The current healthcare services delivery system highly requires the use of the Health Information Systems (HIS) to improve the quality and standards of services provided. The effective management of health information is fundamental for patients to access a great range of services and proper diagnosis. The medical professionals highly rely on the use of HIS as an effective tool for the prognosis and informing decisions when providing proper care for patients. The HIS outlines the health history and vast information of a patient enabling effective decision making. The capacity to share medical problems and challenges through the HIS enables medical professionals to generate solutions by sharing knowledge and expertise. The HIS brings together medical professionals to a common pool where they can engage effectively towards analyzing the key challenges and problems in the sector. The process builds creative and innovative solutions that are integral to improving the state and quality of healthcare provision.
Evidence Supporting the Topic
The adoption of the health information systems (HIS) / Health Information Technology (HIT) has enhanced transformational progress in the medicine and health profession. According to Deloitte Center for Health Solutions 2013 Survey covering the U.S., physicians find that the adoption of HIS/HIT as a fundamental tool in increasing productivity and efficiency of care provision and management of healthcare facilities (Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, 2013). The HIS/HIT facilitates the effective and meaningful use of the electronic health records (EHRs) in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, among other developed nations. The personal health records c(PHRs) have greatly been advanced through the adoption of HIS/HIT practices leading to the advancement of healthcare provision and management of the patients (Ngafeeson, 2015). This has been made possible by the development of initiatives such as E-prescribing where patients can access healthcare solutions, diagnosis, and prescriptions through electronic platforms.
The health information exchange (HIE) enables medical professionals to combine resources and data to attain significant milestones in healthcare improvements (Seo, Kim & Kim, 2019). The data sharing through technology makes it possible for medical professionals in different countries to share expertise, knowledge, and experience on medical problems that they meet on a day-to-day basis (Wang, Wan, Burke, Bazzoli & Lin, 2005). Through the HIS/HIT, medical professions in China can share expertise with their counterparts in Cuba, the U.S.A., South Africa, Russia, or any part of the world. The adoption of technology is a transformative approach to increasing healthcare services delivery efficiency (Yusif, Hafeez-Baig & Soar, 2019). The quality of care transcends regional and local resourcefulness – where knowledge can be readily available and shared among the professionals.
The HIS/HIT aids in the analytics and decision making in distinct healthcare facilities. The administrative aspect has greatly been impacted by the adoption of the HIT systems. The HIT systems healthcare facilities are used for billing, issuing approvals, tracking patients, and distribution of resources (Kushniruk, Bates, Bainbridge, Househ & Borycki, 2013). On day-to-day activities, tracking the resources distribution in the healthcare facility is fundamental to ascertaining the proper care provision and efficiency in service delivery. For instance, they are used for keeping track of ventilators requirements, medical supplies among other inventories, and areas to concentrate more resources based on demand and prevalence of patients with the same diagnosis problems (Henry, Pylypchuk, Searcy & Patel, 2016).
Additionally, the provision of both remote and on-site patients’ support tools is greatly enhanced through the adoption of the HIT. The health sector has engaged the use of technology in monitoring the patient’s heartbeat rates, intensive care provisions, a medical diagnosis – scanning, x-rays, among others, through the utilization of HIT (Liu, Musen & Chou, 2015). For remote purposes, access to health information through authentic public websites, mobile applications, and devices used to track and manage health and wellness of patients is profoundly advanced. The efficiency of HIS is illustrated in the connection to mobile health technologies that keep patients connected to the mainframe systems of HIT to monitor the progress of patients’ progressive developments (Kushniruk et al., 2013). The information sharing between the patient and medical professional can be shared instantly, prompting a successive response from both ends, thus, providing the necessary support and sufficient information vital to decision making for both the patient and medical professionals.
The use of electronic health records (EHRs) has been a prevalent practice in the healthcare industry to improve healthcare services delivery (Henry et al., 2016). Countries around the world continue to appreciate the value and importance of care providers along with the EHRs, whereby proper decision making support enhance the operational capacity of the healthcare facilities and physicians. The ERCs creates a common pool whereby the understanding of the patient’s health history is vital in dealing with current problems (Yusif et al., 2019). In turn, the prognosis of the steps adopted and prescriptions offered can be traced and inform on future decisions. This is fundamental in enhancing accountability and effectiveness in healthcare provision. The EHRs are core to avoid fatal errors that might cost the life of patients when they seek healthcare services (Henry et al., 2016). Therefore, the HIS presents the contemporary functionalities and future of healthcare service delivery.
Challenges Surrounding the Topic
The challenges towards the adoption of the health information technology and systems in the healthcare sector include data breaches. Liu et al. (2015) note that personal data associated with the protected health information in the United States have come under profound threat from the increase in the cyber insecurities and data breaches. The data breaches comprise of malicious and unauthorized access to health information (Jalghoum, Tahtamouni, Khasawneh & Al-Madadha, 2019). This puts thousands of patients at risk especially those whose information is acquired and stored as confidential entities. The increase in cyber insecurities is advanced by actions such as hacking, malware attacks, ransomware, and other social engineering approaches used to gain unauthorized access (Sittig et al., 2018).
The protection of the patients’ health information entails the main challenge that the adoption of HIS has to address. In the era of technological advancements, technological data is always prone to cyber insecurity threats (Sittig et al., 2018). The healthcare facilities and organizations need to exercise maximum protection measures to ensure optimum security for confidential health information. This is paramount in justifying the use of technology and the protection of patients (Lintern & Motavalli, 2018). The aspects of data breaches can be reduced through the regular diagnosis of the HIS to identify vulnerability points and rather develop countermeasures to seal the vulnerability areas that put the health information at risk (Kruse, DeShazo, Kim & Fulton, 2014). Also, the installation of the latest and most efficient antivirus programs is essential in strengthening the security of information in the HIS. The data access security clearance is vital as it limits the number of individuals accessing HIS depending on the level of sensitivity of the information.
Furthermore, aspects such as employee understanding and capacity to utilize the HIS are integral to the success and adoption of HIS/HIT practices in the healthcare sector. The employee capacity can be resolved through employee training and capacity building to utilize the latest versions of the health information systems (Liu et al., 2015). The knowledge and capacity of the medical professionals and physicians’ utilization of the HIS is integral in ensuring proper healthcare delivery. Additionally, knowledge dissemination and awareness among patients is vital in understanding how they can utilize different platforms for improved healthcare services (Sittig et al., 2018). Moreover, financing the HIS is a key challenge to the successful adoption of health information systems and health information technologies. Thus, investors should be attracted based on the value creation of adopting HIS/HIT in healthcare (Jalghoum et al., 2019).
To sum up, despite the looming challenges of data breaches, cyber insecurities, financing, and capacity to utilize HIS/HIT – the adoption of the health information system is a fundamental feature in the health sector. The 21st century opines the value of technology in providing viable solutions to contemporary problems and increasing efficiency and productivity in different sectors. The health sector is no exception to the value and importance of health information technology towards improving healthcare service delivery efficiency. Therefore, the topic is essential and important, and the transformations in technological advancements extend to every sector of human life.
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Jalghoum, Y., Tahtamouni, A., Khasawneh, S., & Al-Madadha, A. (2019). Challenges to healthcare information systems development: The case of Jordan. International Journal of Healthcare Management, 1-9.
Kruse, C. S., DeShazo, J., Kim, F., & Fulton, L. (2014). Factors associated with adoption of health information technology: a conceptual model based on a systematic review. JMIR medical informatics, 2(1), e9.
Kushniruk, A. W., Bates, D. W., Bainbridge, M., Househ, M. S., & Borycki, E. M. (2013). National efforts to improve health information system safety in Canada, the United States of America and England. International journal of medical informatics, 82(5), e149-e160.
Lintern, G., & Motavalli, A. (2018). Healthcare information systems: the cognitive challenge. BMC medical informatics and decision making, 18(1), 3.
Liu, V., Musen, M. A., & Chou, T. (2015). Data breaches of protected health information in the United States. Jama, 313(14), 1471-1473.
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Wang, B. B., Wan, T. T., Burke, D. E., Bazzoli, G. J., & Lin, B. Y. (2005). Factors influencing health information system adoption in American hospitals. Health care management review, 30(1), 44-51.
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