One of the major contributions of HIT to patients is their overall safety. According to Alotaibi & Federico (2017), patient safety involves the avoidance, prevention, and amelioration of injuries and negative outcomes from the provision of healthcare. The adoption of HIT has seen the digitization of healthcare information into databases from where numerous statistical models can be applied to help in the promotion of essential decisions on treatments. Through the provision of accurate, lengthy, and up-to-date information about a patient, there is a significant reduction in the number of medical errors that came from data collection and transmission (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017). Medical errors are seen as the third largest cause of death in the USA.
The Medical Errors
Medical errors come from different sections of healthcare organizations, such as the wrong entry of information or mix-ups. Furthermore, through electronic health records (EHR), common errors in medication are effectively eliminated. The coordination of information collected throughout a patient’s visit is well structured and stored. The physicians also have access to the system and the patient’s medical history. This makes it much easier for the physician to provide an accurate treatment developed based on the patient’s history. This information is also sent to the pharmacist who provides the prescribed medicine (Bowles, Dykes, & Demiris, 2015).
Another potential danger for patients is the discrepancy between potential drug interaction, allergies, and adverse reactions. Before the drugs prescribe, the HIT EHR systems have safeguards that explore the interactions of the different drugs to help in eliminating the chances of adverse effects. Documente allergies and past adverse reactions to a drug are also reviewed and considered during the development of the prescriptions.
The implementation of EHRs helps in significantly reduce the need to repeat tests and procedures. Through electronic health records, patients have remote access to their health records at all times, and this allows them to visit any healthcare facility and get treatment without having to redo tests that have already been done. HIT EHRs allow patients more access to their medical data, and this gives them an opportunity to modify the records. Access to update health records is seen to aid people in tracking their health.
Efficiencies of Medical Practices
The HIT systems such as EHR ensure that the efficiencies of medical practices are improved continuously based on the wealth of information collected in the systems. The continuous tracking of data helps in creating a vast reserve of data upon which data scientists can employ machine learning and artificial intelligence systems to gain more insight into the occurrence of diseases, comorbidities, and other trends in public health (Nelson & Staggers, 2016). This information helps in the improvement of care interventions and the promotion of greater public health.
The facilitation of care coordination between the different departments of the hospital. For instance, the information collected by the laboratory technicians is loaded onto the system and can access by the surgeons in the operating room. The results of the operation, as well as the medication, is given, and its quantities are availed within the system. This ensures that the nurses providing care for the patient have sufficient information to improve their function. The integration of clinical decision support systems within the EHRs has helped to improve the accuracy of prescriptions.
There are numerous other applications of HIT systems within the healthcare industry, and they have had varying benefits on patient care. The systems also collect information about the different combinations of care that ensure the hospital’s schedule properly arrange.
The passing of the HITECH Act saw the widespread implementation of HIT in various capacities within different organizations. The determination of value creation has shown that there are numerous organizations that have failed to derive any value from HIT systems. The determination of value realization is a complex process that involves rigorous cost-benefit analysis done in eight steps; identifying study objectives, determining alternative solutions, developing a framework, measuring cost, and benefits, identifying the occurrence of the costs and benefits within the HIT’s lifecycle, factoring uncertainty and considering equity. The paper has also shown how the implementation of HIT has improved patient safety and improved the overall quality of care.
HIT VALUE ANALYSIS
The value of HIT is determined as either, always adapting, uncertain, or never adopting. In an always-adopt scenario, the costs of managing the system decrease as the value of the system increases. In the uncertain category, both the costs and benefits either increase or decrease. They never adopt category sees the costs rising while the benefits either decrease or remain constant.
When determining the value realization of a HIT system, the cost-benefits and cost-effectiveness analysis are used to define and measure the comprehensive expenses and benefits of the adoption of HIT as a decision-making tool. The first step to this is developing the objectives.
What are the goals of the organization regarding the adoption of technology? Then there is a need to establish and specify an alternative solution to the adoption of technology. Is this alternative better than the HIT? These two steps aid in the development of a basic framework for the analysis of value creation. Next is the measurement of the expenses of acquiring and managing the technology. These costs include the direct and indirect costs of the organization.
The measurement of the organizational, clinical, and financial benefits follows. With this information, it is possible to identify the occurrence of the costs and benefits within the HIT’s lifecycle. The seventh step is the consideration of the uncertainty around the running of the system. Each investment has a significant risk factor attached to it, and this needs to be factored into the evaluation of the value analysis. The final step is the consideration of equity (Glandon, Slovensky, & Smaltz, 2013). Throughout this process, it is essential to realize that the value of a system includes both the expenses and benefits, it accrues over time, and is dependent upon the applied stakeholder’s perspectives.
Alotaibi, Y. K., & Federico, F. (2017). The impact of health information technology on patient safety. Saudi medical journal, 38(12), 1173.
Bowles, K. H., Dykes, P., & Demiris, G. (2015). The use of health information technology to improve care and outcomes for older adults. Research in gerontological nursing, 8(1), 5-10.