"Health Information Systems" is an inspiring example of a paper on the health system. Health Information systems are systems that integrate the collection of raw data, processing of data into information and reporting of the information followed by the suitable and sequential use of the processed information in order to assist the healthcare professionals and systems to provide health services with increased efficiency and effectiveness. Health Information systems have become necessary in the modern healthcare industry and have found beneficial applications in many areas of healthcare. The health information systems encompass a wide range of information systems and applications and facilitate the efficiency in the activities of the healthcare professionals in various phases of the healthcare processes.
Healthcare information systems include several applications like electronic health applications, management information systems, electronic medical record systems, consumer and other healthcare informatics and strategic decision support systems like clinical decision support systems. Patient care applicationsPatient care application systems are important parts of the health information systems or health informatics. The patient care applications encompass a wide number of information systems and applications used for data maintenance of the new and old patients of a healthcare organization.
Applications like Rich Internet Applications (RIA), web-based Patient Registration Systems (PRS), etc. are useful patient care applications that find application in the storage and streamlining of large volumes of patient records and data which supports the overall management of the healthcare systems encompassing the clinical records and individual patient records. The patient care applications are especially useful for assisting the elderly people by facilitating systems like patient informatics and Electronic Medical Record System (EMRS). The software applications like the Rich Internet application (RIA) is used as a powerful tool for the deployment of devices in healthcare organizations.
Patient care applications have revolutionized the health care industry by enhancing the management and availability of clinical practices, information distribution, telemedicine, and medical education. This has made the patient-centric model of medical computing more applicable in the practical areas of healthcare activities. However, the use of healthcare applications have still not been widespread and is constrained to limit high-value healthcare systems across various nations. Management and enterprise systemsHealthcare management and information systems are information systems devised specifically for assisting the planning and management of healthcare systems and healthcare programs.
This is not the same as delivery of care because along with delivery, the healthcare management system also takes into account the management and updating of different healthcare aspects. Thus, the healthcare management information systems help in overall control and management of the enterprise operating in the healthcare segment. Since healthcare is a type of business sector, it is crucial to managing the resources and activities of the sector efficiently. The healthcare management systems help to assist the management of the healthcare organizations to store, access and use the information according to the emerging requirements in the enterprise.
It also ensures reliability and security through the maintenance of sensitive information about the medical history of individual patients (Malliarou and Zyga, 2009). The healthcare management systems are widely used by hospitals, physicians, surgeons, residential care houses, nursing care facilities, diagnostic laboratories, dental clinics, and ambulatory care services. The healthcare management and enterprise systems help in maintaining useful data about the patients and confidential medical records of the patients which are used by the doctors for taking further decisions related to the treatment of individual patients. E-Health applicationsThere is a wide array of applications of Information Technology and Information Systems that are used in the healthcare sector for healthcare service management.
The electronic health applications like telemedicine and health informatics help in enhancing the quality control and scrutiny systems in healthcare activities. Electronic healthcare applications are found in a number of areas of healthcare such as electronic records, telemedicine, procurement, going paperless, healthcare audit, healthcare scorecards, recruitment of healthcare professionals, maintenance of sensitive and confidential data, etc.
(Hjelm, 2001). However, the electronic health applications should be administered after a careful evaluation of the tradeoffs between the expenses and benefits involved in the use of the applications. Three areas of health informatics find extensive use of electronic health applications. These are clinical and medical informatics, consumer informatics and bioinformatics. Not only so the different electronic health applications facilitate healthcare services but they are also useful in innovation and procurement of unique medicines. Consumer to Consumer (C2C) healthcare applications are an important means of educating and empowering the public and individuals seeking medical assistance.
The health-oriented websites are among the most visited websites in the present day scenario with more people becoming tech-savvy and with the increasing ease of access to the internet in different countries (Detmer, 2001). Telemedicine and medicine informatics are common areas in which electronic health applications are widely used. Strategic decision-support applications The strategic decision support applications in healthcare information systems are critical in terms of taking clinical and treatment decisions by healthcare professionals. The decision-making process is the most crucial part of strategic management in any industry.
The applications in healthcare information systems assist the decision-makers to take strategic decisions regarding the management, operational activities and clinical activities that are to be taken up by a healthcare enterprise (World Health Organization, 2004). The decision support applications help to access and interpret relevant information and act as a foundation for strategic decision making in healthcare organizations. The decision support applications used in the healthcare industry are of various types including artificial intelligence-based and knowledge-based applications like the Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) to simple software systems used for assistance in small decision making.
The Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) is a widely used decision support system in the healthcare sector. The clinical decisions taken by the medical practitioners are often based on ted at and guidance provided by the Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS). The intelligent Decius Support Systems (DSS) are also commonly used in the healthcare information systems to store large volumes of patient data and medical records. This information and guidelines often act as a mandatory information base to facilitate further decision making with respect to taking treatment and diagnostic decisions. Conclusion and RecommendationThough the different types of healthcare information systems and applications have proved to be beneficial for assisting the medical professionals in their treatment decisions, the use of these applications and systems are largely constrained in the modern world due to the high expenses associated with the initial set up and maintenance of the information systems and applications.
It is important to create more awareness among the consumers of the healthcare industry about the use and benefits of healthcare applications.
The physicians should try to spread more awareness with regard to the use of beneficial healthcare applications like telemedicine and health informatics. This would be beneficial for promoting the application and creating increased awareness among the consumers because the patients are likely to rely on the suggestion of their doctors. The applications and systems should also be made user friendly so that the different people involved in various aspects of the healthcare industry are able to use the systems and applications without any difficulty.
The interfaces of eh applications and information systems should be made simple so that extensive training is not required for enabling the staff to use these applications seamlessly. This would help to save additional costs while setting up the information systems and introducing the use of applications by the healthcare enterprises and by individual consumers of the industry. The increased awareness and ease of use of the healthcare information systems and applications would unleash the potentials of information technology in this sector and would also help to improve the overall efficiency of the healthcare industry.
Detmer, D. (2001). Transforming Health Care in the Internet Era. World Hospitals and Health Services. Vol.37 (2).
Hjelm, M. (2001). Making Telemedicine an In-patient. Hospitals International. Vol.37 (2).
Malliarou, M. & Zyga, S. (2009). Advantages of Information Systems in Health Services. Management International Journal. Vol. 5(2).
World Health Organization. (2004). Developing health management information systems: a practical guide for developing countries. Retrieved from http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2004/9290611650.pdf.