Health informatics is the use of Information Technology IT in healthcare delivery. IT-based innovations are developed, designed, and adopted to enable more acquisition, processing, and study of patient data. Using health information systems, appropriate organization, and analysis of health records improve patient administration and patient outcomes. Healthcare information is evolving with innovations to improve patient care. Health informatics provide mechanisms to improve data mining and processing to facilitate evidence-based medication essential for better patient administration and outcome.
The application of health informatics facilitates ample administration and better patient outcomes. Informatics ease information discovery, retrieval, and delivery to support health professionals in acquiring, process, generating, and disseminating knowledge (Mastrian & McGonigle, 2019). Healthcare providers can use informatics evaluation to discover new medical trends and collaborate effectively to increase the accuracy of healthcare delivery. Appropriate data evaluation improves the quality of health care services that patients receive. Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems offer better and more efficient patient records storage. Health informatics improves administrative functionality by supporting clinical decision support and facilitating information storage to improve patient care.
Informatics create a mechanism where patients can share health-related information with their health attendants. Digital healthcare systems enable patients to provide clinicians with accurate information critical to enhancing patient control over their care. According to Theodos & Sittig (2021), patient-centered care introduced by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2001 is the trending landmark of offering quality care to patients. The IT-based patient care model is also cost-effective compared to traditional methods. Health informatics provides a mechanism that allows accurate discovery, processing, and delivery of healthcare data to improve patient care and outcome.
Healthcare information systems are evolving to manage vast amounts and types of data. Before informatics, paperwork was utilized in healthcare systems. Paperwork was erroneous, tiresome, and time-consuming, influencing the challenging and poor delivery of healthcare services. The idea of integrating computers in research and information processing began in 1959 after World War II to reduce errors in hospital systems. Informatics was developed to incorporate data with reference links in clinical care plans. Diverse kinds of healthcare technologies were developed in bio-engineering, biophysics, epidemiology, biometry, and clinical documentation. Each clinician can have access to appropriate sources using their personalized computers. Medical computing was developed to improve efficacy in healthcare delivery.
The Institute of Translational Health Sciences advanced information mining, intelligence archives, and Research Electronic Data Capture REDCap (Mastrian & McGonigle, 2019). REDCap is an informatics software tool developed mainly for research with high customizability to improve information mining and evidence-based information in medicine. REDCap offers fast and secure information processing systems that have multisite access features to boost the global database. The Information Systems and Technologies (IST) have advanced computerized diagnostic and decision support systems that have extended success in medical management. ISTs have contemporary methodologies with aspects to assess medical progress and support decision-making based on evidence-based data.
Information collected from a diverse patient population is analyzed in academic research to provide evidence-based medicine. Information mining is critical to access useful information to diagnose changes, establish dependency networks and detect anomalies. Health informatics evaluates information from different medical treatments to determine the most effective medical care. Evidence-based medicine promotes optimal patient outcomes and provides national standards of patient care. There is a need for more exploration and examination of health informatics to improve healthcare delivery. Data mining and evidence-based medication increase the patient healing rate and lessen treatment costs.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) incentivizes electronic health record systems. The financial support to facilitate the research and development of informatics tools will improve healthcare delivery. The Obama administration initiated the financial stimulation package to improve health information technology. The cost of transition from paperwork to digital systems was expensive, and hence HITECH is intended to encourage hospitals to adopt health informatics. HITECH also introduced tougher penalties for non-compliance to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act HIPAA. HITECH was considered the most important piece of healthcare legislation enacted for the previous 30 years due to its significance in healthcare reform.
HIPAA is a privacy rule to protect patient’s information and records. Medical informatics facilitates HIPAA regulations by using digital security measures such as personal portals for patients. Protecting patient information means that there must be encryption in any kind of healthcare IT. There is, however, a void in HIPAA regulations that can allow data to leak in the application of mobile health, wearable, and genomic registries (Theodos & Sittig, 2021). A ransomware attack can overrun the security systems compromising patient information. The HITECH legislation requires changes to prioritize the informatics system by providing more funding to further research in IT-based healthcare delivery. More research in healthcare IT will bridge the security gap currently existing in informatics to ensure full compliance with HIPAA guidelines. There is a need for more research to acknowledge privacy and security in digital health data.
Mastrian, K., & McGonigle, D. (2019). Informatics for health professionals. Jones & Bartlett Learning. Web.
Theodos, K., & Sittig, S. (2021). Health Information Privacy Laws in the Digital Age: HIPAA Doesn’t Apply. Perspectives in health information management, 18. Web.