medical Billing Software:
- 9 7: Electronic Prescribing Software
- 10 8: Hybrid Operating rooms:
- 11 9: Healthcare Staffing Management Technology:
- 12 10: Patient Friendly Technologies:
- 13 Implementation of Healthcare Information Technology:
The very first question would be what exactly is HIT? Simply put it is the use of information technology in healthcare to support healthcare management. Overall it serves to improve the quality and efficiency of the healthcare sector. It involves the management of information and health data regarding consumers, providers, and clinicians. The use of HIT will help to reduce errors and make our medical system more cost-effective and efficient.
Applications of Healthcare Information Technology
Here we will discuss the basic applications of Healthcare Information Technology commonly found in any proper hospital or physician office.
1: Practice Management Software:
Practice Management Software (PMS) is the use of software in organizing and managing the daily operations of a Medical Centre. It applies to the management of patient demographics, schedules, insurance listing, billing etc.
It encloses all kinds of healthcare management systems and can be easily integrated into small to midsized offices or larger hospitals. It will help to optimize time management and medical tasking.
2: Electronic Medical Record:
An Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is the use of software to digitally organize and collect data and information regarding patients and populations. Originally before this software was implemented, most recordings were handwritten onto paper records. This practice proved to be inefficient at times and the chance of error was high. But with the new Healthcare Information Technology practice, there is a more accurate collection of data. For example, doctors use EMR’s to help treat patients by looking at their past medical records.
3: Electronic Health Record:
Electronic Health Record (EHR) is similar to EMR. It also allows you to check a patients’ medical history and testing to help treat a patient. However, data stored as EHR can be viewed from other EHR systems whereas EMR can only be viewed from one office.
4: Patient Portal:
Patient portals are healthcare related inline applications that allow for the interaction and communication of patients with their providers. They are available online and are easily accessible. It includes all the basic information you would expect to find in an EMR or EHR for example, patients past medical records, diagnosis, treatments, prescriptions, and tests.
5: Scheduling Softwares:
Scheduling could have been an issue of the past. In this digital age and with the use of patient portals, it is easier to manage your own schedule. Simply log in to your account and manage your schedule appointments. You can easily schedule a medical appointment online rather than visiting your medical Centre.
6: Medical Billing Software:
Billing is a time-consuming process especially for large hospitals operating on multiple patients at once. Instead of manual billing, there is the application of medical billing software to help with billing and payment methods. The process essentially records all medical services provided to a specific client, and the client is notified of the amount to be paid. Late payments and issues with insurance companies can also be easily sorted out.
7: Electronic Prescribing Software
Electronic Prescribing or e-Prescribing is the use of computer-based software for the generation and transmission of prescriptions to a particular pharmacy. They are proving to be more efficient than handwritten prescriptions. Prescription errors are more common than we expect and are very likely because of incorrect deciphering of handwritten prescriptions. With the implementation of e-prescribing the chances of error are reduced and it is time effective too.
8: Hybrid Operating rooms:
Hybrid Operating rooms are proving to be more efficient to help treat patients. A hybrid operating room involves the use of advanced medical imaging devices such as CT Scanners, MRI scanners to help in operations. Hybrid Operating Rooms can lead to better utilization of space and prove to be more time efficient for hospitals.
9: Healthcare Staffing Management Technology:
Staffing management technology is used to keep a check on costs related to staffing and labor to keep it at an optimal rate, hence saving expenses. This will help to reduce the chances of understaffing in hospitals and lead to an effective staffing management practice.
10: Patient Friendly Technologies:
The most basic requirement is for a hospital to be patient friendly. This involves the use of technology and IT to make a hospital more patient-friendly. For example, wireless connectivity, bedside computer terminals, BMV systems.
Implementation of Healthcare Information Technology:
Although the benefits of Healthcare Information Technology are limitless, the actual implementation of a HIT in practice is not common. We fail to recognize how this will help lead to better management of our systems and the proper treatment of patients. Most issues are related to finances as some technologies are not affordable for some providers. The problem may also be technical in some cases. However, despite all these difficulties, the benefits of HIT cannot be overlooked.
Benefits of Healthcare Information Technology:
- efficient healthcare
- Prevention of medical errors
- Decreases paperwork and manual labor
- Leads to an expansion of healthcare making it easily accessible
- Secured exchange of health information between consumers and providers