Critical Factors in Implementing an IT System in Health Facilities
A section of Health care firms has delayed in initiating medical records that operate on electronic platform. The first reason is that health centers had numerous objectives to accomplish hence they became reluctant in embracing medical records that are electronic. For instance, majority of hospitals were affected by these factors because their aim was to take care of the sick persons and treat them.
In addition, hospitals have a responsibility of ensuring that they impart skills and knowledge to other nurses and new physicians. This explains why they find it difficult to embrace information technology systems in their medical records. The second reason why health centers are reluctant to implement the electronic records is that they have structures that are highly varied and complicated. Due to these procedures, it becomes hard for the staff to integrate electronic devices. This is because they tend to maintain confidentiality of patient’s details and to avoid unauthorized persons from accessing them.
Thirdly, reluctance in using electrical records happens because hospitals have diverse employees. There is this category of medical professional who have high levels of authority, skills and autonomy. In most cases, the members of staff who are not highly qualified encounter difficulties in using the machines (Davies, 2011).
The impact of health insurance Portability and Accountability Act HIPAA on medical records of patients is evident when it incorporates a covered entity to safeguard their confidentiality. The needs of these regulations are essential to cover entities and facilitate provision of electrical medical services. As a result, it has made the entities to embrace technical and administrative secure measures that protect the records of patients. Another impact of HIPAA is evident when it controls access to details that are shared between EHR and its participants.
In this regard, there are various aspects that health facilities should consider to ensure that their physicians have access to PHI. This depends on the connection that the physician has with health care equipments. It is also based on the purpose that drives health physicians to offer treatment and access other operations in the health care system. The influence of HIPAA is clear when it determines whether physicians have permission to access patient’s records. It controls documentation and implementation procedures (Hash, 2005). This is by ensuring that the medical staff follows the right procedures to amend the medical records of patients.
The HIPAA act incorporates procedures and policies that impacts medical records of patients by addressing on aspects such as integrity and transparency. This act also has the authority to grant specific user names that help to locate and track identities of patients. This is accomplished via initiating regulations that identifies personal information. The influence of this policy to records of patients is apparent when it initiates audit logs. This is through launch of hardware and software mechanisms to control activities in information systems. Audit logs are significant because they aid in identification of facility and its operation policies.
Implementation of security and privacy by HIPAA has benefited a lot of clients by helping them to access health services that are of high quality. Furthermore, its impacts are evident when it grants patients the rights to be included in managing their treatment. Through HIPAA policy, patients have developed trust that enables them to comply with a culture that creates confidence in public towards medical services.
Conversely, critiques identified the negative effects that were created by HIPAA regulations. They claim that this act subjected majority of users to disclose the details of patients without their consent. Furthermore, this policy also restricted doctors to communicate to members of the family concerning health of the patient.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act HITECH was launched in 2009. This was to kindle implementation of electronic health records EHR and support technology in America (Davies, 2011).
The key advantages of adopting the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health HITECH are to promote use of electronic health records EHRs. As a result, this has helped in eliminating the medical errors hence boosted quality of health care services. This system has also transformed operations at the clinic from the analogue use of paper to digital records. According to the requirements of HITECH, it advocates for health providers to use electronic system to reduce on expenses and errors that apply in their services.
In addition, professionals in healthcare who adopt the HITECH act, find it easier to identify the demographics of patients via use of electronic records. In this regard, the doctor is able to note the details of the sick ranging from laboratory data and their past medical history. Furthermore, this act incorporates a CDs structure that assists providers to make decisions that will contribute to the healing process of the patient. This system enables medical professionals to access latest details that concerns prescription of drugs. It also creates awareness of issues that affect patients such as alerts for new drugs and referencing medication of patients on the computer (European Observatory on Health Care Systems, 2006).
In essence, HITECH act has enhanced growth of skills in the medical field. It is beneficial in a way that it fosters care delivery in an effective and safe way. Through it, health care providers have also been encouraged to embrace use of computers to record medical details. This practice has assisted to reduce potential errors that are attributed to poor writing by physicians. Another advantage is evident when it makes it simple for pharmacy staff and nurses to handle orders. This implies that employees will be in a position to offer services to patients without seeking clarification. It facilitates secure sharing of the patient’s details between hospitals. As a result, this reduces the expenses to travel physically to another location to access details of patients.
Professional in health care encounters various limitations after adopting the HITECH act. For instance, organizations have to keep up with increase in revenue and other expenses that come alongside use of electrical methods. The computer services that add up these expenses include transformation in billing errors. This act also leads to a situation whereby a huge number of costs that are linked to EHR are averted. This is a disadvantage to the firm because it increases tests of utilization and reduction of employees. The computer replaces the staff which makes some professional to loss their job positions.
HITECH act that facilitates use of electronic methods in health care have contributed to loss of productivity in a temporary manner. This is linked to factors such as privacy and patient’s information being subjected to security threats. It incorporates procedures that encounter issues in finances which are attributed to initiation and maintenance costs. These losses of funds in health organization decreases productivity. The entire procedure to adopt EHR is also expensive when it requires hospitals to buy and install computer systems. In addition, the costs of maintaining EHR are high. This is because it is a mandatory for clinics who adopt the system to upgrade and replace software regularly. Furthermore, medical professionals who intend to use the new system must be trained by experts. In return, all the costs are imposed to the third party payers. This is either in form of advanced efficiencies and averted errors.
Clearly, increase in costs and misalignment of motivation generates an obstacle to adopt and initiate electronic methods in health care. In most cases, this situation affects practitioners in smaller firms. This structure is also detrimental to work flows and its outcome is temporary loss in production. The condition arises when funds are used to train the medical staff leading to decrease in revenue (Davies, 2011). Another risk of the system is that it exposes the private information the sick persons. Due to the escalating cases that subjects records of patients to threats, policy makers have taken steps to ensure that patients have rights of privacy.
One strategy that medical members could embrace to reduce major disadvantages is by securing their machines by use of passwords. This is significant to avoid unauthorized individuals from invading privacy through accessing medical records of patients. Assessing the work flow procedures in health firms, they need to eliminate use of paper records to upgrade their services. A rationale that supports this response is that the old system contributes to time wastage when the staff moves to different locations to access details of patients.
The primary ways that major federal initiatives influences on health care and privacy of patients is via initiating electronic systems. This is significant when it aids in facilitating right to use records that belong to patients. Through federal initiatives, there are vital programs that offer training to the medical staff. This is relevant to employees because it instills them with skills to provide quality health care. The essential advantages of applying IT systems in health care firms are to facilitate simplicity in health care operations. These measures are also vital when they aid in saving time because electronic methods are usually conducted at a fast rate.
Embracing use of information technology in medical firms makes it easier for the staff to access records of the sick people. This is inclusive of situation that incorporates hospitals which operate from a distance but serve same patients. For instance, if a patient is referred to other hospitals in a different location, doctors and family members will not need to travel to make reference to his information (Hash, 2005). Another significance of information technology system is that it upgrades on quality of services that are offered at clinics. This is accomplished when doctors use improved equipments to facilitate healing among patients.
In the next two decades, the new IT systems in the field of health care will be use of high improved equipments to diagnose patients. These tools will range from mobile health services that will enable doctors to treat their patients. This is by detecting their health issues from a distance. This implies that they will use improvised machines to interact with their patients online and offer them effective treatment.
Davies, H. T. O., Tavakoli, M., Malek, M., & International Conference on Strategic Issues in Health Care Management. (2011). Quality in health care: Strategic issues in health care management. Aldershot: Ashgate.
European Observatory on Health Care Systems. (2006). Health care systems in transition. Copenhagen, Denmark: European Observatory on Health Care Systems.
Hash, J., & National Institute of Standards and Technology (U.S.). (2005). An introductory resource guide for implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule. Gaithersburg, MD: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Technology Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology.