Essay on Tech-driven Healthcare: Improving Quality of Care Through Automation

Published: 2023-11-28
Essay on Tech-driven Healthcare: Improving Quality of Care Through Automation
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Medicine Technology Healthcare
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1437 words
12 min read


Healthcare services play a significant role in people’s lives; therefore, every organization should improve the health service they provide. With the development of technology in almost every sector, healthcare has also utilized technology in its processes. However, not all processes are automated, and thus more paperwork is done that inhibits communication and can lead to medical errors. Technology enhances the quality of patient care by improving healthcare efficiency hence leading to the achievement of organizational goals and objectives. The increase in medical errors emanates from nurses’ recording mistakes, communication challenges, insufficient information flow, and organization transfer of knowledge. Therefore, this paper will focus on the healthcare issue of medical errors at the Atrium Health Organization. By following on the need for health improvement initiative, several pieces of research done that support the implementation of the Initiative as well as the steps needed to execute the Initiative, evaluation and the test to prove the success of the Initiative.

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Overview of the Problem

Medication errors have always been a problem in the healthcare industry. With many healthcare organizations working towards solving the problem, it is vital to look at the technological perspective and see how patient information can be stored and transferred efficiently. Atrium health medical groups have invested a lot in technology, and they have implemented an Electronic Health Record system and computerized physician order entry in their practice. However, medical errors still arise in the hospital, despite all the sacrifices to improve patient care quality ( According to Silver et al. (2016), argued that healthcare organizations handle many operations. Therefore, settling the issue of medication errors will help them improve on the quality of service as well as protect patient’s data using the medical record system such as My Health Record (MHR). Similarly, Toraldo et al. (2015) stated it is valued that more than 1.1 million individuals die every year because of medical errors disseminated from the inadequate acquittance of healthcare professionals on technology systems. Consequently, this cost the institution $15 million every year in looking for solutions (Toraldo et al., 2015).

The Need for Quality Improvement Initiative

Every healthcare organization works towards providing quality healthcare services and enhancing the privacy and confidentiality of patient data. Therefore, technology in healthcare has a role in ensuring these goals and objectives are attained. Atrium Health organization faces challenges of providing quality medical services; thus, implementing the quality improvement initiative will reduce the cases of medical errors (Aloini et al., 2018). Medical errors occur in different ways; however, most errors happen due to insufficient information flow and lack of patient history data. Therefore, implementation of the Initiative will help the organization adopt new technological methods to improve the accuracy and clarity of patients’ information and diagnosis and treatment process amongst physicians. Furthermore, using systems such as CPOE and EHR in healthcare has augmented health outcomes for patients and nurses (Silver et al., 2016). Nonetheless, the use of MHR will be of great importance in enhancing the process of sharing treatment guidelines, patient information, and medication orders electronically.

Research Support for Quality Improvement Initiative

Several research pieces have supported the Initiative as it will assist in enhancing the quality of health services in healthcare organizations, hence improving patient outcomes. For instance, according to Wheeler et al. (2018), stated that the purpose of lessening medication errors is every person’s responsibility because, through quality improvement, all people will access convenient and effectual medical services. Therefore, through MHR system, a patient’s health status will progress by receiving affordable care and reduced hospital procedures since they will pay less as paperwork is eliminated. Moreover, another research conducted by McBride et al. (2018), argued that the implementation of MHR system in Australia has resulted to increased efficacy and usefulness of the health system because of the reduced workload for nurses. Similarly, the digital system has enabled patients’ data to be shared and connected at various medical facilities hence designing health care as well as providing organizations with a chance to access a summary of individuals’ health information. Quality improvement in the healthcare organization is affecting society in diverse ways, including the increase in production because many people are strong and healthy and can handle their daily operations smoothly (Marcolino et al., 2018). Therefore, with electronic records, members of the society spend less in healthcare because health information is readily available rather than manually, which requires more employees to deal with the retrieving process, which spends more money and time.

Steps in Implementing the Initiative

To successfully implement the quality improvement initiative, it will be essential to follow specific steps to ensure everyone involved in the organization is on the same page. Since the Initiative is a technological system, there is a need for appropriate scheduling of implementation and administration of monetary and financial resources (Silver et al., 2016). The first step in the implementation process is to deliberate on a budget of implementation; every system has a procedure on how it will be executed, starting from collecting system requirements to programming the structure and features individuals involved in system development (Aloini et al., 2018). The next step will be training the healthcare professionals who will be using the system; they need to be well versed with the system before starting to use it to avoid the inappropriate use. Moreover, after training, there will be a step in cultivating the culture of adopting the technology, which will involve explaining the benefits the system will have to healthcare organizations and patients. This process will provide a positive acceptance of the system for all individuals concerned. The last step will be testing the system before it is implemented, to ensure there are no bugs and errors, leading to increased health problems considering that healthcare information is very critical.

Evaluation of Initiative

Realizing if the Initiative is operative in the healthcare organization, it is crucial to perform an assessment. Therefore, several methods of determining the success of an initiative in healthcare and recognition of healthcare institutions are experiencing a change in service delivery. However, in evaluating the MHR system, the criteria used is the outcome measure metric and balance measure. Outcome measure is important because it mirrors the Initiative’s effect on the patient’s health status (Nelson et al., 2015). Also, the measure is critical in advancing the quality of service delivered since it helps in relating the standard of care provided to individuals and the patients’ result. Moreover, according to Nelson et al. (2015), argued that the outcome measure would ensure healthcare service delivery is enhanced because changes will be made where necessary. The use of balance measure in the evaluation will also be important in realizing if the use of MHR is causing other negative effects on other areas in the health system (Aloini et al., 2018). Furthermore, the standards used to realize the success will comprise the key performance indicators in determining physician performance, patients’ level of satisfaction, and the individuals recovering after diagnosis.

Variables and Tests support for Initiative

The quality improvement initiative is based on testing and execution of hypothesized solutions, following the steps of implementation stated earlier, the significance of identifying the variables and performing testing is based on the size and intricacy of the Initiative (Silver et al., 2016). Several tests are performed based on the problem at hand. Atrium health organization resolute to select different individuals with similar health problems to test the hypothesis and prove the Initiative (Rahman & Khan, 2019). Moreover, 50 participants with similar health problems were used where they were diagnosed and treated with different methods. The first group of 25 patients used MHR, and the other 25 used the traditional way. After performing an analysis using a t-test, they found the null hypothesis to be the sample, and the population mean is similar to the outcome results. Similarly, based on the alternative hypothesis, the trial mean was more than the population mean. Individuals who were treated using MHR indicated improvement in health-related with those who did not use the Initiative.

In summation, healthcare organizations are always putting effort into providing efficient service while ensuring patient data privacy and confidentiality. While medical errors continue to rise, affecting the quality of patient care, it is important to consider the information technology systems in solving the issue. Several research pieces have supported the adoption of technological systems in healthcare to reduce cost and fastening service delivery; therefore, the use of MHR will be important in improving quality in Atrium healthcare organizations. However, before implementing the Initiative, it is important to evaluate their safety using balance measure and outcome measures to ensure no other part is affected and results are obtained.

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