In the last three decades, information technology abbreviated as IT has significantly changed the medical field (Evans, 2016). The era of manual filling of medical records and accurate charting is decreasing. With the emergence and advancement of information technology in electronic record-keeping, telehealth, and mobile technologies, patients and medical professions have more data access. Doctors can now connect with patients both in hospitals and in different geographical locations (Evans, 2016). With IT being used in various infirmaries, it has to meet different reactions by different stakeholders. While some embrace changes associated with it, others oppose it, thus preventing its implementation. According to (Gooch 2018), some nurses opposed new information technology expressing that it takes personal associates between them and patients, while research involving 600 nurses revealed that approximately 82% held that information system positively influences patient care. For medical professions, information technology assists them in providing better care for patients, enhance the quality of healthcare despite being affected by various factors and shareholders who decline to support the change it brings in the healthcare field.
There is a desire to embrace information technology in the medical field since it offers better care for patients and aids in attaining health equity. IT supports the inventory of patient information to enhance the delivery of healthcare and permit for the assessment of this data by both the government agencies or the ministry of health and health professions (Muinga et al., 2018). Therefore, this information is utilized for policy implementation primarily to improve treatment and avert the spread of ailments.
Information technology in medical care also helps to reduce medical errors in middle and low-income nations. The necessity for affordable and efficient medical software is significant. For example, the Open MRS community aids to meet this particular requirement by establishing and backing the Open Medical Record System. This is an open-source electronic health record abbreviated as an EHR platform that is free and primarily developed for low-resource environments. Information technology also enhances health care quality by offering accurate patient records (Muinga et al., 2018). Thus, with extensive patient history, physicians can precisely treat diseases and avert wrong prescriptions that may be lethal.
While decreased human error is a major force motivating information technology in medical care, data security threats prevent it. With IT in place, conventional processes are simplified. For instance, automated IV pumps help measure medicine drugs prescribed to patients. This results in a rapid reaction for altering drip quantity and prescription. Data security threats, however, prevent the adoption of IT in the medical field. Most electronic data, particularly in EHR, are maintained in the cloud and is prone to hacking (Goldstein, 2014). Thus, where an inexperienced health professional may click malware, the entire EHR stands the threat of being compromised.
Information technology is mainly implemented in a hospital setting. It encompasses different infrastructures and technologies utilized in recording, assessing, and sharing information related to patient health. One of the significant information technologies that may be implemented in the infirmaries in the health record systems. Others may include personal health devices, such as smart apps and devices. They all help improve patient care and attain health equity.
The key stakeholders of the information technology in the medical field include medical professions such as doctors, nurses, and patients. They are individuals with different interests in information technology. Therefore, they may be must be considered before deciding to implement it.
The key stakeholders are the main barriers to the implementation of information technology. They, however, do not accept every type of IT. Nurses, for instance, are not open to change associated with IT since they view it as a threat to substitute person-to-person relationships between medical professions and patients. For example, robotics nurses are becoming an emerging change in the medical field. In Japan, they are being used as an approach to decrease the burden of nurses. They, however, lack human touch and empathy, which is a major barrier to their implementation in hospitals
Meeting the Objectives
To meet ensure patient care is improved, there is a need to have affordable and reliable medical record software. Thus, it would be essential to install a health record system such as Open Medical Record System. It is developed for low-resource environments, and unlike other systems, it is entirely free (Kasthurirathne et al., 2015).
Excellent communication skills and budgeting knowledge will be essential. Implementing a plan does not encompass only sitting behind a computer installing different information technologies such as electronic health records. One is required to talk to other medical professions within the hospital. Communication will be used to relay information on how to use and maintain it if such technology is to be successful. Education to manage purchases related to a specific technology is also essential to remain with a certain budget. This would be possible through the combination of financial and organizational skills to make sure hospitals do not overspend, and nurses and physicians have what they required to attend to patients.
Short and Long-Term Goals
A short-term goal of this plan is to improve the quality of care received by 95% of patients visiting hospitals. It will be achieved through the use of an electronic health system to track and monitor their treatment requirements and appointments while within the infirmaries. A crucial long term goal is decreasing the number of patients visiting infirmaries by 40% in the next two years. This would be achieved by implementing online care where doctors are nurses who can attend to patients with minor diseases without physical visits to the hospitals.
Sources of Power
In the medical field, there are different types of power from doctors and managers, such as expert and coercive power (Gabel, 2012). For example, doctors are a source of expert power since they have knowledge, abilities, and talents to treat various diseases. The purpose of expert power is to acknowledge how to do their job. Hospital managers are also a source of power. They can influence other individuals such as doctors, nurses, and surgeons to execute various activities, for example, attending a certain number of patients within a stipulated time frame. They use coercive power to keep medical professions in line to achieve the formulated organization objectives (Gabel, 2012).
Anticipated Steps of Change
- Pre-contemplation. In this phase, it is expected that people will underestimate the advantages of altering behavior with the implementation of information technology (Jalilian et al., 2016).
- Contemplation. Medical professions will start recognizing that their behavior may be a challenge to their work and may begin considering both merits and demerits of the implemented information technology.
- Preparation. In this phase, they will be ready to accept the implementation of information technology systems in the next month and start believing it can result in better patient care and quality healthcare.
- Action stage. They will accept change and start using the IT systems implemented.
- Maintenance stage. Medical professions will be working with the IT systems and avoid returning to periods with no such systems (Jalilian et al., 2016).
- Termination stage. They would not have any desire to return to the previous stage without information technology.
Information technology may be resisted due to attitude and beliefs, as well as finances. For example, some medical professions may have false beliefs that a newly introduced information technology is meant to replace them. Thus, they will tend to resist its implementation. Hospital managers may also resist a newly introduced information system due to finances involved in its implementation. Some technology may require intensive financial resources that if accepted, may jeopardize operations in other areas within the hospital, therefore, contributing to its resistance
The success of information technology in the medical field would initially be revealed by an increasing number of patients visiting or contacting the services of a particular hospital where it has been implemented. This would be measure by comparing the number of patients who attended the infirmary before and after its implementation. This plan may evolve over the years by decreasing the number of patients that physically visit the hospitals, especially those with a minor illness that may be treated through online hospital platforms. This would leave hospitals to the recipient only patients with severe illness who need intensive and close care. Therefore, the vision of this plan is to enable hospitals that embrace information technology to become leaders in offering compassionate and quality patient-based care that meets the requirements of every patient through personalized, accurate, and intensive care.
This paper helped me integrate external knowledge with that learned in the course. It was possible through thorough research that I conducted in various aspects related to information technology such as stages of change and relating how it may be experienced in the medical field. This is evident through referencing and in-text citations of all borrowed information to acknowledge their authors and avoid plagiarism. Therefore, this has helped me view how some of the theoretical concepts learned in the course operate in their respective setting.
Gabel, S. (2012). Power, leadership, and transformation: the doctor’s potential for influence. Medical education, 46(12), 1152-1160. https://doi.org/10.1111/medu.12036
Goldstein, M. M. (2014). Health information privacy and health information technology in the US correctional setting. American Journal of Public Health, 104(5), 803-809. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301845
Gooch, K. (2018, March 26). Survey: 82% of nurses have a positive view of technology's influence on patient care. Becker's Health IT. https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/survey-82-of-nurses-have-positive-view-of-technology-s-influence-on-patient-care.html.
Jalilian, F., Mirzaei-Alavijeh, M., Matin, B. K., Mahboubi, M., Firoozabadi, A., & Hatamzadeh, N. (2016). Understanding mammography behavior among the west of Iranian women: stage of change model testing. Arvand Journal of Health and Medical Sciences, 1(3). doi: 10.4103/2277-9531.102050
Kasthurirathne, S. N., Mamlin, B., Grieve, G., & Biondich, P. (2015). Towards standardized patient data exchange: integrating an FHIR based API for the open medical record system. https://doi.org/10.3233/978-1-61499-564-7-932
Muinga N, Magare S, Monda J, Kamau O, Houston S, Fraser H... & Paton C. (2018). Implementing an open-source electronic health record system in Kenyan health care facilities: a case study. JMIR medical informatics, 6(2), e22. doi: 10.2196/medinform.8403
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