Grand Hospital is non-profit health care organization located in Midwestern state. The Hospital holds 209 beds and provides a wide range of outpatient and inpatient services. The organization employs 1600 personnel among them 1250 full-time employees. The hospital has a 225 medical staff and an operating budget of over 130 million dollars (Wager & Glaser, 2009). Due to its quality services and excellent facilities, the organization has a "A" credit rating. However, the Hospital operates in a remarkably competitive environment given that there are over 100 hospitals surrounding it. Due to the increased health care needs of its patients, the hospital is currently been expanded and renovated. As a result, Grand hospital is striving to recruit physicians to help meet the health care needs of the developing population as well as to take the place of the retiring physicians. In this regard, the hospital leadership is exploring the potential application of telemedicine technologies to help in handling the organization's requirements in radiology, critical care medicine and behavioral health.
1: What are the ways in which Grand's early adoption of health care information system technologies might affect its adoption of telemedicine solutions)?
ICTs hold a considerable prospective to handle the challenges experienced by most hospitals in offering cost effective, high quality and accessible health care services. Particularly, Grand hospital needs to embrace creative approaches to improve physician coverage for radiology; critical care medicine and behavioral health can receive improvements through information and communication technologies. Notably, telemedicine utilizes ICTs to rise above geographical obstacles besides augmenting access to health care services. Telemedicine signifies utilization of ICT to enhance the outcome of patients through increasing medical information and care access. Telemedicine enhances provision of health care services where distance is a crucial aspect and works in interest of improving individuals and communities' health. The main objective of telemedicine is to improve health upshots, overcome geographical barriers through use of ICT. Telemedicine reduces the variability of diagnoses besides enhancing clinical management and provision of health care services (Latifi, 2004). Telemedicine enhances sharing of healthcare expertise across regions.
The advances in computer and internet technologies creates new possibilities for patients and their doctors where doctors use computers to send live video, high-resolution images and sound between two distance locations. Doctors also examine long distance patients. Such strategies reduces cost and enhance efficiency through better retention and retrieval of records, management of chronic diseases and shared health professional staffing. Telemedicine allows transfer of medical information through internet, phones for purpose of examinations and more importantly, consulting.
In this regard, Grand Hospital early adoption of health care information system technologies may positively affect its adoption of telemedicine solutions. Among the major challenges that affect implementation of telemedicine solutions is communication. Communication is key to any successful telemedicine activity. Given that the hospital had already adopted health care information system in key areas such as laboratory, management, patient registration and EMRs, implementing telemedicine will be much easier (Latifi, 2004). The capability and availability of technology is another major challenge to telemedicine implementation. However, Grand Hospital has since 1995 utilized health care information systems. The availability of technology in the hospital and the ability to use it, maintain it and service it will make it much easier for the hospital to adopt telemedicine solutions. More so, having adopted health care information systems, Grand Hospital perhaps met all legal considerations, which include legislation governing privacy, access, liability needs, and this would be a positive effect towards adoption of telemedicine solutions. Technological challenges are other factors that prevent implementation of telemedicine solutions. This is because telemedicine systems are complex. Nevertheless, Grand Hospital introduced health care information systems since 1995 and the professional knows how to handle malfunction thereby preventing hardware or software failure.
2. What do you see as the most likely barriers to the success of telemedicine in the areas of radiology, behavioral health and intensive care? Which of these areas do you think would be the easiest into telemedicine and which is hardest?
Radiology service is known for its considerable use of telemedicine where scores of images are read. Digital images are distributed to experts through broadband networks (Gullo, 2011). Telemedicine entails applications using two-way email, video, phones and other types of telecommunication technology. Telemedicine applications are in hospital operations, home health agencies and specialty departments. With technology advancements, the film-based imaging embraces digital…