The increasing role of information systems keeps impacting the nursing practice and all of its derivatives. The main reason for it is that healthcare providers have to store and manage a vast amount of patient data that keeps increasing. Therefore, health information technologies serve as an instrument to facilitate the challenges associated with pulling certain records from the database quickly (Walsham, 2020). Overall, these systems could be used for information exchange, proper inter-organizational communication, and increased productivity. One of the biggest advantages of modern health information systems is the reduced occurrence of human errors and an increasingly high level of security. With patient records becoming standardized, providers from various backgrounds have the opportunity to share information without any inherent pitfalls.
Electronic Health Records
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) represent an inter-organizational system that is utilized to store information from all healthcare organizations that have been involved in providing care to the given patient. According to Overhage and McCallie Jr (2020), it is not a standard dataset organized from the clinical information on the patient but rather a local interoperable token that can be utilized to access the required files when necessary. When EHRs were first launched, they were intended to travel between organizations and only give access to authorized clinicians. An EHR is the broadest way to look at a patient’s medical history and outline the most appropriate treatment plan. Therefore, the biggest advantage of an electronic health record is that it contains comments from various care providers that might help coordinate future efforts.
Electronic Medical Records
Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) can be outlined as an internal system that is available across the majority of healthcare organizations where a detailed health information technology infrastructure is in place. In other words, an EMR is the digital version of a piece of evidence stored on paper (Enaizan et al., 2020). The importance of EMRs cannot be underestimated because they improve patient diagnosis, unlock tracking patterns, and help providers identify high-risk patient groups. Compared to EHRs, EMRs are not interoperable, which means that other organizations cannot access certain patient records. The internet keeps revolutionizing health information technology by reducing the number of healthcare organizations that use EMRs and not EHRs.
Personal Health Records
A Personal Health Record (PHR) is an organizational system that is set up as a patient-centered instrument. The rationale behind the deployment of PHRs is to have patients manage their health records. The latter can include information on diagnoses, family medical histories, medications, and provider contact data (Kim et al., 2021). Three essential sources of data could help fill a PHR: (a) the patient, (b) the care provider, (c) monitoring devices, and other technologies. Irrespective of the data source, patients always remain the end-users with the top priority. A PHR is the most transparent environment where patients can access their medical records using a 360-degree view. This controlled environment enables patients and motivates them to engage in healthy behaviors.
Clinical Information System
A Clinical Information System (CIS) is a clinical instrument based on computer technologies intended to help providers collect and store patient data. From a single-location deployment to inter-organizational integrations, CISs are known to have a positive impact on policy decisions, operational management, and patient data management (Enaizan et al., 2020). The rich history of health information technologies highlighted the possibility of replacing tedious manual activities with automated alternatives that only require proper equipment to be installed. One of the biggest benefits of a CIS is the possibility to avoid human error and trace records from multiple care provision sites at the same time. The error-checking capability and a secure clinical process make CISs an instrument that eliminates numerous manual operations completed by care providers.
Administrative Information Systems
The advent of Administrative Information Systems (AISs) can be associated with the need to monitor and improve the quality of patient treatment. Different instances of healthcare software are necessary to generate the broadest snapshot of a patient’s medical history and predict their condition (Raffray et al., 2020). The growing amount of evidence and secondary variables turn AISs into irreplaceable organizational tools. Many healthcare organizations achieve higher levels of effectiveness through the interface of an AIS. The latter tends to enhance data collection accuracy and reduce exposure to medical error at the same time. Healthcare managers also save time and effort when resorting to AISs because hospital operations get streamlined. Instead of paying attention to trivial background factors such as paperwork and prescriptions, the team takes on patient treatment and follow-up activities.
Active Systems: CPOE
The first system to be mentioned when discussing the current instruments utilized by the organization is the computerized provider order entry (CPOE). This tool helps the organization improve patient safety throughout all steps of care provision while also reducing the number of human errors. The main reason why more providers have to look into CPOEs is that the latter brings standardization to the forefront and facilitates clinical decision support (Edrees et al., 2020). The history of exposure to medication allergies and other drug interactions can be accessed within a matter of seconds. Another reason why the organization benefits from a CPOE is improved operational efficiency that is achieved through the interface of electronically submitted orders. It can be suggested that the organization also has the potential to improve reimbursements and ensure that patients are safe enough for pre-approval and positive insurance claims.
Active Systems: Telemedicine
The second system that the organization exploits at the moment is telemedicine. The fact that lower costs of care provision can be achieved through the interface of digital instruments validates the need for telemedicine. This is especially true during the Covid-19 pandemic, which forces care providers to look for different methods of reducing face-to-face interactions (Walsham, 2020). Another reason why telemedicine plays an important role is the possibility to provide preventive care even to those individuals who are geographically isolated. There are practically no barriers that can affect telemedicine, so it is reasonable to invest in this method of care provision. At the end of the day, the spread of coronavirus is going to slow down, and more patients will discover the level of convenience that can be achieved with the aid of fully digital care provision.
Active Systems: EMR
The third system that is currently used at my organization is an EMR. From the history of treating patients, it can be claimed that patient care has improved drastically since the deployment of an EMR. The system allows keeping track of every given patient and their medical history. At the moment, care provided to patients with the help of EMRs can be described as transparent, personalized, and comprehensive (Overhage & McCallie Jr, 2020). The organization never experienced any issues related to data privacy and security either. All the essential information can be accessed by authorized personnel only. For care providers, the EMR remains a beneficial source of support that can be utilized to keep up with the changes in any patient’s condition in real time.
Health Information Technology Rating
At the moment, I would describe my organization’s IT rating as rather close to 100%. To be more exact, I would rate it at 78% in total. The reason why I am not giving the organization a top rating is that the company has not benefited from a complex EHR just yet. Thus, the level of inter-organizational collaboration is relatively low. The company should take a step forward and begin discovering and collaborating with more partners from the field of healthcare informatics. New corporate and regional strategic plans will have to be deployed to regulate the potential change and set the ground for cross-functional governance in health information technology. There has to be a clearer strategic direction that the organization might follow in an attempt to establish workgroups and allocate responsibilities.
Current System Strengths: Strong Revenue
The first strength of the current system is that health information systems avert revenue from leaking. Since the majority of processes are automated, the Chief Information Officer only has to monitor internal performance from time to time to introduce operational change if necessary. With a highly efficient approach to coding and implementation, the organization has the opportunity to build upon existing experiences and generate a positive impact on patients and providers. From drug rates to medical tests and services, the current system maintains a rational approach to every patient. Thus, no payment-related obstacles are going to be met by the organization in the nearest future. This is a serious benefit for the improved image of the facility.
Current System Strengths: Robust Health Information Infrastructure
The second strength of the current system that has to be considered is the strong health information infrastructure that reduces the number of human errors and also condenses the occurrence of human intervention. Since the initial implementation, the management tried to automate as many operations as possible to be able to address the maximum number of patients at the same time. Knowing that employee faults often lead to negative consequences, the team deployed a complex health information infrastructure to allocate repetitive tasks to digital helpers and assign human employees to management responsibilities. Drug charting and prescriptions are currently automated for the team to have enough time and resources to run the organization and respond to the pandemic.
Current System Strengths: Reduced Supervision
The third strength that helps the organization grow is reduced supervision. A detailed approach to the deployment of a complex information system allows the organization to get rid of manual activities. Thus, numerous medical inputs are left unsupervised by team members due to being automated seamlessly. Even though it was a costly initiative, the effort currently pays off since employees have the time to communicate with patients and provide high-quality care. The majority of reports are generated automatically, as only a minimal bureaucratic intervention is required from health managers and nurses. New software pieces are coded from time to time to help the team track essential metrics.
Current System Weaknesses: High Cost
The first weakness of the system that has to be considered when discussing the organization’s health information infrastructure is the high cost of sophisticated initiatives. Even though there are numerous benefits associated with digitalization, they are still exceptionally expensive due to innovations (Moore et al., 2020). At the same time, the team has to cope with the need to educate older workers and battle their reluctance from time to time. The growing number of health needs makes it almost impossible for the team to track everything and consider every fundamental variable when deploying new technology. Therefore, the problem of the economic viability of health information systems is the most pressing. It can be hard to overcome this weakness during the pandemic as well.
Current System Weaknesses: Over-Dependence on Tech
The second weakness stems from the high cost of the existing instruments because the team seems to become too dependent on technology and innovation. Even though the process of adaptation was long and painful in the past, today’s deployment efforts are shorter and meet less reluctance along the way (Walsham, 2020). It means that technical errors are almost impossible to meet, and team members are ready to put their ultimate trust in informatics systems when providing care. Nevertheless, certain departments might require additional expenditures due to innovative technology being implemented. In the age of telehealth and online communication, every delay can cause negative outcomes and huge inconveniences for care providers and patients.
In light of a rapid technical revolution, modern care provision practices have to be assessed through the prism of automation and the complete reduction of human error. Manually managed health information systems have to be left in the past for further integration of EHRs and CISs. The spread of the coronavirus pandemic taught care providers to pay more attention to telemedicine. The current use of technology dictates the need for improved privacy and transparency in the field of health informatics as well. Regardless of the advantages related to health information systems, care providers should be exceptionally careful when trying to save costs and deliver additional services. New inter-organizational partnerships are required if we expect to manage data more accurately and help more patients at the same time.
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Enaizan, O., Zaidan, A. A., Alwi, N. H., Zaidan, B. B., Alsalem, M. A., Albahri, O. S., & Albahri, A. S. (2020). Electronic medical record systems: Decision support examination framework for individual, security, and privacy concerns using multi-perspective analysis. Health and Technology, 10(3), 795-822. Web.
Kim, J. H., Choi, W. S., Song, J. Y., Yoon, Y. K., Kim, M. J., & Sohn, J. W. (2021). The role of smart monitoring digital health care system based on smartphone application and personal health record platform for patients diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019. BMC Infectious Diseases, 21(1), 1-8. Web.
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