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Electronic Health Records

Health Care System

Provision of quality care remains the primary objective of any health centre. Public and private hospitals align their operations toward a seamless delivery of care to their patients. Besides, governments and public agencies enforce the provision of the best health care possible to citizens by health providers. Digitalization of health care information system is amongst the deliberate efforts to enhance the deliver quality care. Today, most of the health institutions have upgraded their ways of managing health information. The use of computer systems to collect, manage, and access health information has undoubtedly eased delivery of care, besides reducing risks of miscommunications amongst various departments. Common information systems utilized include, amongst others, Electronic Health Record, Clinical and Administrative, Financial And Clinical Health, and Patient Portals. Incorporation of these computer information systems in every department of health has improved efficiency is not just patient admission and treatment, but also in follow-up care of patients at home, raising the rate of success of interventions adopted to help patients.

Computer Information Systems in Health Care Systems

Electronic Health Record (EHR) system is an essential feature of an information system that replaces the paperwork related to a patient’s medical history. According to Ashraf (n.d), the system deals with interoperability of the entire health system. Besides, EHR is designed to facilitate the sharing of any data between providers and departments. All the health concepts and knowledge principles are stored in the EHR for sharing to every provider involved in the chain of care. Records stored in this system are real-time and can be instantly accessed by any authorized user. Electronic Health Record automates the provider workflow, helping doctors and nurses adhere to fundamental steps involved in the delivery of care.

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Clinical and Administrative system handles information related to the administration of a health center such as an organization. The clinical system stores records of hospital episode statistics such as medications offered and resources utilized. More importantly, the system reports to the administrative officers the various diagnosis conducted, their outcomes, and medications administered (Ashraf, n.d). Incorporating this information into one record helps administrators predict the usage of resources. The administrative systems guide on the retrospective questions that officers in a health center should be thinking of. For instance, it is possible to know the rate of drug use from statistics on diagnosis and treatments administered to patients. This information facilitates early ordering of drugs. Also, health can suggest possible drug interactions depending on the diagnosis being applied. The clinical and administrative system eases the analysis of clinical information for informed administrative resolutions.

Financial and Clinical Health system deals with patient’s financial information, which eases billing for various medications offered, saving time used to confirm payment receipt before a patient is served. According to Levin (2019), Financial and Clinical Health systems are designed to access patient’s information for necessary billing. For example, this system uses patient’s information such are drugs and medications administered to invoice the total bill for a particular patient. It does so by recording various deliverables with their associated prices. The way a patient utilizes various departments, incurring different costs, is automatically noted back in their financial reports. The system also facilitates easy following of unpaid dues. A systematic record and a notification to the financial officers and patients who are demanded ensure unpaid bills are managed. Financial and clinical health systems facilitate effective financial management in healthcare by minimizing cases of defaulted pays.

Patient portals systems are customer-centred features of the system that allows patients to keep up with the information about their treatment. As Dendere et al. (2019) claim, patient portals let a patient peruse their health data right from the first medication. The physician-patient relationship is enhanced by allowing patients to access their electronic medical records. The portal system enables the sharing of information between a caregiver and patients. Also, physicians utilize the portal to educate their patients through informative updates. In cases where a patient needs guidance, they can communicate directly to their doctors for further guidance. More importantly, the portals system provides a suitable platform to encourage patients. Doctors, through occasional updates, encourage patients to keep up with their medication. Patient Portals system actualize an interactive and informative virtual connection between a patient and physician, improving the quality of health care.

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Pros and Cons of Computer Information Systems for Patient Safety

Pros

Computer information systems are undoubtedly effective in coordinating various departments of a health center, an essential aspect of a health care system in ensuring service delivery with minimal errors. As Alotaibi and Federico (2017) assert, electronic health records improve guideline adherence amongst various offices. Incorporation of archetypes such as instructions, evaluations, and actions for various medical conditions, reduces chances of errors. Computerized entries are programmed such that only the known concepts and principles can be applied to various interventions. In such a scenario, it becomes difficult to apply their unknown interventions unacknowledged by the systems. Further, the coordination of facilitated by information system eases consultation between departments, facilitating clarifications often needed to verify medications. Computer systems actualizes a connected communication in the system of service delivery, reduces chances of errors to due communication barriers or confusion from details, thus promoting patient safety.

Cons

Computer information systems bear risks whose consequences are often severe than it would be for a traditional health record. According to Kim et al. (2017), like any computerized system, due to a human mistake, electronic health records increases duplication of errors which are transferred to all the other departments, risking the safety of a patient. For example, an information feed of a wrongly-prescribed dosage appears to all providers who will be handling the patient. Various departments may note a diagnosis that was wrongly done, especially if the system does not have an archetype of the same problem. Consequently, electronic prescription on the patient portal ends up being done wrongly. While computer information systems ease departmental cooperation in the delivery of care, they pose risks of machine errors whose consequences more severe than for a physical record system. A human mistake done at one department is spread across the entire system, putting patient safety at great risk.

Impacts of Computer Information Systems on Patient Continuity of Care

Computer information systems enhance patient continuity of care through departmental cooperation in the delivery of care to a patient. According to Alotaibi and Federico (2017), hospitals whose information systems have embedded electronic ‘sign-out’ and ‘hand-over’ experienced continuity of care. ‘Sign-out’ and ‘hand-out’, when integrated with the electronic health record, actualize passing of patient-specific information from one caregiver to the next in a systematic manner. Various personnels can communicate and confirm details from each other through electronic communication. For instance, the patient portals system facilitates a seamless prescription even when a patient is at home. Fewer omissions are recorded when care-giving is handed over in a continued and coordinated manner. Computer information systems enhance patient continuity of care through the ‘sign out’ and ‘hand-over’, system options that ensure information is delivered to the next caregiver successfully.

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Examples of Experiences of Computer Information Systems

I have experienced the significance of computer information systems in the management of health care in my local hospital. Being a member of a health care team, I can confidently attest that computer information systems are the best technological advancement to occur in the health sector in the twenty-first century. My encounter with digitalized health records involved attending patients who had been involved in an accident. The process would start by registering every patient into the system through the Electronic Health Record system. Once a new patient was feed into the system, all departments would see in their respective departments. A patient portal would be created automatically and would be accessed through a personal computer or a smart device. Further, the financial systems would start invoicing the newly admitted patient depending on the medications they are receiving, as feed by various departments. Before being discharged, a patient would receive prescriptions through their portals and the location to correct drug. Also, the accumulated bill would be sent to each patient. The entire process did not involve any paperwork, a reflection of what computer information system revolutionalize delivery of health care

Digitalization of health records has significantly improved delivery of care. Incorporation of computer systems into the management of health information has contributed to the automation of various activities in many health centres such as, amongst others, admission, prescription, administration, and discharge of patients. Some of the computer information systems include electronic Health Record, Clinical and Administrative, Patient Portals, and Financial and Clinical Health. These systems are coordinated in such a way that each department can access information about a patient. Once information is feed through the Electronic Health Record system, it is received by other departmental systems such as Finance, which automatically starts invoicing a patient. These systems have reduced medical errors occurring due to human mistakes, improving patient safety in the course. While computer information systems exhibit risk of system duplicated errors, it has promoted continuity of health care in a greatly efficient way.