Essay about Healthcare: Health Care and Information

Submitted By trimy04
Words: 1064
Pages: 5

Public Health Informatics is a system designed to use modern information technology to improve the practice of medicine. It encompasses the usage of information systems for the practice of public health and information databases used in research and learning. Public health informatics is different from other informatics fields in that it focuses on preventive measures in populations. The public health system once was thought of as comprising only official government public health agencies, but now is understood to include both other public-sector agencies (such as schools, Medicaid and environmental protection agencies, and land-use agencies) and private-sector organizations whose actions have significant consequences for the health of the public. Physicians and health care organizations are becoming increasing aware of the limitations of traditional paper based documentation systems. The information age has brought forth the capability to manage the information generated and shared in the health care industry electronically, replacing paper-bases medical records. What does the "Information Age" have to offer? What are the benefits and the risks of change? Should the health care industry invest in this innovative technology? The purpose of this paper is to explore the emergence of Electronic Medical Records technology, the innovations taking place within the medical information management field. Recall the last time that you went to see a doctor for a routine medical problem. Ideally, you received high quality care from your doctor, for which you or your insurer paid the doctor or his or her employer. The interchange of information between a patient and their physician, even in highly complex medical conditions, is relatively simple compared to the subsequent information exchange that occurs as a result of your encounter. Many organizations such as insurers, practice management services, state medical boards, malpractice attorneys, hospitals, pharmacies, and other health care providers have a significant stake in the information that the doctor places in the patient’s record. It is estimated that the average doctor-patient encounter generates thirteen pieces of paper [Lawrence 1997, 10]. EMR can provide many services. The need for EMR arose from the increasingly complex and interrelated uses of the medical record [Lawrence 1997, 15]. These include: Data repository for documentation of doctor-patient encounter, patient profiling, medications, allergies, surgeries, illnesses, preventive medicine information including immunizations, mammograms, etc., storage of lab, X-ray, and other data. Accurate billing and coding of diagnoses, procedures, and level of effort Track utilization, costs of care. Credentials metrics /quality assurance /practice guidelines, Data portability. Maintain the security and confidentiality of medical information. Additionally, the EMR must accurately reflect the diagnoses and management plans resulting from the visit. Prescriptions should be managed (that is, forwarded to the intended pharmacy, recorded, tracked, and cross-referenced against other drugs the patient is taking) [Lawrence 1997, 16]. To be fully effective, the EMR should replace paper orders, prescriptions, and billing (the latter is discussed further below). EMR must be able to capture all the important information created by the patient encounter, quickly and accurately. There are many advantages for EMR. Patients can access their medical records from any Hospital with just a click of a mouse. And the doctors can easily access billing and patients information from other Hospital as well. With the advantage comes the disadvantage. “THE COST.” What is hindering the transition to EMR? Many factors have come into play reflecting contemporary economics, politics, and psychology. Several of these factors deserve further discussion: cost, dealing with existing paper records, reluctance to change, standardization, government influences,