I.M / I.T ANALYSIS 9
This research paper discusses, in a healthcare setting, the mainfeatures, capabilities and benefits of applications used in patients’health care, the management and enterprise systems and applicationsin strategic decision- support systems to a health care organization.The examples of each of these aspects have also been given. It alsodescribes the importance of health care information systems at anadministrative level and the significant elements that should beconsidered in formulation of a strategic plan in health careinformation system within an organization. The rationale, under whichthe argument is based on, has also been explained.
The benefits of SDLC in relation to the development of customapplication and the propriety systems selection have also beencovered in this paper. One of the key elements needed in securing aneasy access to health care and patient information, within healthcare management, using electronic system, has also been recommendedand support of the same pointed out. Finally, the paper hasrecommended few points on how to improve the application of systemstheory in planning and governing information technology in healthcare.
In recent years, technological developments have taken place in themedical field. One of these has been the application of informationtechnology by clinician before and when they are attending a patient.Thishas been helpful in many ways such improvement of servicedelivery and also saving clinicians’ and patients’ time in theprocess. However, the most important of them all is the assistancethat medical offices get when making decisions about a patient.E-health has also been a big boost in offering a platform wherepeople and the medical fraternity can share information (Scott.2000). It has been so helpful in giving advice to patients or to thegeneral public.
Patient care applications
These are health care applications which are associated withmobilizing devices that assist health practitioners to make correctdecisions when they are treating patients in health facilities. Thisinformation about a patient is usually provided when a clinician isattending a patient or before he starts working on a patient. Thereare several benefits relating to patient care applications. Patientcare applications enables a clinician to save time while serving patient. This is especially important in a busy hospitalenvironment.
The issue of saving time also helps in increasing the organizationsrevenue besides offering high quality services to patients (Longestet al, (2008). One factor which cannot be underestimated is thatavailability of patient’s information is helpful in reduction ofrisks and errors while attending a patient. At the same time aclinician can make constructive decisions in the process, whilereducing frustrations to a patient. Besides these, a doctor can makeuse of patient’s information especially before and during surgery.
E-Health application in health care
E-health is a term that has attracted different definitions fromvarious scholars and organizations. According to the World HealthOrganization, e-health is the secure and cost-effective use ofcommunication and information technologies in supporting healthrelated issues. These include health surveillance, health careservices, health literature, education, and research and knowledgedelivery.
Some of the features included in e-health are tele-education,tele-surgery, tele-consultation and tele-monitoring among others.E-health applications can be found in storing of medical records,used as a decision tool, telecare services and telemedicine or anyinternet medical services.
E-health has brought a lot of benefits in the healthcare delivery,which includes the empowerment of patients’ self-care and alsoenhancing decision making. It has helped to streamline the processesthrough saving time, effective diagnosis and higher level oftransparency for a health care organization (Scott. 2000). It hasalso reduced barriers in accessing health services due to distance ordisability issues. Research has indicated that there are about25000-30000, which are health oriented and mostly visited by peopleonline.
Strategic decision-support applications
Application of strategic decision support mechanisms helpsclinicians and other staff within an organization to make informeddecisions while attending their patients (Gillies, 2003). The aim isto ensure an appraisal of individual information and gather as muchintelligence as possible in delivering health care. The main featuresof these applications include computerized reminders and alerts whichare directed to care givers and patients (Gillies, 2003).
Others are clinical guidelines, sets of specific conditions, datasummaries and reports and documentation templates among otherfeatures. The benefits of these applications is that there areimproved level of service delivery, efficiency, reduction of errorsand patients’ satisfaction (Gillies, 2003). They also help insaving time and in making correct decisions for the clinicians.
Management and enterprise systems
Management of health care services for an organization is not asimple task. One of the ways of enhancing effective and efficientservice delivery is through enterprise applications such as mobiletechnology (Winter et al, 2011). The health care changes haveprovided platforms where inventions in enterprise apps and managementhave to be incorporated in the system. Another example is the use ofiPad mini as opposed to computers.
However, management of these applications has been a significantconcern. The security of the data in these devices can becompromised. This can be solved through introduction of ‘’ MobileApplication Management (MAM)’’ approach, which seeks to secureenterprise applications. These systems can assist an organization inmaking sure that client’s information is safe throughauthentication and encryption process. An organization can integratethis system to its existing ones improving security and propermanagement (Longest et al, (2008).
Importance of formulating a strategic plan of information systems toa health care organization
In any health organization there is a great need of coming up with astrategic plan in information systems. Despite the widespreadargument and skepticism about the role of strategic management ofinformation system, it enhances performance in many ways.
Therefore, any administration of health information systems needs toincorporate a strategic plan in enhancing efficiency. Some elementsare essential in strategic planning and can be used for competitiveadvantage of an organization (Wolper, 2004). It will also beindependent when it comes to information technology operations ontheir daily activities. There is also an element of integratingtelecommunications into the information technology. An organizationwill also be able to integrate other systems from variousorganizations for faster communication process.
Other benefits include enhanced monitoring of organizations’service delivery level and improvement in research and analysis. Inaddition, these applications help in proper management of resourcessuch as human and financial resources and also improving performanceand productivity.
Importance of a systems development life cycle
Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a system which is designedfor maintaining software systems for the longest time possible in anorganization (Kominski, 2014). The development of SDLC involvescomplex activities and investment of both human and financialresources. A lot of time is also needed in this process. A goodexample is the development of SDLC for the phone billing systems(Kominski, 2014).
A health care organization needs to have a SDLC, to ensure that itsoperating systems I are secure and well maintained. The benefits ofSDLC include ensuring that an organization has systems which are ofhigh quality, increasing productivity, provision of good managementcontrols and proper utilization of resources.
Security of Medical Information.
There is increased interest in privacy and security of medicalinformation that is stored electronically. This is very crucialespecially in a health care environment. The security of health careinformation refers to measures, which need to be taken in ensuringthat no unauthorized persons are able to access ‘‘ProtectedHealth Information’’ (PHI) of a patient (Gillies, 2003). One keyelement of ensuring that patients’ medical information is protectedis by adoption of digital imaging of medical information.
This is one of the efforts which are being done by radiologist whichalso include any health information which is stored electronically.This involves coming up with standards, procedures and policies, newtechnologies and methods of offering high level health care services(Gillies, 2003). The ‘Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine(SIIM)’ and other stakeholders have supported this proposal.
Application of systems theory to health care
Systems theory refers to the relationship that exists among varioussystems in an organization. These systems include Quality MeasurementReporting and Accreditation systems in a Health Care Organization(HOC). However, according to a study there is an indication that onlya few percentage of HOC emphasize the implementation of thisrelationship (Wolper, 2004). There should be an introduction ofcontrol- relationship among these systems in organizations. Inaddition, accreditation standards and survey methods could play agreat role in sealing the feedback loops witnessed in healthcareorganizations. HOCs should also apply systems theory in providingguidance in their service delivery. For example, it can helpdetermine the weak areas or system within an organization.
Gillies, A. (2003). What makes a good healthcare system?:Comparisons, values, drivers. Abingdon: Radcliffe Medical Press.
Kominski, G. F. (2014). Changing the U.S. health care system: Keyissues in health services policy and management. San Francisco:Jossey-Bass.
Longest, B. B., & Darr, K. (2008). Managing health servicesorganizations and systems. Baltimore: Health Professions Press.
Scott, W. R. (2000). Institutional change and healthcareorganizations: From professional dominance to managed care.Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.
Winter, A., & Haux, R. (2011). Health information systems:Architectures and strategies. London: Springer.
Wolper, L. F. (2004). Health care administration: Planning,implementing, and managing organized delivery systems. Sudbury,MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.