Essay Example on Health Information Technology

Published: 2018-10-17
Essay Example on Health Information Technology
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Health and Social Care Medicine Information technologies
Pages: 8
Wordcount: 2089 words
18 min read

Southeast Medical Center

Extensive research depicts that Health Information Technology translates to heightened efficiency, productivity, cost minimization, quality, and security of medicinal care conveyance in the comprehensive healthcare system. These positive impacts are mirrored both domestically and on the global spectrum. The acknowledgment of these positive impacts is particularly imperative with regards to reports that reflect progressive trends and increments in healthcare expenses and increments in the quantities of adverse health issues (Kohn, Corrigan, & Donaldson, 2000). Furthermore, a lot of funds are lost and spent due to inefficiencies and preventable problems in the healthcare system. As a result, legislators and relevant organizations at all levels are necessitated to accentuate on the need for increased health IT investment. In so doing, these stakeholders emphasize on the significance and the necessity of the comprehensive health care system to implement Information Technology in the core operations of health care frameworks. Use of information has proven to be immensely valuable in increasing accessibility of information, versatility, automation of health services, and accuracy. Along these lines, this paper analyses a classical example of health IT investment. In so doing, the paper takes a gander at a case study of the Southeast Medical Center that set out to implement an array of clinical applications in the inpatient units across all its four enterprises.

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Southeast Medical Center that runs four industry clinics is currently facing an array of technological challenges in its core operations such redundancy of processes and lack of connectivity between related departments and processes. As a result, the board has now approved the implementation of new systems that will see the current EasyDoc replaced. Clinicians and IT experts have voiced numerous complaints about the system regarding its user-friendliness. These complaints, therefore, depicts the existence of various problems within the healthcare system that could hinder the general outcome and efficiency of the medical center. Most of these problems stem from database architecture and structure. Furthermore, the use of two different HER systems between the outpatient and inpatient without a connection between the two is also a challenge. Along these lines, the board of trustee has given the green light for the complete overhaul of the current system. Consequently, it becomes imperative to develop an assessment plan for this Health Information Technology investment.

Succinctly, better health translates into better lives. For instance, a person born a decade ago is likely to have a longer lifespan compared to a person born in the 1890s, be that as it may, these advancements in healthcare incorporate heightened investments in healthcare systems over time. Thus, determination of the real value of the investment on healthcare necessitates more than a consideration of the cost side of the equation. It becomes imperative to analyze the costs and benefits altogether. Investment in healthcare translates to value be it direct or indirect to individuals and the society in general (Cutler, 2007). One of the most significant forms of investments in health care is the health IT investment which has been attributed to an array of benefits.

Universal healthcare

Today, provision of universal healthcare endeavors to integrate and achieve innovation and high-cost advancements which prompt to strains in the healthcare systems. Many problems and challenges in the healthcare system stem from the way that the principle performers in the sector have diverse viewpoints on the value included by health advancements. On the one hand, taxpayers demand that direct benefits derived from health investment match up to the underlying costs. As a result, numerous assessment programs have been instituted to carry out oversee and evaluate such investments. The evaluation and regulatory programs regularly constrain access to healthcare either through blocked innovation or their limitation of utilization to just a subset of the population given that the programs are founded on the constructs of a quality-adjusted life year. On the other hand, producers feel that they ought to be sufficiently remunerated for their developments and require sufficient assets to put resources into further research. They feel that the limitations on the investment and cost of healthcare advancements emanating assessment programs' endeavors to confine their business potential and eventually the benefits from which future research must be supported. Producers, in any case, set research needs on the premise of the quest for an exploration speculation, rather than growing new advances that meet the neglected social need. Finally, patients, and the clinical experts who go about as their specialists see the estimation of healthcare advancements as far as the advantages that these give to the individual, independent of the costs falling on society all the more extensively. The reflection of these benefits might possibly be completely reflected in quality-adjusted life year. Along these lines, patients are concerned when they are denied access due to insufficient value for funds, as communicated through the incremental cost per quality added. In the event that practical access to health care is maintained in the future, methodologies are expected to accommodate these alternate points of view. Consequently, this case study analysis examines health IT investment as a solution of accomplishing the above-mentioned challenge.

One of the most significant roles of Health IT investment is to minimize medical errors. This innovation-based system has proven to immensely valuable in the reduction of the impacts of human errors across various industries. Health Information Technology frameworks may have a considerable effect on medicinal quality and security by incorporating significant computerized primary decision making and learning procurement apparatuses into the core processes of healthcare services, along these lines diminishing errors of exclusion that emanate from gaps in technical information or the inability to integrate and apply that information in clinical practice. These frameworks, when incorporated into bigger healthcare structures, may enhance essential medicinal decision-making and appropriate utilization of diagnostic tests and helpful specialists. In the ambulatory environment, health IT investment offers an assortment of advantages. First, it can enhance the productivity and budgetary strength of the practice. The past decades have seen various departments across industries utilize computerized scheduling and financial frameworks to streamline business operations by following practice efficiency and automation of compensation forms. Second, the utilization of ambulatory automated healthcare records additionally offers a chance to screen and enhance clinical quality by improving faster access to information and reducing redundancy. What's more, electronic prescription devices may improve the proficiency and security of prescribing practices in the outpatient setting similar to the effectiveness in the hospital setting. Furthermore, heightened health IT investment will permit the accomplishment of efficient connectivity and flow of information in an organization and across different groups. Nonetheless, the clinical agencies and healthcare providers have been reluctant in the investment of Health Information Technology.

Assessment plan and contingent valuation

There is an array of value assessment options that were explored in the evaluation of the value of Southeast's investment in the Epic outpatient and inpatient systems and expansion of its use of the data warehouse. First, was the customary alternative that involved leaving the primary clinical results in their regular units and let the trade-offs between them to be made by the management. This conventional approach is synonymous to a proposed alternative that was once suggested to the health sector in Germany (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, 2009). Be that as it may, there lacked and still lacks plausible involvement with this way to facilitate an adequate assessment and appraisal plan. The lack of experience to support this alternative, therefore, hindered its utilization.

Second, the assessment plan also considered an approach that would involve returning to giving assessments of readiness to pay through contingent valuation. This contingent evaluation approach is currently entrenched as an examination philosophy in the healthcare industry. Be that as it may, the plan lacks global experience and acceptance. The third approach is direct discrete decision tests to investigate people's valuations of the different properties of medications. This method has likewise settled itself as an exploration procedure and is presently drawing in the enthusiasm of leaders. The approach further empowers a few characteristics of treatment to be valued in respect to each other. These features incorporate clinical results as well as accommodation and length of therapy. Additionally, thorough explorations accorded to these alternatives involved an in-depth analysis of quality and efficiency attributes taking into account feedback from various stakeholders.

Quality Adjusted Life Year

The most efficient solution to the assessment of the value of Southeast's investment is the Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY). QALY is a standard tool that measures the tradeoff between costs and benefits in an investment venture. This assessment tool is founded on the basis that as long as technology includes the extra cost for additional benefits realized, there has to be a cost-efficiency threshold that evaluates the investmentts cost-effectiveness. QALY is a non-exclusive measure of disease weight, including both the quality and the amount of life, lived. It is utilized as a part of the economic assessment to evaluate the value of the investment of clinical intercessions. One QALY compares to one year in good health.

Evaluation and assessment of health IT investment raise two key economic issues regarding the party responsible for valuing outcomes and the valuation method to be employed. Subsequently, health care results can be assessed by patients, specialists, and other healthcare stakeholders and experts, or non-clinical professionals. Healthcare is not valued for its solitary sake but for what it permits the stakeholders to do. Along these lines, the Epic outpatient and inpatient systems and expansion of the data warehouse at Southeast medical center will allow the users to connect efficiently across various departments, reduce redundancy, promote accuracy, and efficient management of patient care quality and outcomes. In this manner, it is normal to get values from parts of the movement and to work with patients. The merit of looking for qualities from patients is that they have coordinated experience of a healthcare state and can along these lines show its impacts on them. A typical approach, with numerous variations, is to evaluate the exercises of day by day living that can be done, and their connection to the illness state. This can be connected to more extensive appraisals of the value of various exercises of ordinary life. In so doing the approach will be in a better position to evaluate applied independent of any one disease, which can be utilized nonexclusively to value changes in uses for a scope of various patient sorts. Accordingly, they give a conceivable reason for valuing health care results. Among the wide assortment of valuation tools and models, QALY is the most efficient in health economics. Despite the existence of the contentious debate based on methodological levels, the value set on healthcare issues might be exceptionally subject to other elements. Quality Adjusted Life Years, therefore is the most utilized measure of assessment. Be that as it may, maximizing aggregate QALYs over the populace, while producing the most utility from health investment, may not prompt to an appropriation of health results between individuals and general constructs.

Technological awareness with patient participation

First, implementation of the proposed solution necessitates heightened Patient Participation. Today, in an era of augmented globalization and increased health Information Technology investment, the decision-making process is proving to be overly complicated. Thus, the stakeholders who are most affected by these investment decisions and developments should be involved in the decision-making processes especially in light of the comprehension that these investments decisions are made under limited resources. Furthermore, patients' involvement should not be classified as passive but active hence the need for an increase in their degree of participation. Health IT investment is a comprehensive endeavor, and therefore its evaluation should also employ a holistic approach that incorporates patient's feedback and involvement.

Second, technological awareness is also imperative. Increased awareness of the general public and all healthcare stakeholders would facilitate the assessment process. In so doing, all stakeholders involved will be able to evaluate the benefits and cost Health Investment from critical perspective and a knowledgeable position. Such a move would also reduce the challenges that hinder the implementation of health information technology as a result of lack of knowledge.


Cutler, D. M. (2007). The Value of Antihypertensive Drugs: A Perspective on Medical Innovation. Health Affairs, 97-110.

Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. (2009). Methods for Assessment of the Relation of Benefits to Costs in the German Statutory Health Care System. Germany: German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care.

Kohn, L., Corrigan, J. M., & Donaldson, M. (2000). To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Washington: National Academy Press.

Wager, K. A., & Lee, F. W. (2013). Health care information systems. Jossey-Bass.

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