In line with the unprecedented progress in several modern industries, healthcare industry has also been making giant leaps during the recent times, thanks to the innovative and reliable Health Information Technology (HIT) products. Considered as one of the crucial elements in contemporary medical industry, Health Information Technologies help in streamlining care delivery while improving care quality and harnessing costs. It is evident that such novel technologies will enhance the way of health information management and lead to an overall efficient and cost-effective healthcare system, removing several hassles and hindrances in the existing one.
The Role of Health Information Technology in Health Information Management
Providing accuracy and easy access, health information technologies are seen to be the basis for a better and reliable care delivery process in the contemporary medical environment. Ensuring evidence-based and patient-centric practices and real-time access to high-quality medical information, these technologies assure that critical medical information of patients is made available to the right person as needed, at the right place and time.
In support to the medical professionals and healthcare facilities, modern health information management professionals have taken the responsibility of enhancing the quality of healthcare by facilitating the flow of essential medical information and making it available for arriving at the right, information-based healthcare decisions. Today, health information technology providers help in collecting, analyzing, aggregating, and disseminating patient and clinical data, thus act as the custodians of key information in healthcare.
The convergence of health information technology and health information management has resulted in the professionals from both these groups to work together for facilitating a wide range of vital processes in healthcare ecosystem.
Significance of Technological Advancements in Healthcare
With the reach and scope of technological innovation continuously expanding, all the industries that adopt technology are in a constant evolution. Especially in healthcare, technology is seen to play an increasingly critical role in almost all the processes such as patient registration, data monitoring, and lab tests. What’s more, self-care tools have been made possible in the contemporary medical industry, thanks to the progress in medical information technology.
The technical aspects of managing patient health information have been simplified by the modern information technology-based products such as Electronic Health Records and Medical Practice Management Systems. Health IT professionals are getting increasingly more involved with healthcare industry. They collaborate with the medical teams to drive enhanced outcomes, improved accuracy, and reduced care cost.
The combination of health information management and health information technology greatly improves the effectiveness and quality of healthcare. While errors and redundancies are eliminated, the efficiency of clinical as well as administrative processes are considerably improved.
How Does Health Information Technology Influence Healthcare Delivery
Health information technology—the application of information processing by making use of computer software and hardware—facilitates smooth storing, retrieval, sharing, and easy use of medical information and knowledge for decision making and communication. It represents communication attributes and computers which may be networked effectively for building efficient systems to move medical information.
Revitalizing the healthcare management system is crucial in achieving accessibility, quality, and efficiency that enhance healthcare delivery across the globe. When health information technology is put to effective use by medical professionals and healthcare organizations, quality improvement is enabled, facilitating them to greatly improve their ability of delivering high-quality care while improving patient outcomes considerably.
Factors That Support Adoption of Health IT to Achieve Healthcare Quality Improvement
To be able to accomplish the intended quality improvement in the healthcare sector by improving health information management and using health information technology products, certain interconnected factors need to be considered:
- High-performance IT tools that facilitate tracking as well as extraction of data
- Practice work flows and processes that incorporate efficient use of health information technology for achieving enhanced quality
- Practice culture that has strong commitment toward health information technology usage for enhancing quality
- Clinical team and staff’s skills and knowledge associated with health information technology and quality improvement
- Assistance in transformation for building the necessary skills, work flows, and processes that demand collaboration and coordination with IT professionals – this includes coaching and accessing recognized best practices
- Financial incentives for offsetting capital and training, along with clinical costs related to health information technology implementation
Major Categories of Health Information Technology That Render Health Information Management Efficient
The following are the three major categories of health IT:
- Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
- Electronic Health Record (EHR)
- Practice Management System
The following are the major sub-categories of modern health IT:
- Patient Portal
- Medical Billing
Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
EMR Systems are the digital counterparts of the paper-based medical records and charts. Patient histories and charts being digitized, accuracy and timely access to critical medical information is ensured in this system. These systems provide alerts when patients are due for screenings and preventive procedures. Physicians are empowered to compare patients’ health data and treat them in accordance with the medical information in hand.
Electronic Health Record (EHR)
EHRs are similar to EMRs in several ways. EHRs have the distinction of offering patient data sharing. While EMRs can be viewed within a practice only, EHRs may be accessed by any treating physician, thus ensuring provision of vital patient health information in a prompt and timely manner regardless of location. This ensures patient safety and increases provider efficiency.
Medical Practice Management System (PMS)
Helping medical practices and clinicians to effectively manage their various clinical and administrative aspects involved in their practices, practice management software centralizes different systems so that things can be run more efficiently in healthcare facilities.
Almost all the processes that fall under health information management can be automated by using this software. Optimizing providers’ time and making processes reliable and comfortable, this system empowers providers to increase their time with patients, resulting in better productivity and increased efficiency.
The Health Information Technology and Health Information Management Connect
The use of health information technologies such as EMR, EHR, and PMS enhance data sharing and communication. Providers using these systems can access comprehensive view of every patient’s medical data. This enables them to have a clear understanding of patients’ needs.
The ability to access clinical information across specialties and organizations is one of the primary advantages that lead medical professionals toward providing the best healthcare possible to their patients.
The success of information infrastructure at individual and population levels, by enabling information flow among various stakeholders in healthcare, helps maximizing utility of information. With due consideration for data security and standards, such information proves crucial in attaining the capability to provide the most optimal care to patients.