Information Technology In Healthcare Essay

Information Technology In Healthcare Essay

Over the years, strides have been taken to improve the quality of care in health organizations. The emergence of healthcare information technology has somehow proven to solve some of the problems facing the health institution, however, as good as this may sound, there are drawbacks to using information technology in healthcare. This paper is going to analyze the good and bad of information technology in healthcare in relation to government policies, stakeholders, as well as patient information. Information Technology In Healthcare Essay.

In healthcare, patient safety is an important aspect, and it involves avoidance, prevention, and reduction of adverse outcomes or injuries that may arise from healthcare processes (Aloitabi & Federico, 2017). There was a report by the Institute of Medicine in 1999 titled “To err is Human” which called for the development and testing of new technologies to reduce medical errors and a follow-up report calling for the use of information technology to serve as the first step in transforming and changing the healthcare setting in order to achieve safer and better care (Aloitabi & Federico, 2017). Healthcare information technology is the application of information processing that deals with the storage, retrieval, and sharing of healthcare information, data, and knowledge for communication and decision making using both computer hardware and software (Aloitabi & Federico, 2017).  Various researches have shown that healthcare information technology improves patient care and outcomes, Bowles, Dykes, and Demiris (2015) indicated that information technology improves the care of older adults and further research is being carried out in order to fully implement information technology in Gerontological care.


Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society is a healthcare organization that focuses on information technology. It is a non-profit organization that serves as a “global advisor and thought a leader that supports the transformation of health through the use of information technology” (HIMSS, 2019).Information Technology In Healthcare Essay.  It has more than 70000 global individual members and 630 corporate members as well as over 450 non-profit organizations. They are engaged with improving the quality of health of individuals and populations as well as improving cost and access to healthcare. Their role is to design and leverage key data assets, guide operations, and clinical practice through predictive analytics and maturity models to advise leaders, stakeholders, and health influencers globally of the best practices in health information and technology (HIMSS, 2019). Health Information and Management Systems Society focuses on Electronic Health Records (EHR) which is the organization’s ain information system technology program. Electronic health records and electronic medical records are being used interchangeably. They are, however, an individual’s official health document shared among facilities and agencies in order to improve patient outcome. It is “a digital version of a patient’s paper chart” (, 2018). These records are in real time, and they are patient-centered making information available instantly and in secured fashion to authorized users.

Furthermore, electronic health records can contain a patient’s medical history, diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, immunization dates, allergies, radiology images, and laboratory test results. It also allows access to evidence-based materials that a healthcare provider can use to make decisions about patient care, therefore, reducing medical errors and it can also help streamline the provider’s workflow (, 2019). All of which have been seen to have a positive impact on patient care and the jobs of physicians and nurses (Manca, 2015). This data contained in the electronic medical records make it possible for health care organizations to share and update information among different departments and offices. According to Manca (2015), healthcare professionals needed tools to help them transform the way they practice, and EMR along with its information technology has done that. Information Technology In Healthcare Essay.

Furthermore, more physicians are adopting the use of EMR, as of 2014, 75 percent of physicians use EMR and have indicated that patient care improved (Manca, 2015). EMRs also help in more efficient storage and retrieval of information. It gives the healthcare providers better information regarding their patients something that was not possible with paper charts; it helps providers view values such as weight, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure, it also helps improve the quality of care for chronic diseases (Manca, 2015). Furthermore, the data gathered by EMR can be used as an access point to gather research, recent studies have also shown that medications data gathered on EMR can be used in primary care settings to provide information for new drugs (Manca, 2015). EMR is also known to improve communication and relationships between family physicians and team members; it can also be used to assign tasks to necessary departments as well as book schedules. It also improves communication between healthcare providers and the patients allowing the patients to engage in their own personal care (Manca, 2015). Another critically important component of electronic medical records is the ability to improve the workload of physicians and other healthcare personnel (Manca, 2015).

The significant barrier that could hinder the adoption of electronic medical records especially in developing countries is the cost as established by Williams and Boren (2008). Regardless of the challenges, there are possibilities for developing countries to adopt this information technology in their health institutions with the help of the developed countries. Information Technology In Healthcare Essay. Developed countries have incentives in place to take care of financial problems that could arise from the adoption of EMR, studies have shown that health information technology investments generate positive financial investments (Wang, Wang, & McLeod, 2018). The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was established to promote the adoption of information technology in healthcare as well as significant financial incentives and penalties to organizations willing to use the technology (Wang, Wang, & Leod, 2018). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid create a regulation around the use of EMR in organizations called meaningful use. The Meaningful Use was created in the hope that it would provide better clinical outcomes as well as improving the quality, safety, and efficiency of information technology ( Wang, Wang, & Leod, 2018). It is a term that defines the minimum United States government standards for electronic medical records, it is divided into three stages, stage one focuses on promoting the adoption of EMR technologies that certified, it establishes the requirements for the collection of electronic data and providing information to the patients by accessing electronic copies of their own information. Stage two focuses on care coordination and patient information exchange as well as improving clinical processes. Stage three focuses on improving health outcomes by implementing measures that protect the patient’s information. Failure to adhere to these important rules can result in penalties of reimbursement by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare.Information Technology In Healthcare Essay.

In case of system breach from the use of electronic medical records, the stakeholders would be unable to get the required funding to promote their organization according to the Meaningful Use Act, furthermore, a patient should be notified within 60 days of a breach in an organizations technological system (American Institute of Health and Management Association, 2014). The HITECH Act also requires that healthcare organizations publicly report all breaches of protected information involving more than 500 patients (Ronquillo et al., 2018). With all of these regulations in place, there is still a big fear of data breach which has been known to happen quite often, as of 2017, there has been a reported breach of about 88 percent of patient data in healthcare organizations (Ronquillo et al., 2018). These security issues are concerning for patients because of the amount of information that is being shared using this technology, as explained earlier, the government has put in place strict regulations regarding information collected an accessed by healthcare providers. Healthcare organizations also enforce strict internal penalties if a patient’s information has been accessed without being authorized like the case of the hospital in Arizona where a lot of employees were fired due to inappropriate access to patient data (Menachemi & Collum, 2011).Information Technology In Healthcare Essay.  According to an article by Monegain (2011), it was stated that lack of resources, ill-preparedness, and lack of internal control over patient information causes many healthcare organizations to be unable to deal with privacy and security risks when it comes to electronic health records,. Moreover, a report by Deloitte Center for Health Solutions stated that any health organization ill-prepared for the risks of privacy and security of patient information could leave itself exposed to medical fraud which is worrying for the organization’s stakeholders (Monegain, 2011). System breach or failure poses a serious threat to an organization’s reputation and can lead to some significant financial losses (Cheng, Liu, & Yao, 2017).

In the modern days of technology, the rate of cyber threats has increased which is a problem to the privacy and security of electronic health records (Kruse et al., 2017). Various researches have been made in order to find solutions to prevent data breaches and safeguard patient information, Deloitte’s report highlighted that an organization should be able to identify data security risks and allocate specific security resources to protect patient information. Furthermore, implement policies and carry out training that would enable proper handling of patient information (Monegain, 2011). Numerous techniques can be used to safeguard patient information, Kruse et al. (2017) identified the use of firewall and cryptography methods which have proven to be the most useful techniques for protecting patient information. Cheng, Liu, and Yao (2017) grouped these techniques into two categories, the primary security measure category, and the designated data leak protection category. The use of firewalls, cryptography, and antivirus fall under the primary category. The designated protection uses the content of the data monitored to detect a potential leakage or breach.

Health information technology has grown to be of effective use in many healthcare organizations in developed countries, studies have shown its importance in delivering quality healthcare, and positive patient outcome. Information Technology In Healthcare Essay. It can be introduced in delivering care for older patients; it is also relevant in reducing the workload of healthcare providers. Electronic medical records or electronic health records replace the paper charts in health institutions and allows physicians and nurses to check relevant information as regards to their patients. The drawback, however, of the technology is the privacy and security concerns due to the amount of data that is gathered. Furthermore, the cost of adopting this technology is also very high. The government of the United States of America created policies and regulations that information technology systems must comply with before they are being used in health organizations.


AHIMA Practice Brief. (2014) Laws and Regulations Governing the Disclosure of Health Information. Retrieved on 19 January 2019 from

Alotaibi, Y. K., & Federico, F. (2017). The impact of health information technology on patient safety. Saudi medical journal38(12), 1173-1180.

Bowles, K. H., Dykes, P., & Demiris, G. (2015). The use of health information technology to improve care and outcomes for older adults. Research in gerontological nursing8(1), 5-10.

Cheng, L., Liu, F., & Yao, D. (2017). Enterprise data breach: causes, challenges, prevention, and future directions. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery7(5), e1211. Information Technology In Healthcare Essay. (2019). About HIMSS. Retrieved on 19 January 2019 from (2018). What is an Electronic Health Record? Retrieved on 19 January from https:/ /

Kruse, C. S., Smith, B., Vanderlinden, H., & Nealand, A. (2017). Security Techniques for the Electronic Health Records. Journal of medical systems41(8), 127.

Manca D. P. (2015). Do electronic medical records improve quality of care? Yes. Canadian family physician Medecin de Famille Canadien61(10), 846-7, 850-1.

Menachemi, N., & Collum, T. H. (2011). Benefits and drawbacks of electronic health record systems. Risk management and healthcare policy4, 47-55.

Monegain, P (2011). Healthcare Organizations at Risk of More Breaches. Healthcare IT news. Retrieved on 19 January 2019 from

Ronquillo, J. G., Erik Winterholler, J., Cwikla, K., Szymanski, R., & Levy, C. (2018). Health IT, hacking, and cybersecurity: national trends in data breaches of protected health information. JAMIA Open.

Wang, T., Wang, Y., & McLeod, A. (2018). Do health information technology investments impact hospital financial performance and productivity?. International Journal of Accounting Information Systems28, 1-13. Information Technology In Healthcare Essay.

Williams, F., & Boren, S. (2008). The role of the electronic medical record (EMR) in care delivery development in developing countries: a systematic review. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics16(2), 139-145.

Healthcare IT is moving more and more towards convergence. Storing, exchanging and accessing information is likely to continue to become increasingly centralized. Healthcare IT, if harnessed effectively, has the power to enhance the quality of medical care received by patients and make it more affordable. Regional and global trends can also be identified and predicted. Finally, the genetic revolution will not materialize unless supported by rapid developments in healthcare IT

The Future of Healthcare IT Technology

Over the past decade, information technology has permeated and changed the face of all segments of the healthcare industry. From medicinal practice to the ways in which physicians set appointments and from HMOs to medical education, every segment has evidenced the positive impact of information technology on quality, efficiency and cost of healthcare.Information Technology In Healthcare Essay.  IT technology has revolutionized the way the healthcare industry collects, stores, accesses and communicates information.

What is Healthcare Information Technology?

Healthcare IT technology refers to designing applications, computer networks and information databases responsible for the comprehensive management of healthcare information and ensuring its secure exchange among caregivers, medical educational institutes, research laboratories, insurance companies and patients. In the longer run, healthcare IT is expected to:

Improve the quality of healthcare being provided

Prevent medical errors

Lower medical costs

Enhance administrative efficiencies

Reduce paperwork

Expand access to information

Expand access to medical care

The one word that forms the core of the future of healthcare IT technology is “convergence.” Let’s see how systems, institutes, people and mediums will converge. Information Technology In Healthcare Essay.

Local Internal Healthcare IT Technology

Local internal healthcare IT technology has been widely accepted by hospitals, physicians and academic institutions. During the initial few years of the new millennium, hospitals used internally developed hospital management systems. However, this rapidly changed over the next few years and various commercially developed systems are either already in place or in the process of being refined. Apart from time saving and cost efficiency, these hospital management systems introduced several other advantages, including better adherence to healthcare guidelines, improved surveillance and a decline in medication errors. These hospital and healthcare management systems targeted areas such as billing, patient appointments, doctor’s availability and maintaining medical records.

The rising popularity of such systems indicates that electronic health records (EHR) will soon become a norm at hospitals. In the future, the EHRs would become more comprehensive. New and improved user interfaces are likely to be created, expediting the implementation of EHRs or Computerized Patient Records (CPR).

Internet-based Healthcare IT

With declining costs and rising assimilation of the Internet into the healthcare sector, data that was being maintained by each hospital individually began to be centralized. Information Technology In Healthcare Essay. For instance, big hospitals like the Johns Hopkins Hospital collect and store information at a centralized location, which could then be accessed by the various branches. The Internet allowed a fast and inexpensive way to access and transmits healthcare information.

One growing concern that threatened to restrain the surge of electronic health records and the transmission of data over the Internet was data security. A staggering number of data thefts compelled the healthcare industry, which gathers sensitive information, to look towards IT to find ways of protecting patient privacy and confidentiality. One of the best solutions to the need for data security is data encryption. The advancements in healthcare information technology have made data encryption easy to implement and economical. Although significant progress has been made, further advancements in this direction seem to be forthcoming.

An area of growth over the next few years could be the Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) application, which electronically writes physician orders. This technology is currently being used by less than half of the hospitals in the US, which is the hub of healthcare IT development. The use of CPOE in ambulatory clinics is likely to rise in the near future. CPOE has great utility when used in combination with clinical decision support systems (CDSS). CDSS are interactive computer programs that link health observations with information on the subject in order to assist health professionals in their decision making tasks.

Another area of growth for healthcare IT technology would be remote patient monitoring. While hospitals are increasingly implementing remote patient monitoring technologies and the market for the same is growing, individual physicians have not as yet warmed up to the idea. This issue will be overcome when healthcare IT technology is able to link outcomes more closely with remuneration in this sphere. Information Technology In Healthcare Essay.

The future of healthcare IT technology lies in the effectiveness, expense and safety of information sharing. Healthcare IT and Internet technologies hold great promise in achieving enhanced data sharing among healthcare providers, patients and insurance companies. While countries like the UK, Canada, Australia and France are endeavoring to creating personal health record infrastructures and implementing national health IT, the sharing of information is poised to overcome geographic boundaries in the future. This would be achieved by developments in Internet-based healthcare IT. One impact of this would be the existence of common websites that would maintain medical records of patients. This information may be accessible not only across hospitals, but across hospitals in different countries. These online sites would maintain a person’s medical history, from birth to the vaccinations received, from the surgeries undergone to a record of allergies. A user-friendly interface would help patients, physicians and other healthcare providers to compute and access all the necessary information. So, healthcare IT technology would ensure that individuals are able to access all their healthcare information in one place, so that they have a better understanding of their illness or health situation and use the same platform to communicate with caregivers, without the threat of data theft.

Over the next decade a sea change in healthcare is likely to be spearheaded by developments in IT and communication technologies. Remote monitoring and diagnosis will become more effective and common.Information Technology In Healthcare Essay.  This will result in increased transfer of information and communication among hospitals, physicians, clinics and patients as well as remote consultation and education becoming more and more widespread.

With more and more data being stored, analysis of this data would mark a gigantic leap in the field of preventive health. Analysis could show whether people with certain characteristics or from certain geographies are prone to particular conditions or diseases. Epidemics could also be predicted by the recorded spread of a disease.

Genetic Revolution

Healthcare IT technology will not only transform how medicine is practiced today, but also play a vital role in bringing about a complete paradigm shift. The next groundbreaking feat would be a genetic revolution, or the study of human genome sequencing in preventing, treating and curing diseases.

Genetic engineering would be able to determine a unique DNA signature for each individual, contributing significantly to overall health and wellbeing. Genetic or molecular diagnostics would play a significant role in linking genetic knowledge to medical care. A genetic test or genomic-based diagnostics would be enough to determine what ailments a person is prone to, a person’s physical strengths and vulnerabilities, the status of the current disease, how responsive a patient would be to particular drugs and cures and what specific treatment to follow. Accurate and timely information and the synthesis of this with genetic and medical research would result in the development of novel preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic tests and processes. Information Technology In Healthcare Essay.

Information management would be critical in this sphere of development. Healthcare IT technology would be aimed at integrating laboratories, medical specialists, EHRs and CDSSs. The building of IT infrastructure in the realm of genetics will probably take a very long time to be developed and advancements may take place one small step at a time. This is because genetic engineering is highly complex and DNA sequencing is frightfully expensive. Also, what would really add value in genetic engineering is if data from various sources can be accessed and processed via a common/single interface.

The first step for healthcare IT technology in combining the various systems would be merging information from various laboratories where genetic tests are performed. Inter-institutional networks or hubs will need to be established in order to exchange information, since no one institute or hospital will be have comprehensive genetic data and knowledge.

This will form the base of developing standards for the industry. But for this, safety of data transfer has to be guaranteed by healthcare IT. The next step would be to link CDSSs to databases, such that decision making can be based on the latest genetic research and knowledge. While genetic knowledge would be shared by various institutes, data and information would span studies and test conducted across diverse organizations and patients would span geographies, the drugs and treatments would be personalized. This means that two people suffering from the same disease may receive different treatment and drugs, depending on their DNA structure.


Information technology would play a vital role in the planning, structuring and implementing needed to transform healthcare into this new era. Healthcare IT technology in the genetics field would have to be colossal in scope and developments in this regard may be slow and take place one step at a time.

Much of the healthcare IT technology being used today is still immature and the methods of data storing, transfer and accessing information by hospitals, physicians and clinicians are still crude. However, rapid progress is being made.Information Technology In Healthcare Essay.  With the development in healthcare IT technology and increased convergence, we could hope to see:

Improved medical care

The early detection of outbreaks of an infectious disease across a region

Lower medical costs

Remote monitoring of health

Comprehensive records for chronic disease management

Linking outcomes to fees

INTRODUCTION Information Technology, or IT, supports a very broad business style, as it can range from a business of two people to a multimillion employee business. For example, Microsoft, who employs ninety-nine thousand employees, has a much different business structure than a business like Compex Two, who has around a dozen employees. Each business supports a different type of service, ranging from medical to general technician questions. In terms of one of the biggest consumers of IT needs, hospitals eliminate the competition. Hospitals have a high risk of death if the handwriting is not legible from the medical professional, which created the need for IT in the hospital to convert to the digital age. Not only does Health Informatics decrease the risk of death in patients, it can increase efficiency in a hospital by allowing a doctor to manage multiple patients at one time involving only an assistant to monitor the others. This also allows a doctor to make electronic visits, involving no transportation with full communication from the doctor as well the patient. They are able to see each other, which allows the doctor to view the injuries as well as tell the patient what is needed to be done. ANALYSIS The first benefit of Health Informatics is increase communication between the patient, doctor, and assistant. Since everything is stored electronically, all records can be accessed, and unlike notes recorded on paper, which may or may not be recorded later, everything is. Information Technology In Healthcare Essay.