The Adoption of Information Technology in Healthcare

Computers have been integrated into the healthcare system to store and manipulate patient’s information with ease. Physicians communicate with each other or to the patients through the computer systems. Information technology is a good strategy to improve healthcare by managing data on ppatient’ss health. For instance, IT has enabled electronic prescriptions and registration of diseases through the computer and telehealth. As a physician, I believe that information technology in healthcare offers a better management of patient care. It is secure and makes attending to patients more cost-effective. Informational technology has been used in countless ways to save lives. In our hospital, prescriptions written on paper could get lost or damaged easily. Professionals used information technology to manage patient records, interpret X-rays through databases and securely prescribe and store the patient’s results. I used IT to dedicate medical errors and improve the quality of care given to my patients.

Is the adoption of information technology smooth or a turbulent?

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IT a strategic necessity in my profession in healthcare, however, some hospitals lag on the effective application of the IT strategy due to its dynamics. There is a little adoption of clinical information technology because healthcare has not realized the potential of IT. In our hospital, the application of IT has faced conflicts from patients who want their information accessed by only their doctors and not made available for every doctor online without their consent. Their worry about the integrity of their information was influenced by the fact that their data can be hacked. Therefore, the adoption is disturbing as it compromises treatment. It has also received a huge deterrent because it requires a multiple of customized interfaces which are very costly. While IT has been graceful in the medical industry with undisputable benefits, it is a turbulent to patients and doctors because of poor integration and rising costs.

The main problem

The main problem in the adoption of information technology in the health sector is the lack of information. Physicians and patients are not accustomed to using IT in medication. Old professionals believe that IT adds complexity in collecting the patient’s data, keeping health records and issuing medication (Wright, 2014). Purchasing and maintaining computer systems in a hospital is very expensive. Nonetheless, it requires training to understand the software which is very costly. Many physicians do not have the time of learning how to use electronic medical records. The adoption of IT in healthcare is not smooth because most systems are designed to keep patients records and updates and not how a physician can offer the best possible care to the patients. My fellow doctors have ignored clinical IT because they avoid being constrained by rigid systems. On the other hand, patients lack information on clinical IT which makes them worried about their information integrity. They believe the system endangers patient privacy. 

Defending the assertion

It is true that a very small fraction of the population accounts for the adoption of information technology. The integration of IT in healthcare is very expensive. Its total cost is a turbulent experience for both patients and physicians. The small fraction who have adopted IT in healthcare, for instance, use of electronic medical records, face chaos in medication. IT systems in healthcare are unreliable and inconsistent. Patients in high cities often seen by a multiple of physicians may find a problem in receiving printed prescriptions. Some systems do not support information sharing which hinders international patient care. The small fraction that has adopted clinical IT have increased the funding gap in healthcare because their patient care is not affordable. Furthermore, “A small fraction of high costs patients suffers from chronic conditions which lead to healthcare hotspots. Their hard to manage needs are too expensive” (Dudekula, Schwartz, & Binion, 2014). From the above evidence, it is clear that the cost and funding associated with these hotspots that serve only a small fraction of the population is quite large as compared with areas that IT integration has not occurred yet. The adoption of expensive clinical IT has taken years and is still resisted by old hospital executives. The old professionals contribute significantly to healthcare costs. Moreover, most IT software is generic and may not serve a hospital’s needs.  

Strategies to maximize the adoption of informatics upgrades in healthcare

Introducing change in healthcare through informatic upgrades may face resistance from older professionals. As a physician, it is my responsibility to ensure that IT is embraced and effectively used. I will begin by educating and increasing awareness of the benefits of IT in healthcare. They will know the benefits of their information being stored and secured in the hospital. I will introduce an easy electronic form of communication between the doctor and the patients. They use phone calls, send each other messages as well as emails to issue primary care. I will also integrate a single interface that guarantees patient’s information security. Through the interface, my fellow physicians will be able to log in, access patient’s records using security features such as passwords to prevent hacking. I will show old professionals that informatics upgrade will ease inpatient admissions, store all medical records and patients’ updates, and share it with patients in the future.  IT can also be adopted as it will enable all physicians in medication reconciliation, correct medical errors, and offer decisive prescriptions. These strategies will motivate patients and accelerate the adoption of informatic upgrades by old professionals.

The paper analyzes the integration of information technology in healthcare. Despite its undisputable benefits in the healthcare system, adoption of IT has not been smooth. There are barriers to the diffusion and adoption in the healthcare system such as lack of knowledge, information insecurity, expensiveness of clinical IT and technical problems. Old professionals and some patients resist the use of IT in medication because of lack of knowledge on technology. Most of the patients, as well as hospitals, find healthcare technology very expensive to be adopted. Patients are also afraid of their information being breached in IT. However, there are strategies physicians can incorporate in their hospitals to accelerate the acceptance and adoption of information technology. Enhancing security will assure patients that their data is governed by passwords and cannot be breached. They will embrace the adoption of information technology in hospitals if they learn its benefits.

References

2016 Global health care outlook | Battling costs while improving care. (n.d.). https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/Life-Sciences-Health-Care/gx-lshc-2016-health-care-outlook.pdf.

Dudekula, A., Schwartz, M., & Binion, D. G. (2014). Su1313 Crohn’s Disease “Hotspotting”: Analysis of Regional Patterns of Admission and Readmission to Identify Clinical Factors Associated With “Superutilizer” Patient Behavior. Gastroenterology146(5), S-434. doi:10.1016/s0016-5085(14)61559-6 

Rozenblum, R., Miller, P., Pearson, D., & Marelli, A. (n.d.). 1 Patient-centered healthcare, patient engagement and health information technology: the perfect storm. Information Technology for Patient Empowerment in Healthcare. doi:10.1515/9781614514343-006

Wright, A. (2014). Clinical Problem Lists in the Electronic Health Record. doi:10.1201/b17

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