You have definitely heard much about Health Information Technology lately with numerous politicians and organization advocating for the introduction of a whole nation-wide Health IT system. While it sure sounds very progressive not everyone understands what it is all about and what are the benefits of introducing such a system for separate individuals. Do not worry, this is the place to find about more about Health IT!
What Health Information Technology is all about?
Health Information Technology is simply a term, which popularly denotes the concept of “electronic medical records”. This is the concept of storing all the data you have in a typical medical record in electronic form with much easier and wider accessibility for medical staff to that information as compared to traditional paper records.
What benefits does Health Information Technology provide?
Health IT is believed to improve the speed and quality of healthcare services, minimizing potential risks of having little information on the patient. It is especially useful when the person visits more than one doctor and has more health concerns. For instance, visiting your primary care physician and another specialist will be much more effective as both will have access to the same information being aware of the prescribed drugs and treatments that the other has indicated. This will minimize the chance of one doctor prescribing drugs that will interact negatively with those prescribed by another doctor, a situation which is quite common these days. In that way doctors will be much more efficient when working with complex cases. Another great example is a person injured in an accident and requiring emergency healthcare. By having an electronic database of medical records doctors will be able to help the person much faster and more efficiently.
Health IT system could also ease health insurance use. Instead of filling out numerous forms at your doctor's office it will require only a few clicks of the mouse to get the coverage you need. It's not only beneficial for you, but it's also helpful to your doctor, leaving him or her without the need to run complex administrative paperwork and giving more time to actually treat people. And that of course will make cheap health insurance really possible.
Minimization of administrative tasks is yet another benefit the advocates of Health IT are frequently using. By minimizing the paperwork doctors and nurses will have more time performing their actual tasks, which will lead to increased efficiency and shorter hospital stay for the patients. And this of course will lead to more cheap health insurance options.
What drawbacks does Health IT system have?
Of course there are potential drawbacks to Health IT, just like with any other thing in this world. First of all, having the potential to save billions of dollars in the long-run, establishing a nationwide Health IT system will require significant amounts of money upfront. Upgrading medical facilities with newer computers, scanning and processing all paper records, establishing secure storage of the digital records will all contribute to a hefty price tag the whole program will have.
Another cause for concern is the question of security. People are worried about their personal medical data to be accessed by unauthorized persons (hackers) and used for illegal purposes. That will eventually require sophisticated and complex security measures to be employed, which also requires additional funding.