Keller Graduate School of Management
Health Service Management HSM 541
August 7, 2014
Health Information Technology is leading the way to better Medical Care, medicine has come a long way in the past few decades. Today’s medical workers have some of the most technological tools at their disposals. The latest high tech equipment, modern pharmaceuticals and procedures but in many cases the most important tool that is needed is information and quite often needed right now. Correct and up to the minute information about a patients history is a vital part of treatment. And yet for many, access to this most important vital tool still lingers in the dark ages. In the not so distant past and for the most part medical information is still in paper form and can be found scattered around filing systems in different offices, subject to retrieval by hand and be limited to delivery by phone or fax. Currently with advances in communication technology and information security there is a better way to store, access and transfer patients information, better, faster, safer. Health Information Technology is the movement of medial information electronically around all platforms of communication, but most utilization of HIT is computer based networks, via internet hospitals sharing information externally and intranet networks, hospitals transferring patient information within the hospital electronically. What does health information technology mean for the patient? As health care evolves and so does the technology associated with health care, so does the way we access and transfer that information, not only the way we do it but the speed we do it at as well. Chances are that for the most part and for the near future paper medical documents will not go away and by all accounts we will need them for various purposes. The use of Health Information Technology, and Heath Record Exchanges HRE in conjunction with the patients Electronic Health Record HER, will enable a patient or person who has a computer with internet access, will have real time access to their medical records, given they have the proper security access to retrieve and view those records. This will also affect those who travel as well, if a person is on vacation, or traveling for work, if they have to be seen at a medical facility for any reason, that hospital or Dr Office will be able to access those medical records, saving precious time, time that could possibly be the difference between life and death!? What does this mean for doctors or other health care professionals? Again, ease of access and portability of health records over a secure structure. An example would be several medical specialties reviewing a case, they would have the ability to simultaneously look at a patient’s medical records or history, the doctors could be a close as the next town over, or across the globe.
With all the advantages Health Information Technology provided, there are several disadvantages as well. Cost, with new technology comes the cost, especially the set up or startup cost, this includes, hardware such as computers, servers etc, then software, information storage costs either on the cloud or multiple servers. Time, transferring from a paper world and the old way of doing things takes time, uploading records into an Electronic Health Record will just not happen overnight, this will take not only time but manpower and man-hours to accomplish. Along with this is staff members