Healthcare is one of the most important services that any community needs to have in place because good healthcare ensures better wellbeing for society. Healthcare provision and its management are therefore the backbones of any society’s healthcare needs because it will either ensure that the society gets a good healthcare system. To have a good healthcare system that is adequate for a given society, there is a need to have current and up-to-date information, which calls for good information management services. Several systems have been in place for some time now, but due to the ever-emerging challenges, there has always been the need to change the system to put in place a better one for the sake of efficiency. Emerging technology also calls for the adoption of new systems that simply make the work easy.
Significant New Technology
Technology as a wide field can be described as dynamic due to the different functions it carries, as well as due to its continuous evolution. Technology in the healthcare system keeps improving to make the services better for the clients. The newest significant technology requirement for the health system is the E-Power to the patient. This technology involves the patients using healthcare services by taking an increased role and responsibility in the management of their health issues. Under this model, various technological applications are designed, which can be used by patients to get more information on their healthcare needs and management (Eason, 2012, p. 52). Such applications that can be used on smartphones and other popular gadgets are used to disseminate information to the patient as a way of empowering them to use online services. E-Power also uses technology to share experiences among patients thus giving out a platform for both learning and sharing of information. Earlier detection strategy is yet another requirement in the health care sector. Under earlier detection, technology is now being used to make the earliest detection of diseases. This goal is being achieved using such inventions as the camera pill, which examines the cells of the body to show the earliest characteristics of a disease before it starts showing out (Eason, 2012, p 53). This strategy is meant to arrest conditions such as cancer before they get to a stage when they will be more complicated to manage. In addition, high-tech healing is a technological trend that leads to a breakthrough on how diseases can be treated with the latest technology. It involves the use of technology instead of drugs to arrest conditions such as diabetes in patients using microchips and other gadgets that can reverse and treat certain health conditions.
Basic Technology Underlying Healthcare Information Systems
The basic technology underlying healthcare information systems are the ability of the system to store relevant data about a specific patient, with a possibility of retrieving the data at any remote point. Technology in this case provides a network that healthcare providers can use to access information and to give prescriptions to patients. This network allows different players within the health system to work in concert in an effort to provide the specific services that they are supposed to give to a specific patient. It allows the healthcare system to work like a one-stop-shop where patients get the services they are required to get in one place without the need to move around (Ortiz et al., 2013, p.12). Technology supports such systems as the clinical decision support system and the clinical data warehousing/mining application among many other applications. It enables insurance companies to process payments online. The need for technological modification is important because it will allow health providers to work in compliance with federal law in the provision of services to patients. It will also curb incidences of fraud that have plagued the insurance industry by giving the needed access to insurance companies to probe claims before they can pay them (Eason & Waterson, 2012, p. 285). Technology will improve standards that are offered by healthcare providers by availing information to patients and service providers so that patients and the service providers are fully informed on any information that they may need to have. Such sharing of information enables fast decision-making to take place. Therefore, technology has made it easy for different players to access the most up-to-date information from remote locations on the same patient.
Recommendations for Innovation
Innovations that should be put in place when using technology should include e-prescribing, which is applied when patients can get their prescriptions online from the doctor without the need for them to visit a doctor physically. This will happen when the necessary technology has been put in place together with policies to guide how the process will work (Zafar & Sneha, 2012, p. 196). The purpose of the policy framework will be to guide and provide restrictions where necessary so that the system is not abused because it comes with a lot of independence. E-prescribing will be a complimentary service that would work well where the information system is up-to-date so that a patient can visit any doctor anywhere and that the doctor can access the patient’s records from where he or she will be to prescribe medicine for him or her. On the other hand, the doctor can prescribe medication to the patient, with a possibility of accessing the prescription from any point the patient will go to buy the medication. Another area that needs innovation is consumer privacy. Consumer privacy is a part of the required ethics as provided for in medical ethics (Maass, 2012, p. 115). Consumer privacy can be achieved by creating a restricted online system that would control who handles, which information, and/or who can access what information. The health information exchange, therefore, has to be applied only when the necessary policy has been put in place to ensure that an individual’s health records are not accessed by unauthorized persons. For instance, a local hospital should be able to create a patients’ profile online and post it to the database that will allow other practitioners to access it. The system will therefore have to be standard so that all the entries made into the system follow a certain order.
Key Action by Healthcare Leadership
Healthcare leadership should invest in research that will enable the development of better healthcare technology. This can happen through the funding of programs that encourage innovativeness as well as providing the necessary training to the available staff. Technology is dynamic. It will therefore require continuous development of resources so that the community benefits from them. The leadership should also develop a policy framework that will enable the new technological innovations to work smoothly without contravening the law and other ethical requirements that are supposed to be met and/or be observed (Eason, 2012, p. 54). The leadership should take the campaign to the masses as a way of selling the idea to them so that everybody makes sure that he or she is within the operational framework of the new technological innovations. Community leaders such as politicians, social workers, celebrities, and other recognizable personalities can be used to promote innovations so that they are taken up quickly by people. Good healthcare technology will lead to better healthcare services because it will make it easy for people to access healthcare in an informed way that will enable them to seek services at the earliest opportune moment (Urhuogo, 2013, p. 5). It will also make it easy for healthcare workers to provide better services because they will be having better technology for doing it as well as adequate information on the patient. Lack of information is dangerous when providing a medical service because it can lead to misdiagnosis. Thus, to eliminate the need of interrogating patients as a way of getting their past medical records, which might as well be inadequate, there will be the need to have a system that will provide comprehensive information that will be used to give the patient the necessary medical services.
The importance of a healthcare system cannot be underestimated in any circumstance because it has great long-term effects on the community as a whole. Technology has simply made it easy to provide healthcare services although it should not be seen as a replacement for human capital in this field. Human capital is the backbone of healthcare services because it cannot be replaced by technology in any case, but can be complemented by technology to make the service better. Therefore, with improved technology, which is supported by the necessary policies, healthcare provision can be achieved to the highest levels.
Eason, K. (2012). Bottom Up and Middle Out Approaches to Electronic Patient Information Systems: A Focus on Healthcare Pathways. Informatics In Primary Care, 20(1), 51-56.
Eason, K., & Waterson, P. (2012). The Implications of E-health System Delivery Strategies for Integrated Healthcare: Lessons for England. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 1(1), 284-310.
Maass, W. (2012). Design and Evaluation of Ubiquitous Information Systems and Use in Healthcare. Decision Support systems, 5(2), 113-121.
Ortiz, D. et al. (2013). Use of Information Technology to Improve the Quality of Healthcare in the United States. Health Services Research, 38(2), 11-17.
Urhuogo, I. (2013). Global Information Systems Innovation: Healthcare Digital Records. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 4(3), 1-12.
Zafar, H., & Sneha, S. (2012). Ubiquitous Healthcare Information System: Crossing the security Chasm. Communications of AIS, 31(1), 193-206.