Healthcare Industry is not small and huge amount of information is available here whose proper management is very important. Various hospitals and healthcare institutions prefer IT as compare to conventional ways to manage everything. IT also provides various automated tools to perform healthcare operations and it is helpful for savings of cost and time. Besides this, there are also some essential impacts of IT on healthcare industry that enhancing its performance and growth (Asian Healthcare Management System, 2017).
The main questions that are important to discuss here in this report are why healthcare industry needs IT, Why IT is important for survival and what are the basic requirements to implement IT in healthcare industry?
1. As we have already discussed above that various healthcare organizations are already switched to IT for getting outcomes from its business activities. From this information it is already cleared that there is requirement of IT in healthcare industry (SearchHealthIT, 2017). IT in healthcare industry is also known as Health IT (Ahrq.gov, 2017). According to analysis we got to know that basic need of IT in healthcare industry is to design, develop, create, maintain and use of information systems (Ortiz and Clancy, 2017). Information technology also provides help to enhance quality of healthcare that is why in countries like USA, UK, New Zealand, Australia etc. IT is used for handling healthcare activities in hospitals. The needs of saving cost, error reduction, efficient healthcare services for patients etc. can be fulfilled by using Information Technology. IT also supports remote communication with medical students to explore themselves in education and prescriptions can also give to patients online via internet. Video conferencing, online messaging and calling and emails etc. are popular IT applications for remote calling. Through internet, it is possible for healthcare organization to get latest updates about healthcare industry that are happening worldwide, new research and information about treatments of critical disease. Due to these reasons, IT should be used in healthcare industry (IT et al., 2017).
2. Information Technology has become important for every business industry. In healthcare, Health IT is helpful for managing healthcare information, to provide better healthcare services to patients and sharing of information to others who need it. This can be done in secured and reliable way. In previous days, every healthcare activity was performed manually and it was a time consuming job. But this problem has resolved by Health IT. Following are some essential, benefits of Health IT that enhance its performance among people worldwide (B, 2017).
- By using Health IT accurate information can get about patient’s problem and this information can be used further by doctors to provide better treatment to them. This feature of Health IT reduces chances of mistakes in treatment of patients and family members of patient can also know that what has happened with patient and which treatment will be provided to him or her.
- The discussion about critical case can be done online with medical professionals or experts to get better suggestions to resolve problem. It will save time and efforts of healthcare professionals for providing better treatment to patients (Buntin et al., 2017).
- Information sharing is also possible by using Health IT. The important information about patients can be sent to its relatives and other doctors to take their suggestions is possible. It is very useful to tackle with emergency cases and effective decision can make on the behalf of available information (Krueger, 2017).
- By using advanced tools and techniques of Health IT, it has become also easier to diagnose critical health issues with less chances of errors at reasonable cost.
3. As we have discussed above benefits of Health IT for Healthcare industry. Therefore, it will be better to use Information Technology in Healthcare Industry, but before start usage of IT applications, the requirements of Health IT should be cleared to its users. In this segment we will emphasize on requirements of IT in Healthcare Business. The requirements of Health IT includes Cost, Planning, Hardware/Software components, planning, installation and training and designing (Aims Education, 2017).
Cost is an important requirement to apply IT in healthcare or any other business. The cost of IT applications is less as compare to conventional technologies. After analyzing we found that estimated budget to implement IT in Healthcare industry can be near about $80000 and even more. It basically depends upon size of hospital and its capacity for investing money in information technology (Chcf.org, 2017).
This is the most important step that should be taken into consideration before applying IT in healthcare business. Without planning, execution of any new technique in business industry causes big risk for users. In planning process, information about required tools and techniques should be collected and their analysis should be done. Besides this, software and hardware equipments, their specifications and cost should also be mentioned in planning report. The knowledge about best vendors and suppliers of these components is also important, otherwise healthcare information system will not work properly and will also produce inaccurate results (Seriousgamesforhealth.com, 2017).
Next important requirement of IT implementation is regarding designing of IT system that will be used in healthcare industry. The designing and development of healthcare system is responsibility of developers and they have to make design according to requirements of healthcare institutions. The design of system should be user-friendly, so that all employees in healthcare institution can work easily and in secure way.
Software and Hardware Components
To execute an information system appropriately there is requirement to use software and hardware components that have better quality. The software components of healthcare system will be operating system, memory, CPU and third party software etc. On another side, hardware components will be hard drive, network cards, monitor, chips etc. If requirement of software and hardware components will be fulfilled only then healthcare information system will work continuously.
Training and Installation
It is possible that in healthcare organization some people may have non-IT background and they have no knowledge about working with Healthcare Information System. In this case, proper training for those employees is necessary from system experts, so that they can perform at least basic functions of healthcare information system. Before start usage of healthcare information system, proper installation or configuration of every component is necessary and it is responsibility of technical department of healthcare institution.
4. Information Technology is used in Healthcare at both external and internal levels. At internal level, employees of healthcare organization use IT system for different purposes such as storing, accessing and sharing data to others who require it. The complete information about patient from his admission to discharge and payment information is recorded into system by staff members of healthcare institution. This information is stored in organized form into system that can be used by management, stakeholders and any other staff member of hospital. Externally, this information is stored by customers and suppliers of healthcare institutions. Customers can be relative of patients who want to get records of patient, his/her treatment status and billing information. They can easily get this information from enquiry department of healthcare institution (Layden, 2017).
Besides this, medicine suppliers or other suppliers who serve hospital with its medical products and services, can use information system of healthcare institutions to know about its recent requirements for medical products. In this way, both at external and internal level, IT is useful in hospitals (Unc.edu, 2017).
Benefits and advantages brought to Healthcare by IT
From above discussion it is cleared that at large extent IT can help healthcare industry and can provide help in its growth. Here in this segment of report we will discuss about benefits and advantages of IT in healthcare (CCHIT, 2017).
- The advanced techniques and tools are introduced by IT in healthcare industry such as wearable device to measure the pulse and heartbeat of patients. It is better to improve efficiency of patient’s treatment.
- The ways of safety of healthcare are also improved by IT. Now treatments and remedies for small problems of patients can be done at home and patients can also concern with specialists online.
- IT services are inexpensive and safe medical extravagant of both patients and doctors. The visits of patients to doctor are decreased because they can talk them online through calls and messages.
- Use of HER i.e. Healthcare Electronic Records have reduced botheration of organizing huge amount of medical information about patients and other information regarding hospital.
- IT is considered the best way to reduce expenses of hospitals and increase their revenue (Aims Education, 2017).
Risks of Implementing IT in Healthcare
Whether there are some benefits of implementing IT in healthcare then on other side, there are also some risks involved that should be in noticed of every healthcare organization. These risk factors are related to maintenance of security and privacy of data that is stored into information system. Unauthorized access of information by unauthorized person, misuse of information and virus attack ion information system can be encountered by healthcare organizations. These activities are performed by hackers and after accessing this information they can misuse this information. Malware and denial of service attacks have encountered by some healthcare organizations that are using Health IT. The reason behind these risks can be improper maintenance of security of information system and network to whom it is connected. These risk factors should be controlled by technical department of healthcare organizations properly to get better outcomes (Getreferralmd.com. 2017).
5. It is an important to maintain and monitor Information Technology by Healthcare Industry and to achieve this, advanced security tools should be used. These tools will be helpful to maintain security of system and will scan whole system to detect hidden viruses or bugs. The use of Anti-virus, firewall and cryptography techniques will be effective for maintaining IT system for long time. By using these tools, the protection of data can be maintained from unauthorized users. Therefore, technical department of healthcare organization should aware employees to use these tools properly.
After this whole discussion we can say that Information Technology has changed the way of working of healthcare industry. Now every healthcare activity can be performed in more reliable and secure way. From management of information to other healthcare operations can be performed by IT. So it will be beneficial for healthcare industry to use IT. But challenges and issues of using IT should be in knowledge of users and they should use all tools and techniques that are required to control IT problems. It will put positive impact on healthcare organization.
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