Significant advances in computer technology has made a large number of services more accessible to people by overcoming distance barriers and connecting databases for effective networking.
In the area of healthcare, there is currently an increase in the use of electronic health records for faster searching, integrating, analyzing and applying patient information to patient care.
Such computing interventions between patient and healthcare worker interactions have enhanced personalized delivery of healthcare, leaving more time for the healthcare personnel to provide quality bedside care for the patient. Unfortunately, there is a percentage of healthcare workers who do not feel comfortable in using computers in the workplace because of their lack of exposure and understanding of how computerized systems work.
Such conditions would hamper the upgrading of entire hospital systems to the informatics level because there would not be a standardized method for patient information gathering. Some physicians and nurses who are adept with computer informatics may be providing healthcare at a faster pace than those healthcare workers who have to manually retrieve a patient’s medical record before administering any healthcare.
In addition, if the use of computers in healthcare is made mandatory, those personnel who feel intimidated by these high-tech machines may not perform at their best if there is a negative factor that is affecting their performance.
More importantly, the use of computers for on-line medication management and administration is of critical status because any mistake in the input of a patient’s information will affect all healthcare workers who are dealing with the same patient.
Therefore, in order to assure that patients are safely cared for, it is still important that the human factor is used for patient care, wherein there is cautious review of every information that is added into the hospital database of medical records.
Since advances in technology are usually created from necessities to improve a certain aspect of information retrieval and management, it is would therefore be more appropriate if healthcare leads technology.
More technological innovations may be created in the near future as long as the needs and gaps in the field of healthcare are identified so that scientists and computer engineers may come together and design novel gadgets or machines that would serve the healthcare system better.
Wolf, D.M., Hartman, L.M., Larue, E.M. and Arndt, I. (2007): Patient first: a patient sensitivity tool for an electronic health record implementation. Comput. Inform. Nurs. 25(2):112-7.