Information Technology: Managerial and Organizational Issues Term Paper

Pages: 26 (8439 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 30  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare

¶ … Information Technology:

Managerial and Organizational Issues

Information technology is growing rapidly, and it is also changing and evolving at a rapid rate. There used to be complex issues that were dealt with technologically, but there was little done to manage and organize individuals. Now, some of that is changing. One of the areas where that is changing is in the field of medicine, because much of what is dealt with today shows concern that technology might actually be going just a little bit too far when it comes to patient information.

Patient privacy is becoming a very important issue. It is so important that legislation has been passed to make sure that doctors and other health care providers retain the confidentiality of their patients' records. The legislation, called HIPAA, is very hard to implement, however, because of the use of technology to transfer patient information. Any time computers are involved extra safeguards need to be put into place in order to make sure that hackers cannot get into the system and access patient files.

The concern for patient privacy comes mostly from the patients themselves. They don't want someone sitting next to them to be able to have access to confidential and sometimes very personal information, but yet they want their information to be immediately available if they visit an emergency room or hospital for any reason (Haramboure, 1999).

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While it is becoming easier to have immediate access to patient records, the ease also brings increased chances for someone else to see those same records. Many patients are concerned about this, which has caused the government to get involved in making legislation that would protect patient privacy and still keep the access to medical records available for emergency rooms and hospitals.

Term Paper on Information Technology: Managerial and Organizational Issues Information Assignment

Patient privacy is also an important concern from the point-of-view of doctors and other healthcare professionals. Nowadays people sue each other for almost everything, and a breach of confidentiality is certainly no exception. If a doctor or hospital is careless with who finds out information about a specific patient they could be in for a very long, troublesome, and expensive lawsuit, not to mention the bad publicity that they would likely receive from allowing such an obvious breach of trust. So patients aren't the only ones concerned with privacy. Everyone involved in healthcare is interested in making the patient record system the best and most confidential it can be. That's where HIPAA comes in.

The purpose behind the HIPAA legislation is to create a balance between privacy and access. it's a difficult thing to do, and not everyone wants to comply with the new regulations that are required of them. HIPAA not only requires rules on confidentiality and access, but also requires that all healthcare organizations use some standardized forms and numbers including a standard employer identifier, a national provider identification number, and a set of electronic data interchange (EDI) standards (Haramboure, 1999).

Operational and administrative changes will be required, as well as training for new and current employees. Everyone will have to understand what the new rules are and everyone will have to follow them closely, since there will be severe penalties and heavy fines for any healthcare organization that is found to be breaking the rules. Having the healthcare organization pay a serious fine would not bode well for the future job security of the employee that was found to be breaking the rules. The new HIPAA guidelines are going to have to be a team effort between the healthcare organizations, their employees, the patients, and the government if they are to be successful (Haramboure, 1999).

One of the goals of HIPAA, other than the privacy and access issue, is to simplify the procedures used by healthcare organizations and reduce the paperwork that they are often required to fill out on each patient. If the paperwork and exchange of data between various healthcare organizations were simplified, the federal government believes that healthcare costs might be lowered significantly (Haramboure, 1999).

This is obviously a very important concern for many patients who already feel that they pay way too much for the small amount of health care that they receive. Some who need a doctor don't always go and see one, simply because they cannot afford the cost of an office visit and any medications or tests that the doctor may feel are necessary. People can die needlessly because of the cost of healthcare, and that is one of the things that the new HIPAA legislation is working to stop.

The problem with implementing HIPAA is that not all healthcare organizations will be ready in time to meet the requirements set forth in the new rules. Many are aware of the rules, but since they hadn't been enacted at the time this article was written, many hospitals and other healthcare providers were just waiting to see what the final rules would actually be and how difficult it would be to attempt to comply with them. Because of this, a great many healthcare organizations would not have been ready or compliant when the February 2000 deadline showed up (Haramboure, 1999).

HIPAA is coming, whether the healthcare organizations are ready or not, but it will not be without implementation problems. Other than some healthcare providers not being ready, there is a concern that the technology to run HIPAA effectively and efficiently might not be ready either. Companies will have to supply the hardware and create the software needed for HIPAA to work properly, so high-level people in the federal government as well as healthcare organizations will have to decide what technology companies are the most cost-effective, efficient, and trustworthy (Haramboure, 1999). This will not be easy, since there are many companies available and they are all vying for the chance to provide the technology for HIPAA. It seems that the 'wait and see' attitude adopted by many healthcare providers may have merit after all.

HIPAA is not the only issue that involves a rethinking of the managerial and organizational issues that surround technology, however. There are other areas of study that also require some reconsideration as information systems move away from just looking at technology and work their way toward organizational and managerial issues.

Information systems and computing have become more widespread in many organizations throughout the last 15 years and the amount of this has deepened and infiltrated almost every level of organizations (Adams & Sasse, 1999). Some of this has to do with the fact that personal computers have become more powerful and increasingly less expensive (Adams & Sasse, 1999). This has created the ability to have computing power and management information systems tested and placed into the hands of many more individuals throughout various organizations, and this includes the government (Adams & Sasse, 1999). How computers are used and the nature of what they are needed for has also changed recently because computers have come into many more homes (Adams & Sasse, 1999).

Much of this comes from extending computers from the workplace into home life (Adams & Sasse, 1999). Some of it also comes from laptop computers and how they have become so important for individuals that travel and need to take their work with them so that they will be able to check e-mail and exchange messages no matter where they are (Adams & Sasse, 1999). Because of all the changes in the nature of computing their use has continued to speed up and spread out to more and more individuals (Adams & Sasse, 1999). Many of these are linked to various organizations or they have specific networks that they are linked into which allows them to do more things (Adams & Sasse, 1999).

The Internet has also become extremely important because people all over the world can work with each other through a computer and this avoids many of the long distance phone calls, business trips, and other issues that would normally have to be dealt with when dealing with a client or customer overseas (Adams & Sasse, 1999). Much of the use of computers within the public sector and the government is growing very strongly (Adams & Sasse, 1999).

Still another suggestion regarding this issue is that the diffusion of new technology and innovations throughout the organization is often driven by the end users (Gupta, Holladay, & Mahoney, 2000). This largely comes about because there are many different problems within an organization that they are trying to solve and even though there are individuals within the organization that have a great deal of technical knowledge it is usually the individuals who have less technical knowledge and are trying to solve difficult problems that push for more technology (Gupta, Holladay, & Mahoney, 2000).

This is a somewhat surprising finding because other studies dealing with the private sector indicate that management information systems managers often see the value of Information Technology as being a great deal higher than the other executives list (Gupta, Holladay, & Mahoney, 2000). It appears that that is why this… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Information Technology: Managerial and Organizational Issues.  (2004, December 9).  Retrieved June 3, 2020, from

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"Information Technology: Managerial and Organizational Issues."  December 9, 2004.  Accessed June 3, 2020.