Convergence In Healthcare

Submitted By red3
Words: 1411
Pages: 6

Abstract The impact of technology on healthcare has been dramatic. The overall picture of using technology in healthcare today has more benefits than disadvantages. It promotes more accurate, more precise and more efficient method of delivering healthcare. The security technologies available to prevent unauthorized access to protected health information are rampantly being used. IT convergence can help hospitals reduce costs, while boosting patient care and service levels. With convergence, simplicity and efficiency become the hallmarks of a new and more sustainable infrastructure.

The Benefits Of IT Convergence In Healthcare

Information technology (IT) infrastructure convergence is a ‘hot topic’ across many industry sectors, but is especially relevant in the healthcare industry today. In these times of tight budgets and scarce resources, many healthcare facilities are looking toward IT convergence as a means to achieve cost reductions coupled with higher patient satisfaction and staff productivity. A ‘simplified architecture’ is a key element of IT convergence. A well-designed, converged infrastructure saves time and labor costs, improves patient safety and care, and increases the efficiency of healthcare professionals and hospital staff. The main goal of health IT is to improve the quality of your care. In general, the various IT applications fall into three categories: administrative and financial systems that facilitate billing, accounting, and other administrative tasks; clinical systems that facilitate or provide input into the care process; and infrastructure. In the pre-internet protocol (IP) world, hospital communication systems were primarily devoted to telephone systems and life safety and monitoring applications such as nurse call systems and fire alarms. Most healthcare facilities have added applications and systems like Computer-based practitioner order entry (CPOE) systems, clinical decision support systems (CDDS), Interactive patient information and entertainment services, Building automation systems (e.g., security, climate control, lighting) and closed circuit television (CCTV), Real-time locating systems (RTLS) for tracking of personnel and equipment, Picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) that are helpful in promoting more efficient processes and better patient care. Many of these applications have been installed over time, each with its own dedicated infrastructure. Some are managed by the facility management engineers, some by various clinical groups, and some by the IT department. IT convergence can be planned and accomplished incrementally over time, beginning with the infrastructure foundation. The goal, however, is to ultimately achieve the level of convergence that best meets the organization’s needs, timetable and budget. The advantages of IT convergence include better accessibility of information for mobile clinicians and caregivers, Optimized information flow across functional areas, Easier installation of new patient care or facility management applications, Mitigation of duplication among communication infrastructures, Simplified command-and-control via an open network, secure and non-proprietary protocol and Lower operational and administrative costs, and lower total cost of ownership. The converged network requires an open, standard based foundation that can tie all the healthcare applications and systems together along one or more infrastructures. It must provide the bandwidth and signal performance required by current applications and be scalable to meet future additions. The four levels of IT convergence for healthcare facilities include:
Infrastructure Convergence: a common communication platform that allows information sharing across both wired and wireless systems. This shared infrastructure allows