Technology In Healthcare Essay

Technology in Healthcare It is a fact of life today that technology pervades everything. It is hardly a surprise that this is true for health care as well. Indeed, the very nature of health care, in that it provides human beings with a better chance at a higher quality of life, requires that some degree of technology is necessary. This is also important in terms of leadership in health care. If health care leaders are to be effecive in any way, there needs to be some focus on technology. Indeed, technology has advanced in such a way that health care can only benefit from it, and particularly when leaders function as pioneers and users of the technology that is available, while also using such technology to benefit their patients. However, one must also take into accoun the various potential hazards presented by technology, and particularly where this could impact the rights and privacy of a patient.

According to Torrens, for example, technology both benefits and "ails" the American health care system. Policy makers and analysts, for example, need to take into account the various trends that have become part and parcel of the health care field, including how a long and productive life is achieved, the costs of long-term care, the rationing of health care, and the harvesting of human organs and transplants.

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As such, it is acknowledged that health care technology is not limited to a single category that might be regarded as a whole. The author points out that this is a common misconception in the health care field.
Indeed, acknowledging that the concept of health care technology takes a variety of forms and classfications is key to not only understanding it, but also to applying it effectively in one's capacity as leader or policy maker. It is therefore important, in terms of implementation, to focus on specific areas of technology in order to ensure that specific target areas are met.

One such specific target is information technology. According to Ovretveit et al. (2007), informattion technology can significantly assist record keeping methods within the health care setting, and specifically within the hospital setup. As in any technologically driven implementation, however, the authors acknowledge that there can be various drawbacks. The most commontly cited drawbacks relate to increased personnel training and implementation times. However, once IT systems are in place, the advantages far outweigh any drawbacks, including long-term time savings and increased efficiency when dealing with patient and personnel records. In practical terms, typing in a name or other search term and waiting for results is far less time intensive than physically searching through a filing cabinet.

Bates (2002), however, suggests, that there have been several barriers to implementing effective IT systems in healthcare, and particularly with a view towards improving overall quality. Despite the fact that research evidence is mounting in terms of how IT can improve the quality of both service and general operations within the healthcare setting, there have been a number of barriers to such implementations.

Three specific barriers, as Bates (2002) cites, include a lack of financial incentive for implementing IT systems, legal…

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