IT impact Essay Example

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12IMPACT OF IT ON HEALTHCARE

Impact of IT on Healthcare

Impact of IT on Healthcare

Executive Summary

It is evident that the use of IT is increasing in various sectors and industries. The health sector has embraced the use of IT although not fully. Numerous benefits are associated with the integration of IT services in the medical system. The report has evaluated the significance of using IT in the healthcare industry by using Bethesda Hospital as an example healthcare facility. The report has discussed the need and importance of using IT for the hospital as well as the areas in which it has used IT. It has also discussed the benefits if using IT for the hospital, the requirements and the risks involved. According to the report findings, the use of IT has helped the hospital to save costs, improve their healthcare services, as well as the access to these services. Some of the risks that the report has established include security and privacy issues, system implementation, and issues to do with biomedical services. Finally, the report has recommended increased government involvement is encouraging health facilities to embrace the use of IT in their operations.

Table of Contents

Introduction 4

Need for IT in Bethesda Hospital 4

Importance of IT for its Survival 5

Requirements of Applying IT in the Facility 5

How Bethesda Hospital Utilizes IT 6

E-Prescribing 6

Medical Code Sets 7

Benefits of using IT 7

Risks of IT 8

Biomedical Devices 8

Implementation of the IT System 8

Security and Privacy 9

Maintaining and Monitoring IT 9

Conclusion 9

Recommendations 10

References 11

Introduction

There is a revolutionary success regarding the utilization of information technology in the healthcare sector as well as the pharmaceutical industry and the other healthcare sectors in general (Chaudhry et l., 2006). The use of information technology has the potential of creating an unlimited opportunity regarding the promotion of the right healthcare practices in the prevention of particular diseases, and information provision for the maintenance of a positive healthcare system (Chaudhry et l., 2006). One of the hospitals that have recognized the significance of information technology utilization is the Bethesda Hospital. Bethesda is precisely an independent specialist palliative and acute surgical healthcare facility. This hospital provides various onsite services and clinical experts and has a firm commitment to the provision of spiritual, emotional, and physical wellbeing to their patients together with their families. IT has played a significant role in the continuous efficiency and success of the Bethesda Hospital. Following this, the report will evaluate the application and impact of IT in Bethesda Hospital.

Need for IT in Bethesda Hospital

The Bethesda Hospital, just like any other healthcare facility is in need of IT for various reasons to ensure its competence when it comes to the provision of adequate healthcare services to its patients. This hospital needs IT so that it can give the healthcare practitioners in that hospital a complete picture of the health conditions of their patients while at the same time provide their patients with an easy way of accessing their comprehensive medical history (Chau and Hu, 2001). For example, the hospital has developed a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PHCM) program which has played a significant role in encouraging the healthcare practitioners to implement IT in their everyday practices. This has, in turn, enabled it to help the hospital in managing costs, improving the quality of their services, as well as opening it up to access adequate health care (Ash, Berg and Coiera, 2004). Therefore, Bethesda Hospital is in need of IT to utilize it in making its healthcare services less expensive, safer, and more efficient for everyone.

Importance of IT for its Survival

As discussed earlier, IT has proven to vital in the survival of Bethesda Hospital. One of the primary objectives of the healthcare facility is to enhance the safety of their patients. This means that for it to survive, the hospital will have to instill a level of trust in its patients that they can be assured of ultimate patient safety and high quality care. Therefore, as a means of ensuring its survival in the healthcare industry, Bethesda hospital has embraced the utilization of Electronic Health Record (EHR) as well as some feature systems which will enable it to ensure that it provides high quality care to its patients (Bates and Gawande, 2003). This form of IT has enabled Bethesda Hospital to ensure comprehensiveness, verification of the dosages and medications, as well as the reduction of the need to be repeating some serious procedures and tests (Bates and Gawande, 2003). Without the ability to perform these tasks in this way, the survival and competence of Bethesda Hospital will be put at risk. This, therefore, means that the facility will need to IT to ensure that it provides quality healthcare services while taking these various aspects into perspective and consideration.

Requirements of Applying IT in the Facility

In the application of IT in Bethesda Hospital, various aspects will have to be taken into consideration which will oversee the successful integration of the system into its healthcare services. One of the requirements of the application of IT in the hospital is the costs. The facility will need to spend approximately 10% of its total annual income on IT more so because it is in the healthcare industry (Devaraj and Kohli, 2003). Some of the costs that will be incurred regarding the implementation of IT will entail the initial technological costs. This will involve the software, hardware, as well as the training requirements. The other group of costs will include the ongoing costs, upgrading costs, and the value proposition (Devaraj and Kohli, 2003). Ongoing costs will include the costs of maintaining the systems; upgrading costs involve the costs required for upgrading the systems while the value proposition will involve the amount of employee time that will be saved (Devaraj and Kohli, 2003).

The other requirement involves planning where the IT system will be implemented. In this case, Bethesda Hospital will probably invest most of its IT systems in record-keeping, networking, as well in the software for monitoring the health of their patients (Anderson, 2007). The other requirement will be the evaluation of when to implement the IT in the hospital. In doing this, it will be substantial for Bethesda Hospital to ensure that they implement adequate technology so that they could see and experiencing the real benefit of doing so (Anderson, 2007). This will, therefore, ensure that there will be the prevention of healthcare disasters while at the same time ensuring that they make use of the opportunities that they come across. Finally, the last requirement for Bethesda Hospital will be the installation requirements. This entails the evaluation of who will assist them to install the new technology in the business (Anderson, 2007). This also involves the evaluation of what will be necessary and how they will obtain these necessities.

How Bethesda Hospital Utilizes IT

There are various ways in which Bethesda Hospital makes use of IT. These ways include;

E-Prescribing

IT has enabled and assisted the medical practitioners in making electronic prescriptions. Some of the physicians in the hospital make use of these electronic prescriptions to view the records of their patients, and confirm their individual dosages and medications which are usually listed on the formularies (Chau and Hu, 2002). Through electronic prescribing, the physicians become able to be aware of the medications which have already been previously prescribed by other doctors. Additionally, this IT system then assists the hospital to eliminate issues to do with illegible penmanship, avoids paper wastage, and also reduces the pharmacy staff (Chau and Hu, 2002).

Medical Code Sets

Bethesda Hospital makes use of IT in striving to maintain its market leadership through utilizing electronic prescriptions as well as maintaining the electronic medical records. The Hospital has made use of the standards of the ICD-10 medical billing which offers them with high abilities when it comes to measuring the healthcare services that they provide while at the same time monitoring the health of a given population (Chau and Hu, 2002). These medical code billing standards have also assisted the company in the provision of better and more quality data while at the same time cutting down on the paperwork. Their process of integrating the medical codes into their systems has aided in the provision of an amicable solution in cutting down on their operation costs (Chau and Hu, 2002).

Benefits of using IT

One of the advantages of using IT for Bethesda Hospital is that it is highly associated with significant cost savings. Previously, approximately 50% of the costs of the healthcare facility were being utilized in some inefficient processes (Bates et al., 2001). However, after implementation of IT, there have been significant cost savings which have been associated with maintaining electronic records, electronic prescribing, as well as the standards of the medical codes (Bates et al., 2001).

Bethesda Hospital has also benefited from the use of IT in that it has assisted them in improving the quality of their healthcare services. It has done this through making us of some integrated patient databases where they can monitor the health of their patients across a large population in an efficient manner (Bates et al., 2001).

Bethesda Hospital has also benefited from the utilization of IT in that it has enhanced their healthcare access. This has been primarily realized following the electronic storage of information which has, in turn, made the physical distance irrelevant when consulting their medical practitioners. Many of the doctors are then able to communicate with their patients electronically, something that has overseen the doctors helping the patients to manage electronic diseases from afar (Bates et al., 2001).

Risks of IT

The use of IT in Bethesda Hospital has presented various risks. Some of these risks include;

Biomedical Devices

There have been various risks associated with the unidentified security vulnerabilities when it comes to the biomedical devices. These biomedical devices can impact the safety of the patients and the data privacy on these devices as well as the networked systems (Risk and Dzenowagis, 2001).

Implementation of the IT System

Bethesda Hospital has been made vulnerable to some susceptible risks concerned with implementing electronic health records, financial records, as well as other business systems. Establishing key controls have been a challenge because of the tight deadlines which are put in place when implementing these complex systems (Risk and Dzenowagis, 2001).

Security and Privacy

Just like any other organization that has implemented IT in their operations, Bethesda Hospital has been faced with risks concerning security and privacy. This is related to some risks concerning identity theft, corruption, and unauthorized access to the data of its patients (Risk and Dzenowagis, 2001).

Maintaining and Monitoring IT

Bethesda Hospital can support and monitor its utilization of IT through active and passive monitoring systems. In the active monitoring system, it will entail the management and monitoring of its IT system which will need the end-user participation and involvement (Heeks, 2006). On the other hand, it can implement passive management and monitoring where it will maintain its utilization of IT for the benefit of their patients without requiring their actual participation and involvement (Heeks, 2006). This can be done through, for example, developing robotic applications which support the needs of their patients even from afar.

Conclusion

IT is increasingly being utilized in many businesses in various sectors to ensure that they stay relevant in the industry that they operate in. Among the sectors that have embraced the utilization of IT is the health sector. IT has proven to be beneficial in the health sector in that it helps in enhancing the quality of services provided as well as the patient’s safety. Bethesda Hospital is an example of a healthcare facility that has embraced the utilization of IT in its operations. It makes use of IT in electronic prescriptions, electronic record-keeping, as well as in developing some medical code standards. The needs, importance, benefits, and risks of the hospital using IT have been widely discussed in the report.

Recommendations

There is the need for the government to come in in striving to encourage more health care facilities to embrace the utilization of IT of the quality of healthcare services have to be enhanced. Precisely, the government can come in in creating incentives for using IT in health or reform the laws that govern the medicine practice to oversee high levels of utilizing IT (Heeks, 2006).

References

Anderson, J.G 2007, Social, ethical and legal barriers to e-health. International journal of medical informatics, 76(5), pp.480-483.

Ash, J.S., Berg, M. and Coiera, E 2004, Some unintended consequences of information technology in health care: the nature of patient care information system-related errors. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 11(2), pp.104-112.

Bates, D.W. and Gawande, A.A 2003, Improving safety with information technology. New England journal of medicine, 348(25), pp.2526-2534.

Bates, D.W., Cohen, M., Leape, L.L., Overhage, J.M., Shabot, M.M. and Sheridan, T 2001, Reducing the frequency of errors in medicine using information technology. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 8(4), pp.299-308.

Chau, P.Y. and Hu, P.J.H 2001, Information technology acceptance by individual professionals: A model comparison approach. Decision sciences, 32(4), pp.699-719.

Chau, P.Y. and Hu, P.J.H 2002, Investigating healthcare professionals’ decisions to accept telemedicine technology: an empirical test of competing theories. Information & management, 39(4), pp.297-311.

Chaudhry, B., Wang, J., Wu, S., Maglione, M., Mojica, W., Roth, E., Morton, S.C. and Shekelle, P.G 2006, Systematic review: impact of health information technology on quality, efficiency, and costs of medical care. Annals of internal medicine, 144(10), pp.742-752.

Devaraj, S. and Kohli, R 2003, Performance impacts of information technology: Is actual usage the missing link?. Management science, 49(3), pp.273-289.

Heeks, R 2006, Health information systems: Failure, success and improvisation. International journal of medical informatics, 75(2), pp.125-137.

Risk, A and Dzenowagis, J 2001, Review of internet health information quality initiatives. Journal of medical Internet research, 3(4), p.e28.

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