Health Care Information System Thesis

Pages: 7 (2123 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare

¶ … Corporate Health Care it System

Corporate health care information technology (it) systems are often complex in design, but must be simplified in function in order that individuals whose expertise and backgrounds that are patient focused can access and use those systems with knowledge and skills acquired through training and system orientation sessions. They will are kept up-to-date on system changes with continuing education sessions and system user manual updates. The system has to support the numerous elements of the overall hospital or clinic functions in admitting, discharge, accounting, billing, patient accounting, medical records, order charting, and the various hospital ancillary services. While each of these areas is separate in function, the overall system must be seamless in outcome of data input into the system so that the system can facilitate the important and multi-levels of accounting that are necessary for reporting and overall hospital financial health.

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This paper is based on a live interview with a corporate hospital director of business office services. In that role, the interviewee, Deshay Scott, acts as a sort of middle-man for the multiple levels of hospital it functions, because the business office is responsible for admitting patients, discharging them on the system, collecting and reporting charges that are substantiated by medical record input, order entry, and ancillary services. Scott also is the link between the hospital patient care areas involving the entry of information as it is culled for the purposes of accounting functions. She works with the hospital staff, accountants, and it people to coordinate the needs and functions of the systems in a way that facilitates accurate input, analysis, and output of information for the various levels of individuals delivering patient care and administrative hospital functions.

Thesis on Health Care Information System Assignment

The it system is an "in-house" one. It was designed by the hospital corporation, and implemented throughout the corporation's ten rural hospitals. The system is called Medicalis-3, because it is in its third revision. The it department is housed at the corporation's corporate headquarters in Florida, and hosts a staff of 15 it specialists. The system has been the basis of the corporation operations for twenty years. It has been updated to remain current with the state and federal hospital regulations and industry governances. The medical record component has been upgraded to reflect the necessary security components to facilitate the 2005 Hospital Insurance Portability and Privacy Act (HIPAA) (Smith, HJ, 1994).

Inpatient and Out-Patient Reporting

Scott is the director of business office services for a 90 bed rural corporate hospital. The hospital has an emergency room with an average daily patient count of 120 patients. These patients are examined and treated by a staff of three registered nurses, three licensed practical nurses, and, during the day, three physicians; and during the evening two physicians. There are also back-up physicians through the physician group that is responsible for providing additional physicians during times of high utilization. For every patient seen in the emergency room, a physician bill is generated from a physician billing service for the emergency physician group.

For every service that is delivered an emergency room patient, there is a specialty bill, radiologist, laboratory, pharmacy, and other services like social services. Every aspect of patient care is tracked at an inpatient or outpatient level of care; and it begins with patient registration for the emergency room, outpatient ancillary services, or the cancer treatment center, or the psychological services clinic. The registration level can be converted from an outpatient to an inpatient level of care from any other of the outpatient or ancillary service areas.

The input of patient demographics as inpatient or outpatient and the service charges are an inquiry-based function. This function can integrate the medical record function with a level of authority authorization. The charges are driven by the order entry on the units or in the emergency room. All of the ancillary, medical supply, and pharmacy charges are integrated into the system, and all entries can be viewed with the appropriate levels of authority. The charge master drives the charges that are reflected by the order entry functions.

The patient accounting staff has access to the system at inquiry and billing capabilities levels. The system accommodates the diagnostically related groups (DRG) with the charge master, and has been designed to allow the appropriate level of authority the ability to update the contractual reimbursement that automatically calculates the multiple managed care agreements. The system puts the DRGs into the appropriate revenue categories so that the information can be accurately accounted for by contract. Vitally important Medicare and Medicaid reporting elements are built into the system, and the once antiquated manual system of tracking Medicare charges as regards Part a and Part B and reimbursable vs. not reimbursable on the inpatient and outpatient levels of care has been updated to a process that is completely system driven and verifiable.

To comply with HIPAA, the system has a user tracking mechanism that can trace a user access to source, and levels of authority have been assigned to limit the access to records involving patient confidentiality and privacy.

The Benefit to Patients and Staff

Scott says that the system is efficient on a user-authority-need basis, and that this has facilitated more accurate reporting, and compliance with HIPAA. That is to the patient's benefit. Scott says that patients have an expectation of those things which the system ensures in patient care: accuracy, privacy, and comprehensive record keeping that assures the patient's history with the facility is compiled in a way that is designed to afford the patient the highest quality and safest possible delivery of care.

For the staff, the system is designed to accommodate their functions at the specified user levels. Ongoing orientation and education and training on the systems and its updates keep the staff abreast of changes that are in compliance with laws and regulations.

The system is an example of the maximization of efficiency within the integrated aspects and elements in the delivery of patient care.

System Implementation and Updates

In version three of the system over a 20 years period, systems overhauls, or conversions, have been conducted. This entails implementing, training and educating staff and users, including physicians, to the new system versions. The conversions are accomplished by running the new system along side the old system concurrently to ensure accuracy, and to work out the "kinks" that are experienced in every system design. This make the transition smooth, because the old system version runs until the new system version can produce the same accuracy in numbers, but with the additional updates and system design of the new system.

Before the system goes "live," it is tested with the components and elements of the design, especially the charge and billing systems. When those components can be verified by Scott as accurately reflecting the old system, the new system can go live. As it goes live, the old system is cut-off, and those accounting functions that go with the old system will continue to be managed on the old system where the account is represented. The new system will move forward, and as the reimbursement process occurs, the old system will over time be closed out and users locked out.

Scott says the advantages of the in-house software and it staff is that the system support function is always accessible. Any problems that occur can be resolved because the support team is housed in the corporate headquarters and can interface with each hospital's system whenever an order ticket is opened. Scott reports that the relationship between the users and the it is good, because problems are resolved in a timely fashion with technicians who were involved in the design and implementation of the system, and who understand the user's needs.

Scott reports, too, that the system and in-house it staff saves money because the technicians do other functions and support the hospital as a corporation with their work. They are paid salaries, eliminating the delays of waiting for outside vendors to come to the site, and who charge by the hour. Scott reports that her experience (20 years) has led her to conclude that the benefits of the in-house it staff is more conducive to the busy and unique environment of patient care.

Conclusion

Interviewing Scott was a learning experience, and I found her to be very well informed about the overall operations of the hospital and the system and the ways in which the various elements were integrated. My overall familiarity with what she was talking about was enhanced by my own participation in the course, which really prepared me to be able to engage in a coherent exchange, although I would say that she was certainly more familiar with the unique health care delivery language in her use of sliding in and out of acronyms and agencies that oversee health care.

Scott talked at length about the managed care process, and how it has changed the health care delivery of care, patient access to care, reimbursement, and, therefore, hospital… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Health Care Information System.  (2008, October 16).  Retrieved April 2, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/health-care-information-system/111752

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