Medical Information Systems. Best Practices

Introduction

Medical information systems refer to a collection of methods used in the medical field for the purpose of compiling, evaluating, storing, and retrieving required data about a particular patient. These systems are usually standardized in order to meet the requirement of the user as well as give the expected results. There is a wide variety of the medical information systems in medical centers, which serve different purposes in accordance to the needs of the patients as well as the medical staff for the purpose of convenience. In addition, there have been recent advances in the medical field that have enhanced the possibilities of securing and processing medical data (Krizack, 1994).

Today’s medical information systems have been improved since the government has always focused on the ways to facilitate implementation of better systems in hospitals. Though all other systems have been developed, the computer systems are the most important, since they can perform multiple tasks in the hospital. It is now easy to retrieve any type of information regardless of its storage time. Moreover, the computerized medical systems have made it possible for patients to be taken care of in the best ways. Computer can be used for all purposes, thus making work easier for the hospital management and workforce (Seelos, 1992).

Historical development of the medical information systems

The medical systems used in the early days were complicated since they involved the use of labour alone due to lack of alternative means. Primarily, records of patients in hospitals were kept using the hand-written materials, which were prone to major errors. Numerous changes have occurred in the information systems due to rampant technological advances in all sectors. For instance, the need for privacy as a vital tool in the medical grounds has been heightened by creation of medical databases in computers. The past decade has seen medical databases being given great attention by the government, policy makers, and medical practitioners as a way to ease information storage and retrieval. In addition, over the years, especially during the twentieth century, the government in all countries has considered privacy and efficiency to have a direct relationship with technology. Thus, the invention and the implementation of information systems has taken the form of government intellect as well as enforcement of laws, with an intention of ensuring that new tools are being used in the hospitals. Most important ones that have been developed recently are computer encryption strategies, as other attempts are being made to foresee the implementation of the gram code-breaking software (Rayward, 2004).

The 1970’s saw rapid advancements in the medical information systems, first, due to an earlier development of computers, and secondly, due to the development of software that are capable of handling all forms of medical tasks. For instance, the development of the RMRS and Help systems made computing to be done more quickly, while there is the development of the networking systems between several institutions. Due to these developments, appropriate recording, maintenance, evaluation and retrieval of data has been facilitated accordingly. The development of other medical systems has also facilitated the improvements that have occurred in the medical areas. In addition, the medical research centers have also been able to come up with systems that can provide better results than the former times when technology had not made more advances. Today, the information systems that are used for medical practices are more advanced, and still more are being invented to ease the work of medical facilitators (Anon, 2002).

Contemporary best practices

Medical information systems play a key role in all medical practices as well as management. The success of their incorporation in the medical practices depends on how well they are managed and utilized by the involved parties (O’Neil, et al., (2006). Primarily, it requires best practices in order that the anticipated results may be obtained from their use. On the other hand, the contemporary best practices integrate several virtues, which include commitment by the involved parties, excellent information application techniques, and appropriate monitoring procedures. Therefore, the data that is stored in the data systems in computers needs to be correctly labeled, evaluated, and analyzed in order for it to be useful to the medical care providers as well as the intended clients (Mable and Marriott 2001).

Medical providers have a role to ensure that the best personnel are handling the information systems, since data handled by humans is prone to errors. Best practices are also facilitated by updating and replacing the information systems regularly as well as the data that is stored in them. Additionally, appropriate decisions when purchasing and implementing medical information systems are very important. Moreover, all systems should be controlled under certain set standards to ensure that they are utilized for the intended purposes (Laudon, and Laudon).

Normally, best practices when handling medical information entail creating ways that would make the responsible people be concerned with the most technical areas as a way of ensuring proper risk management strategies. Additionally, the management team in all areas of information systems ensures that appropriate guidelines are provided in order to enhance proper operations. Furthermore, the medical information systems’ users always have the patients in their mind, while great caution and personal responsibilities are key factors to excellence in the use of the systems (McLeod and Schell, 2007). A documented framework serves as a key to the success of the information systems in the medical practices. Ultimately, best practices incorporate skilled personnel to handle the data procedures, strategic planning, as well as appropriate change management practices in order that every medical centre may meet its intended objectives (Haag, and Cummings, 2008).

Current trends indicate that the medical information systems have been integrated with technological systems, a trend that exponentially increases everyday. The hospital enterprise network houses many activities, which include diagnostics, monitory activities, and medical therapy. Therefore, the need for continuity in all these services demands the necessity of specialists who can handle the separate departments to enhance effective collaboration. At the same time, medical devices have improved to an extent of not requiring engineers, since there is an integration of communication systems where data can be sent and received from one system to the other, leading to the gap that has been in existence being closed. Moreover, the current and emerging trends in the computer-based systems are making the world to become a global village, since it is possible for people to communicate and even work together, regardless of their separation by the geographical distance (Khosrow-Pour, 2006).

Benefits of medical information systems

With the current trends in technological advances, no organization can perform well without the application of the information systems. The medical computerized information systems are very beneficial, both to the management as well as to the patients who are the key targets for the systems (Payne, et al., 2003). The medical providers have experienced great improvements with the invention of Data storage devices, i.e., the computers. This makes it easier to record data collected from the patients and to evaluate it accordingly. Additionally, the data can be easily analyzed and the best recommendations be given to the intended patients.

Delivery of services at hospitals is very fast due to the advancements in the technology, and patients do not have to wait for long to obtain laboratory tests results. In this case, data can easily be retrieved to an extent that written materials need not be in use, since each patient’s record can easily be accessed. Moreover, medical researchers find it easy to carry out their activities, which are meant to provide the appropriate information to the medical care providers (Baltzan & Phillips, 2009).

Conclusion

Medical practitioners require systems that can provide access to record and stored information in order to meet their performance requirements, since they are at all times accountable for the overall management. Additionally, patients need to be provided with elevated quality care and cost-effective services. It is therefore important that an information system that is well designed be implemented in all medical centers to cater for all clients’ needs. When medical information systems are integrated into the medical centers, they are able to provide high quality health care services, decrease treatment costs, as well as facilitate medical research (Shortliffe and Cimino, 2006). The advantages that emanate from the use of improved medical systems usually have great impacts, as long as the practitioners and all people involved in the management play a major role in the improvement processes (Kiel, 2001). In addition, all people that serve patients in the medical systems should have sound knowledge of what improvements need to be put in place, and participate in the development and implementation procedures. More importantly, the senior management in the medical grounds should develop a dedication that is sustained to change. Furthermore, change management practices within the organizations should be of high quality to pave way for sustainable growth with an aim of improving patients’ satisfaction (Wong and Abedroth, 1996).

References

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