Challenges and opportunities the growing importance of information technology in healthcare
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Challenges and Opportunities -- The Growing Importance of Information Technology in Healthcare. Stephen M. Foxman, Esq. Philadelphia December, 2005. Major Technology Issues for Healthcare Institutions. Computer systems with different functions operate separately, and don’t share information

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Challenges and opportunities the growing importance of information technology in healthcare

Challenges and Opportunities -- The Growing Importance of Information Technology in Healthcare

Stephen M. Foxman, Esq.

Philadelphia

December, 2005


Major technology issues for healthcare institutions
Major Technology Issues for Healthcare Institutions Information Technology in Healthcare

  • Computer systems with different functions operate separately, and don’t share information

  • Data is spread throughout healthcare institution, in various departments and in different computer systems

  • Mandatory compliance with new legal requirements, such as security and privacy requirements of U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996


Management of supplies and equipment
Management of Supplies and Equipment Information Technology in Healthcare

  • Advanced information technology (IT) systems are needed for ordering, inventory control, finding and distributing supplies

  • Cost control and avoidance of theft and waste

  • Use of Radio Frequency Identification Tags (RFID) and bar coding for locating and keeping track of supplies and equipment

  • Business Process Improvement systems; improvement of quality of delivery of services


Emr and patient information
EMR and Patient Information Information Technology in Healthcare

  • Electronic Medical Records (EMR)

    • Importance of access and accuracy of medical history of patients

    • Privacy issues regarding storage and access to information

    • Diagnosis, treatment and potentially detrimental other information being accessed by patient or others (e.g., sexually transmitted disease, genetic disease or DNA disease susceptibility analysis information)


Patient information
Patient Information Information Technology in Healthcare

  • Clinical Information Systems for patient charting

  • Use of wireless personal digital assistant devices (PDA) for access to and updating of EMR

  • Potential for patients to have personal card, RFID device, implanted device containing blood type, disease, and other EMR information

  • Treatment information to be generated and stored for later reference in EMR

  • Tie in of EMR treatment and prescription information to pharmacy for providing appropriate medicines and dosages for patients


Prescriptions and medications
Prescriptions and Medications Information Technology in Healthcare

  • Computerized generation of prescription to avoid errors

  • Computerized generation of labels; drug ingestion or use instructions; warnings

  • Computerized cross checking of prescription against patient information on allergic reactions, drug interactions, appropriate dosage levels


Management of patient treatment
Management of Patient Treatment Information Technology in Healthcare

  • Specialized information technology systems to manage appropriate treatment tied into diagnostic databases, patient personal information and diagnosed condition

  • Use of IT systems to manage and avoid errors in special care environments such as operating rooms, emergency rooms, pediatric care and intensive care wards

  • Use of IT systems to aid nurses in providing proper treatment (Nursing Informatic Systems), monitoring patients with sensory equipment for vital signs


Management of patient treatment1
Management of Patient Treatment Information Technology in Healthcare

  • Use of local robotic delivery systems to provide equipment, medications, and nutrition

  • Wireless communication for doctors and nurses to avoid pagers and delays in providing information regarding patients and treatment

  • Use of distance diagnosis and treatment with high speed digital communications links; transmission of charts, monitoring information, x-rays and scans

  • Patient access to doctors and medical information over Internet


Staff development and training
Staff Development and Training Information Technology in Healthcare

  • Use of Internet based training to maintain best practices and skills for hospital or other healthcare institutional staff


Billing and collection information
Billing and Collection Information Information Technology in Healthcare

  • Particular importance in US because of lack of national healthcare delivery and insurance system

  • Computerized monitoring of use of proper medications, medical equipment, treatment procedures for cost control

  • Determination of proper codes for treatment and billing for services – used by private insurers to make payments to providers of care

  • Development of national databases for tracking illnesses, treatment methods and effectiveness of medications and treatments used


Medical research
Medical Research Information Technology in Healthcare

  • Tracking of methodologies used, compliance with government reporting and safety requirements

  • Specialized IT systems to track information and provide reports in form necessary for government approval of new drugs

  • Potential exposure to liability from electronic storage of field reports and emails between pharmaceutical company employees and researchers (e.g., recent Vioxx case against Merck)


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