Importance of Information Technology in

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Nov 15, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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Challenges and Opportunities
--

The Growing
Importance of Information Technology in
Healthcare

Stephen M. Foxman, Esq.

Philadelphia


December, 2005

Major Technology Issues for Healthcare
Institutions



Computer systems with different functions operate
separately, and don’t share information



Data is spread throughout healthcare institution, in various
departments and in different computer systems



Mandatory compliance with new legal requirements, such
as security and privacy requirements of U.S. Health
Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

Management of Supplies and Equipment


Advanced information technology (IT) systems are
needed for ordering, inventory control, finding and
distributing supplies



Cost control and avoidance of theft and waste



Use of Radio Frequency Identification Tags (RFID)
and bar coding for locating and keeping track of
supplies and equipment



Business Process Improvement systems;
improvement of quality of delivery of services

EMR and Patient Information


Electronic Medical Records (EMR)


Importance of access and accuracy of medical
history of patients


Privacy issues regarding storage and access to
information


Diagnosis, treatment and potentially detrimental
other information being accessed by patient or
others (e.g., sexually transmitted disease, genetic
disease or DNA disease susceptibility analysis
information)


Patient Information


Clinical Information Systems for patient charting


Use of wireless personal digital assistant devices
(PDA) for access to and updating of EMR


Potential for patients to have personal card, RFID
device, implanted device containing blood type,
disease, and other EMR information


Treatment information to be generated and stored
for later reference in EMR


Tie in of EMR treatment and prescription
information to pharmacy for providing appropriate
medicines and dosages for patients

Prescriptions and Medications


Computerized generation of prescription to avoid
errors



Computerized generation of labels; drug ingestion or
use instructions; warnings



Computerized cross checking of prescription against
patient information on allergic reactions, drug
interactions, appropriate dosage levels

Management of Patient Treatment


Specialized information technology systems to
manage appropriate treatment tied into diagnostic
databases, patient personal information and
diagnosed condition



Use of IT systems to manage and avoid errors in
special care environments such as operating rooms,
emergency rooms, pediatric care and intensive care
wards



Use of IT systems to aid nurses in providing proper
treatment (Nursing Informatic Systems), monitoring
patients with sensory equipment for vital signs

Management of Patient Treatment



Use of local robotic delivery systems to provide
equipment, medications, and nutrition


Wireless communication for doctors and nurses to
avoid pagers and delays in providing information
regarding patients and treatment


Use of distance diagnosis and treatment with high
speed digital communications links; transmission of
charts, monitoring information, x
-
rays and scans


Patient access to doctors and medical information
over Internet


Staff Development and Training




Use of Internet based training to maintain best
practices and skills for hospital or other healthcare
institutional staff


Billing and Collection Information


Particular importance in US because of lack of
national healthcare delivery and insurance system


Computerized monitoring of use of proper
medications, medical equipment, treatment
procedures for cost control


Determination of proper codes for treatment and
billing for services


used by private insurers to make
payments to providers of care


Development of national databases for tracking
illnesses, treatment methods and effectiveness of
medications and treatments used


Medical Research



Tracking of methodologies used, compliance with
government reporting and safety requirements


Specialized IT systems to track information and
provide reports in form necessary for government
approval of new drugs


Potential exposure to liability from electronic storage
of field reports and emails between pharmaceutical
company employees and researchers (e.g., recent
Vioxx case against Merck)