Research Paper: Health Information Technology System Hospital

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[. . .] User Training

Information Technology, though not a very new concept in the contemporary world is considerably technical. This means that users of the systems associated with this feature ought to have substantial knowledge on them if they desire to be successful in using them (Cummings, 2006). Putting this element into consideration, the organization embarked on a training programme for the potential users of the system following the automation. Both the staff and the clients to the facility were trained on the use of the system. The hospitals Information Communications Technology Department facilitated this training.

Lessons were provided for users in sessions and this included both theoretical and practical training. Different end users were trained in accordance to their needs and privileges on how to use the system. The top management for instance was trained on among other things, accessing the system, retrieving public and private information and enhancing privacy of sensitive information. The records department staffs were trained on how to create, update, access, secure and retrieve records. The patients were trained on how to access their personal records and how to create passwords for their accounts while the Systems Administration Staff were trained on how to maintain the systems and how to trouble shoot reported problems among other things.

Ever since the inception of the incorporating Information Technology into the healthcare system, all staff had to be trained to ease the transition from pushing paper work back and forth into currently using a computerized approach into their daily business. Paper work was very tedious and time consuming; information was easily lost, misplaced or switched by mistake. However, all that changes with the use of computers that will help doctors and staff working in hospitals to collect patient information, store it, easily retrieve it in future when needed as well as facilitate smooth transfer of patient administrative and financial information to different hospitals and insurers alike. The staffs hence, have to be trained with advanced IT programs being introduced in hospitals and made mandatory for all medical practitioners. Knowledge of computer application is certainly the foundation, but the techniques of how to key in patient details, store them in separate files and facilitate interoperability was key in patient training. Doctors, nurses and administrative department working in the medical department were trained on using computers and avoid using papers to do their work (Bau 2011).

The inception of this technology in the healthcare system did not go without a few worries over the security of patient's vital information. Patient details are usually confidential and consumers feared that unauthorized access could lead to a leak of vital confidential information regarding the patients. It is for these reasons that an IT department was set up and advanced in every hospital to put up firewalls and make it difficult for outside to access the hospital database from outside. All computers within the hospital had to have security codes that were only given to the attending nurses or staff. The codes were changed with every shift making only the attending nurse to know how to access the computers. The name of the attending nurse was also registered when she or he logged into the computers as well as the duration spent and the information accessed. Legally speaking, all information given by a patient is recorded in the computers and is not changed. This prevents bias of patients when giving their financial or medical information. It reduces cases of legal suits based on negligence on the doctors. Hospitals have proof that they acted in accordance with the information given by the patient and are not liable (Bau 2011).

It was with increased concern on how the economy had become computerized while other important sector such as the healthcare system was forgotten. Analysts indicated that the government could save up to $81 billion annually if they adopted a more comprehensive approach of integrating IT into the system. Initial funds came from the National Conference of State Legislatures who spear headed the project. Most of the funding came from the government where in 2004; president bush initiated the President's Health Information Technology Plan. It was a ten-year plan that would provide funding to the project while make medical information open to the public to facilitate sound medical and economic decisions. Billions are channeled into the healthcare system by both the state and federal government to improve the quality of healthcare system in the country. Non- profit organizations also play an important role in funding underequipped hospitals in the suburbs to promote the use of IT in the hospitals (Pipersburgh 2011).

Annually, a budget on the amount of money to be dispersed to the healthcare system is drawn up by the government and released in intervals during the year. Hospitals are responsible for the management of the money given to obtain supplies, pay electricity bills, pay wages to hospital staff and keep the hospital running. It is the work of the hospital administration to take care of all the financial requirements of the hospital. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is in charge of managing the budget drawn up for the health information technology project. They review how much hospitals per district will need in terms of buying equipment such as computers, putting up an IT department as well as upgrading and servicing the computers in the hospitals. The National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is in charge of overseeing the yearly budget laid out for the health sector and ensuring that it fairly distributed to all the districts in the country. The office looks at the budget provided by all the states and has the power to propose a review state legislation if the budget provided for the healthcare department is not enough (Lenert & Sundwall 2012).

The National conference of State Legislatures has played an important role in the support of this program. Motions in the house of congress have been passed to promote the inception of Information technology in the healthcare system so as to save the cost of receiving medical care. The move seemed to be expensive by legislatures went with it as it would in the long-term improve healthcare in the country and make it cheaper for citizens in the country to receive treatment. Various profit and non- profit organizations have promoted the project and provided funds to various hospitals to make it possible to hire IT staff and purchase computers so as to eradicate the use of papers in hospitals. The federal government proposed a stimulus package for the states and made the incorporation of information technology be mandatory in all public hospitals (Pipersburgh 2011).

Downtime in IT refers to the moments when the system is slow or unavailable. It can either be planned or sometimes unplanned. When such an event occurs, customers are unable to communicate with the hospital while the productivity of employees in the hospital is reduced because the whole hospital is controlled by the use of computers. When there is a system failure, it becomes very dangerous because patients can die or suffer in the process. To manage downtime, hospital management needs to run the system regularly for viruses and ensure that the system is working as required. The computers over time need to be serviced or replaced with newer models that are faster and more advanced. The quicker patients can be attended to the quicker a life is saved. An IT department is set up for monitoring the system 24/7 to ensure that nothing goes wrong and in the event that something goes wrong, the IT staff needs to repair it in the quickest time possible (Jaen 2011).

It is not enough to incorporate the use of IT in the healthcare system, but regular monitoring is necessary to ensure that operations within the hospital run smoothly. The mainframe system in the hospitals needs to be maintained and upgraded with new firewalls regularly. Hackers are coming up with new ways of hacking into computers and the firewalls need to be advanced to ensure that unauthorized access is restricted. The IT staffs go for governnemt sponsored training on new ways of maintaining the system in the hospital, how to detect hackers and how to monitor the performance of the system to ensure it is working at its best. Outsourced IT firms are hired by the government to visit hospitals every three-month to check over the efficiency of the computer system in hospitals and update them when needed (Jaen 2011).

The healthcare reform involved a number of government policies meant to improve the delivery of healthcare in various places in the country. The reform policies were meant with a number of debates over its fairness, quality, access, the amount of money the governmemt would have to spend and the right of every individual to receive healthcare. Receiving treatment in U.S. hospital is very expensive taking a significant portion of the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Health Information Technology System Hospital.  (2012, May 7).  Retrieved April 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/health-information-technology-system/6191780

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"Health Information Technology System Hospital."  Essaytown.com.  May 7, 2012.  Accessed April 19, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/health-information-technology-system/6191780.