Trends in healthcare are fast shifting with the inclusion of evidence-based practices. The patients are becoming more conscious of their rights, demanding confidentiality, and quality care. One of the critical elements of healthcare is healthcare records. Health records have been affected by technological advancement, creating a migration pattern globally to electronic health records. They improve patient satisfaction through access to information, quick record-taking procedures, the confidentiality of the data stored, and patient data sharing among different health practitioners, thus assuring high patient care. Information technology introduces system automation, improves patient access to information and patient outcomes while negatively affecting nursing students’ learning due to security protocols.
Impact of Information Technology on Health Records
Information technology has impacted the health record giving rise to electronic health records. A health information system is used in communication services and agent points in the healthcare setting while employing different communication devices. The devices such as computers, personal digital assistance, fax machine, telephone, and smartphones can be applied together with various software to realize a stable health record-keeping system with a robust database (Kamil et al., 2020, p. 1652).
The database can have interaction mode, security protocol, communication device, communication policies, and even agent points. Designing the database and information system for health records, policies, and procedures must be well outlined for the system’s legal requirement and stability. Besides, an elaborate electronic health record-keeping system has communication devices such as smartphones and computers through which data exchange occurs. Devices are used to define communication services through which the data is channeled. The communication approaches include user input modules, emails, text messaging, and voice mail (Dalal et al., 2016, p. 180).
Exchange media services and embedded systems are integrated through software, enabling active operation (Kamil et al., 2020, p. 1652). Lastly, the modern electronic health record system has security protocols. Notably, information technology trends show the commercialization of biodata. Therefore, every healthcare system that implements the electronic health record system and databases must invest in security to avoid cyber-attacks and unauthorized access to patients’ information.
The implementation of information technology in health record keeping allows for automation of health systems. In healthcare, the patient reception desk, the emergency departments, the radiography sections, and the inpatient action points must be integrated with the hospital pharmacy for high patient outcomes and satisfaction. The integration of operation allows health practitioners to access patient information from different health facility departments (Hoover, 2016, p. 21).
For instance, a nurse monitoring a patient’s dialysis process can communicate with the health record database and input the new results, which will then be examined by the specialist to determine the best care for the patient. Also, the automation of the information access within the healthcare facility allows for the easy transfer of care between different health practitioners and referral to another health facility.
The information technology within the healthcare record-keeping enables the presentation of up-to-date, complete, and accurate patient’s health information within different levels of care. Electronic health records’ achievement includes quick and easy data entry, with some systems auto-filling the information based on the patient’s history. The data is usually presented in pre-designed software templates with clear guidelines of use. Whenever a patient accesses health services, the information is updated and a new file stored (Hoover, 2016, p. 22). The electronic data is accurate since it can be cleaned for anomalies.
Information technology safeguards the patients’ data from unauthorized access within a health facility. The electronic health records achieved by the information technology systems facilitate privacy, confidentiality, and data security within the health record systems (Hoover, 2016, p. 21).
Traditional health records were stored in physical files that could be stolen and misplaced. Physical files can be read by an unauthorized person, thus leaking personal information about a patient. The current technologies used in achieving the electronic health record systems have security features that allow for user logins with special security keys (Hoover, 2016, p. 22). If shared through the Internet, the information platform has firewalls and other security protection protocols against cyber-attacks. The data is safe under the electronic health records (EHR), unlike the traditional methods.
The EHR, influenced by information technology, improves productivity with the healthcare facility, reduces the cost of operation, and promotes reliable prescription (Hoover, 2016, p. 22). Healthcare across the world is adopting evidence-based practice to improve patient outcomes. Patients demand reliable services, quick delivery of the services, and reduced cost in healthcare. Electronic health records facilitate informed decisions among the service providers, thus promoting accurate prescriptions since the patient’s information is readily available.
The access and sharing of patients’ data within the health facility speed the service delivery and allows for attending to many patients in a day; thus, the hospital capacity is improved. The electronic records eliminate the bookkeeping provision cost, which minimizes the budget for hospital management. On the patient’s side, quick service delivery and reliable outcomes improve both time and money. Therefore, information technology transforms health record-keeping, which improves clinical decisions, healthcare efficiencies, and lowers healthcare costs.
Impact of Technology Application on Health Record on Students
However, the effects of the information technology application on health records have adverse impacts on students. The electronic health records are designed with security features aimed at protecting the patient’s safety and outcome. The security protocols hinder the students’ access to information during the healthcare facility’s learning sessions (Matson et al., 2014, p. 582). Competence-based learning entails practice and observation.
Therefore, nursing students need to examine the patients’ information to understand the manifestation of various health conditions. The required data include the symptoms and signs recorded from a patient and the medication’s nature. Besides, the students need to understand the side effects of the administered drugs on different patients. All the information is available in the healthcare records. Therefore, electronic health records should concentrate on risk aversion and have policies that allow medical and nursing students access to patient information as trusted practitioners (Matson et al., 2014, p. 583). Healthcare students must be treated as trusted members of the profession.
Additionally, electronic health records demand technology education for nursing students. The course should incorporate system troubleshooting, computer typing skills, spreadsheets, and database management insights. During the training, the students need to be introduced to online service delivery platforms, telemedicine concepts, and security requirements. Telemedicine entails remote monitoring of patients and sharing information through technology platforms (Kruse et al., 2018, p. 3).
Most healthcare electronic healthcare records are automated through Internet access, particularly healthcare facilities, with departments located in different geographical locations. The students need to understand the importance of adherence to security procedures and policies defined by the health facility (Matson et al., 2014, p.583). Therefore, the information technology introduction within the healthcare record-keeping demands proper training of the nursing students on the information technology concepts.
Reflectively, the research on the impact of information technology on health records has been resourceful. I have learned about the importance of electronic records over traditional methods. Notably, the healthcare operation’s automation has been a great discovery I have made during the assignment. I would encourage all hospitals in Ireland to automate the facility’s processes since it improves patients’ outcomes. Despite the advantages of electronic health records, security policies should treat students as trusted healthcare practitioners authorized to access patient information. I will aim to learn the emerging technological trends to remain relevant in my service delivery.
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Kruse, C. et al. (2018) The use of electronic health records to support population health: a systematic review of the literature. Journal of Medical Systems, 42(11). Web.
Matson, C. et al. (2014) Electronic health records: how will students learn if they can’t practice? The Annals of Family Medicine, 12(6), pp. 582-583. Web.