Essay Example on the Theme of Technology for Managing Health Care Data

Published: 2022-07-27
Essay Example on the Theme of Technology for Managing Health Care Data
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Information technologies Healthcare Information systems
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1564 words
14 min read

Health care institutions have various departments ranging from out-patient to in-patient, surgical and operating departments. These departments hold patient records that can help to track down a patient's medication and treatment records. The current system uses paper record systems to store patient information. The systems however, comes with various drawbacks that call for updating to electronic storage systems. Electronic health records (EHR) systems are a systematic collection of patient data and health information that is electronically stored in a digital format. It is an electronic version of a patient's medical history that is maintained by the provider over time. It may include vital administrative, clinical data that is relevant to patients under a specific provider. It includes progress notes, demographics, medication and problems, past medical history, radiology reports, immunization, vital signs and laboratory data. The system automates, provides easy access to information and streamlines the clinician's flow of work.

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Description of the System Settings

Some of the technical features in the EHR system include digital formatting capabilities that enable the data collected to be used and shared over to secure networks within the healthcare setting, track care systems, trigger reminders and warnings, send and receive platforms for reports, orders and results, billing systems, technical and social frameworks that allow information to be moved electronically within the organization.

There is a myriad of users of information obtained from electronic health records systems. Patients will be able to access their information in an organized manner and therefore be provided with treatment in line with their medical data. Researchers also benefit highly from the system as it would help to track down patients' data and medical records that would help in research and data analytics. Nurses and medical practitioners will be able to store the patient's data and capture their progress over time and ensure that the treatment progress is accurate and legible. Other users of information from the system include laboratory specialists, pharmacies, school and workplace clinics, emergency facilities and medical imaging facilities.

Benefits of the System

According to "" (2018), the EHR system allows for the exchange of health information electronically and helps to provide safe and quality care for the patients while establishing tangible enhancements for the organization. The technology would help to provide better care for patients by: ensuring quick and easy access to patient's records for more efficient and coordinated care; helping the providers to be more effective in diagnosing patients, providing safer care and reducing medical errors; sharing electronic information with patients and clinicians in a more secure manner; providing an accurate, complete and up-to-date information about patients at the required point of care; promoting legible, accurate and complete documentation with streamlined coding and billing system and enhancing a safer and more reliable drug prescription.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Current (Paper-based) System.


The current (paper-based) system is simple and easy for everyone in the medical facility to use since it requires minimal skill to operate. Hospitals and nursing centers use paper records to keep a patient's chart attached to his/her bed making it easy for social workers, clinicians and other authorized staff to identify the patient's charts. According to Feigenbaum (2017), paper records enhance security because the paper records are easy to collect and lock away in a safe place while the electronic systems are prone to hackers. They also limit the number of people who access patient information.

Weaknesses of the Current System

Paper records cannot be searched quickly when a decision has to be made at the point of care by the care provider. It requires someone to manage the records and a physical space for them to occupy. An additional expense incurs to pay for the storage site if the records are too large. The paper record keeps only one copy of the record which cannot be used if lost. Once used by one person, another can't use it. It has to be merged every time if used by several people concurrently for it to be available next time if required for patient care. A backup copy of the records has to be made by hand or by a photocopying machine and physically transported to a safe archive location. They are also prone to unplanned destruction by fire, flooding or even rodents. They are also not compact enough to be moved physically by a small staff.

Challenges that exist during the Implementation Phase.

Various challenges exist during the implementation phase of the system. Some of them include: Tailoring the system to meet the requirements of the clinical practice; establishing the process of change-management at the workplace; determining the appropriate way to backload patient's medical histories; accounting for the time needed for the staff to learn and use the system; designing appropriate support processes for the system and ways of encouraging the staff during the implementation process.

Training Requirements

Type of training Usability Time required Content outline The person conducting the training
Basic computer training Easy One month, two classes per week. To equip the employees to perform basic computer tasks. Local community college or hire computer literate person.
Designation of super users Medium One month after the basic computer training. To select two tech-savvy users who will be the go-to people for the EHR system. HR manager in the health care unit.
Training employees in the areas they are going to use. Easy One month after the basic computer training. To train the employees only on the features, they'll use on a daily basis. Departmental managers.
Post implementation feedback sessions. Medium Weekly or bimonthly meetings after implementation Analysis after implementation to identify the areas that have snags or errors. Departmental managers.

Individual Users of the Technology.

The technology would be used by various individuals within the health care setting. Some of them include doctors, patients, nurses and researchers among others. Doctors will be able to reduce medical errors and adverse occurrences by tracking their treatment protocols. Nurses can document their patient's information easier and faster as well as track down the files within the organization. Researchers will be able to use information obtained from the system to come up with better solutions for the organization.

Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Technology.

An essential part of an effective healthcare strategy involves monitoring the hospital's technology and analyzing the user's behavior to make analytic-based improvements. According to Stravers (2015), the effectiveness of the system can be observed by analyzing the consistency of the reconciliation processes and the Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE). Reconciliation processes provide oversight on both patient care and financial standpoints while checking at the processes of medication. The CPOE looks at consistency across all the service points including the medical, surgical and operating rooms among others.

Possible Impacts of Implementation on the usual work of the Patient Care Setting.

According to Glaser (2013), application of information technology helps to manage or reduce the complexities of the three fundamental sources of complexity in healthcare which include data, processes and medical knowledge.

A patient's medical record is made up of a myriad of types of data elements including numbers, images, texts, and videos. The EHR system helps to code this information and prevent problems that result from incompleteness and inaccuracy, and the information can be distributed across various departments within the organization.

The system would provide adequate clinical evidence that would monitor the care that a patient receives. It helps to establish a treatment procedure for patients with multiple chronic diseases or in various care avenues.

The caregiver has a lot of information to know while the knowledge body expands frequently. Clinical decision support systems and computerized provider order entries are among the several strategies that are applied to address the complexity problems.

Effect of the Technology on Quality and Safety of the Health Care Setting.

The use of EHR helps to improve the quality of healthcare by increasing the time efficiency, providing guidelines that adhere to medical regulations and reducing the errors that accrue in the process of medical operations. A focus on the economics of medical errors and ADEs indicate that there are considerable cost reductions that are achievable through quality improvement of the medical operations (Campanella, Lovato, Marone, et al., 2016).


The article justifies the use of electronic health records as opposed to paper record systems in health care institutions basing on the merits that accompany electronic records. It is therefore up to the health centers to design appropriate resources for proper implementation and operation of the electronic health records.


Campanella, P., Lovato, E., Marone, C., Fallacara, L. and Mancuso, A. (2016). The impact of electronic health records on healthcare quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. [online] European journal of public health. Retrieved from: [Accessed 15 Aug. 2018].

Feigenbaum, E. (2017). Pros and Cons of a Paper Health Record. [online] Pocket Sense. Retrieved from: [Accessed 15 Aug. 2018].

Glaser, J. (2013). Managing Complexity with Health Care Information Technology. [online] Hospitals and health networks. Retrieved from: [Accessed 15 Aug. 2018]. (2018). Health IT Playbook. [online] Retrieved from: [Accessed 15 Aug. 2018].

Loria, G. (2018). Five Best Practices for Training Staff on Using a New EHR. [online] Software Advice. Retrieved from: [Accessed 15 Aug. 2018].

Stravers, P. (2015). How To Measure Your Hospital's EHR And Compliance Effectiveness. [online] Retrieved from: [Accessed 15 Aug. 2018].

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