Health Care It Health Care Information Technology Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Health Care IT

Health Care Information Technology

The days of paper-based records in health care are fading. It is widely believed that the broad adoption of clinical applications such as computerized physician order entry (CPOE) can lead to major health care savings, help eliminate medical errors, and improve healthcare outcomes for patients (Lynn, 2011). Because of such benefits, the Obama administration included automated adoptions in health care as a part of its overall agenda calling for "the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America's medical records are computerized" (Obama, 2009).

Our organization moved to PharMerica's paperless administration system after a very careful analysis and assessment of the best solution for meeting the needs of the organization's specific clinical and business practices. The new clinical system eliminates the needs for peel-and-stick labels, faxes, handwritten documentation and manual processes. The outcome has been improved workflows and overall patient outcomes. By turning to technology, we have been able to extend health information technology into the realm of patient record keeping and automated healthcare processes (Kumar & Aldrich, 2010). Today, a patient's entire medical history can be converted to digital format and stored securely for use by various entities over time. This has allowed us to eliminate massive paper trails -- condensing relevant information into electronic form. Records are easily retrievable and enable patient's to navigate through the healthcare and pharmaceutical system in a safer and more efficient manner (Lynn, 2011). There is a higher level of standardization, security and improved privacy for patient information.

The PharMerica system allows us to work with new patient information as well as older records, generally pre-2000, which have been scanned and stored in a graphic format or as Adobe PDF documents (Gagnon, et al., 2010). This includes x-rays, test results, prescription histories, ultrasounds and MRIs which were formally recorded by hand and often illegible and subject to fading and damage over time (Kumar & Aldrich, 2010). Records are updated real-time for immediate access. This has meant an improved ability to manage more patients more efficiently (Lynn, 2011).

Some of the primary elements of the PharMerica system include computerized orders for prescriptions, computerized orders for tests, reporting of test results, and physician notes. Eliminating manual process in these areas has truly helped improve healthcare delivery; however, there are still areas that require a great deal of monitoring against human and data entry error. Privacy violations have at times resulted from non-designated users gaining access to confidential patient information. Records have at times been assigned to the wrong recipient. Little to no proofreading of entered data has led to misidentification of medication in some cases. Our organization has addressed these issues by requiring extensive training of staff in proper usage of critical technical systems, and by conducting routine needs assessments to identify technical vulnerabilities and address them head-on.

Similar to our COPE enhancements, the organization has also tackled administrative applications such as training…

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