Health care information systems have been found to be ineffective due to various reasons, most of which are associated with lack of an up-to-date electronic system.
Problems associated with health care information systems have been responsible for more than 150,000 deaths which could otherwise have been prevented through appropriate health care information systems. All the same, it is possible to change the current health care information system and adopt one that is efficient and effective thereby reducing problems experienced with the current information system.
It is possible to come up and implement solutions for inappropriate health care information systems. Coming up with solutions to curb problems that are created by ineffective information systems requires one to have a good insight of various domains that range from data communication protocols to a more generic system.
An information system that makes use of the current technology can help prevent some of the inefficiencies attributed to an inappropriate information system.
Since most of the medical information systems are isolated and disparate, there is need to incorporated an integrated approach that will see the interoperation of systems. It is possible to have a system that reduces time wastage spent as health practitioners search for patients’ information from other health practitioners thus delaying the process of health care delivery. Consequently, death may result (Obal & Lin, 2005).
Apparently, until now, most of the health care information systems remain ineffective as physicians try to avoid challenges that are associated with the shift from a manual to a computer system. There are a lot of propositions on embracing an integrated kind of health care information system that will reduce some of the errors that are linked to the current kind of information system in the health care industry.
One such proposition entails the use of Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) and Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) in exchanging patients’ electronic medical records across the internet at both the regional and state levels. Subsequently, the nation’s HIEs and the RHIOs are then connected to form the National Health Information Network (NHIN) (Smart Card Alliance, 2009).
The above proposed solution is an example of an electronic record (EHR) system. Until now, only a few hospitals and medical centers have managed to incorporate the proposed electronic health record (EHR) system due to prohibitive challenges in cost.
The electronic health record (EHR) system appears to be a good plan that will foster effectiveness and efficiency within the health care information systems. This system entails the storage of patient information in a centralized database system that is accessible to various physicians at different locations. This way replication of information is avoided.
The EHR is an up-to-date system that is believed to reduce some of the errors made by outdated information systems for instance, missing information on patients. However, this system does not guarantee privacy and confidentiality of information as anyone is able to access the information (Bender & Van Kuiken, 2005).
The EHR is a very recommendable approach of dealing with the current health care information system. The EHR appears to be working irrespective of the fact that privacy is not guaranteed. A better plan however, has been proposed by Google and Microsoft and appears to be the inevitable future of the health care industry.
Both Microsoft and Google advocate for a robust tool that will be used by patients to key in all their information pertaining to health. They will be in charge of their own information thus promoting privacy as information will only be given to the health practitioner only when needed.
In addition, this information is safe from being read by a third party as the patient is the steward of his or her own heal6th information. This way, the health care information system not only becomes integrative but collaborative as well (Stair & Reynolds, 2010).
An effective information management system is very important. Integration and collaboration are some of the measures that should be looked at while coming up with an effective information system. This is because privacy and efficiency are equally important.
Bender, M. W. and Van Kuiken, S. J. (2005). IT remedies for US health care: An interview with WellPoint’s Leonard Schaeffer. Retrieved on 2010, August 22 from http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com
Obal, L. ; Lin, F. (2005). A Framework for Healthcare Information Systems: Exploring a Large System of Systems using System Dynamics. Communications of the IIMA, 5, 35-46.
Smart Card Alliance. (2009). Effective Healthcare Identity Management: A necessary First Step for improving U. S. Healthcare Information Systems. Retrieved on 2010, August 22 from http://www.smartcardalliance.org/pages/publications-effective-healthcare- identity-management/
Stair, R. M. ; Reynolds, G. W. (2010). Principles of Information Systems. (9th Ed). Canada: Course Technology, Cengage Learning.