Health Care Information Management and Internet Term Paper

Pages: 10 (2722 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare

Health Care Information and the Internet

Due to the Internet, the health care information that is being passed along to consumers is changing greatly. This can be good or bad, depending on who is being asked the question and how the healthcare information is managed. In the course of this paper, health care information and the Internet will be examined so that readers can get a more complete picture of what is going on in this field today.

It is important to discuss this issue because Internet sites that offer health information are growing so rapidly today and many consumers are not aware of which sites are relatively safe and which may be dangerous. There many governmental regulations that address the idea of fraud, but regulating quality often inhibits ideas and therefore this is not considered desirable. It is also very impractical because the Internet is so large in scope and so international in its character. The online market for consumer health care is already nearing $2 billion and the number of sites that provide this type of health-related information are growing so rapidly that it is difficult to keep up with. Most of the sides are trying very hard to increase the traffic that they have to their site and they advertise quality information.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Health Care Information Management and Internet Assignment

Many of these web sites are well-known and even though they claim that they have high-quality information users on the Internet will often look at other sources for information of this nature. Naturally, the quality of information that is received about health care can affect the health of an individual. Sometimes products can be taken that are ineffective or harmful in some way and individuals can also delay the seeking of treatment because of what they have read online. One of the main reasons that the quality online is seen to be more significant then it is in print is that most people believe anything that is high-tech is credible. Information can be delivered so rapidly to individuals across the country and across the world and the cost of this information is relatively low. It is much less expensive than going to a doctor. The images that these web sites create for themselves are relatively easy and also inexpensive and the fact that web sites are so international makes enforcing and regulating them complex and difficult.

How quality is assessed often comes from peer review. When this is done experts in the field look at the material that is provided to ensure that the work is quality. Some of the Internet sites that deal with medical information utilize this process in order to review the materials that are offered before they are posted. This presents them with some difficulty, however, because the approach of having peer reviewed information is not always uniform and because experts in the field are required. When Internet consumers visit sites that do not have these types of reviews the quality of information that they receive may be unacceptable.

The real issue for health-care today over the Internet is whether developers, advertisers, and consumers can assess health information in regards to quality without being an expert on the content and whether these web sites that offer health information can remain ethical. It is possible that they can do this although it will never take the place of being reviewed by peers. There are various indicators of quality that Internet users can identify and there many organizations that provide various tips on how sites should be assessed.

This is still a somewhat haphazard approach, however, and since it has not been developed by any strong consensus of opinion it has also not been validated. This is very significant because individuals that are looking for health-care information want to ensure that what they find on the Internet is safe. Cyberspace does not contain any type of written rules but the health care sites out there that are considered to be major sites feel it is important that they can assure the public that the content they provide is accurate and reliable. In doing this they work to gain the confidence of the public and be down-to-earth with how they deal with both sickness and health.

Many of these web sites want to commit the rules that they have created onto paper in order to remedy the situation of trust. Many ethical guidelines are currently being developed that will help govern the program content, sponsorship, privacy, advertising practices, and other issues that face online health care. Two of the most serious issues that are effectively managing health care information that goes to consumers are the protection of privacy and the allowing of pharmaceutical sales on the Web. The way that individuals manage the health conditions that they have and the way that they receive health care information has been strongly revolutionized by the Internet.

In the year 2000 it was expected that over 41 million Americans would utilize the Internet for their health care. 43% of the individuals that utilize the Internet look at health care information every year. Health concerns also should be considered one of the most common reasons that individuals utilize the Internet and the number of individuals that use the Internet for this purpose appears to be growing by upwards of 50% per year. It is important to understand that health care was growing very rapidly even before the Internet health care boom began. In the 20th-century health care services grew incredibly and many patients now look for various counsel from different individual doctors about services that they may need instead of consulting one specific family physician for everything related to their health.

The Internet got in on this very easily because it provides fast, easy, and potentially much more health care information. However, the idea of defrauding consumers is also something that should be considered when looking at health care because the health information and health care services that are being sought by these consumers are somewhat different than what they would find if they went to their family doctor. The services and information that they receive are not given in the same manner as would traditionally have occurred if they would have gone to licensed medical practitioners. In general, health care has been behind various other sectors in utilizing services and solutions dealing with information technology. However, modern health care is becoming so important and advances are being made so rapidly that information must be shared in order to help facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of many patients.

The Internet is also being utilized for research, public health monitoring, evaluating and paying insurance claims, and educating and training various individuals regarding health care topics and issues. In order to respond to the strong consumer use on the Internet that is taking place regarding health care, various organizations and services that deal with health care must change over to some extent from the traditional establishments that they have had to Web site services. Many HMOs and various health-care professionals utilize the Internet today to access accounts, communicate between providers and patients, transmit and store data relating to patients, hold discussions and offer advice among various health-care professionals, research specific drugs and diseases, and order various products.

It is quite likely that the health services that are offered on the Internet will overtake standard medicine at some point but control over health information on a personal level and also adequate amounts of confidentiality must be insured by various laws before this can take place. Also important to ensure for the safety of consumers is the reliability of the information that these individuals receive online and ways to a fight back against trade practices that are considered fraudulent or deceptive.

The invasion of an individual's privacy is also a significant issue and many health-care companies are looking closely at cyber ethics because this is significant to health care today. It is important to discuss cyber ethics to some extent here because it strongly affects the way that health-care information to the consumer is managed on the Internet. Even though cyber ethics involves more than just health related information, managing health care information on the Internet today is strongly effected by the ethics of the individuals that post health information to web sites and state that the content is safe and reliable. If they do this in an unethical manner, they could be harming many people. While this harm may be strictly unintentional, it is still there and so consumers must be very careful when it comes to the information that they find on the Internet, hat kind of web site it comes from, and how reliable the site seems to be.

The information revolution that has taken place within various industrialized nations in the world has already begun to alter many aspects of the lives of individuals. This can be seen in work and employment, national defense, medical care, banking and commerce, transportation, and entertainment. The computer and cyber ethics has… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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