Can Information Systems Help Prevent a Public Health Care Crisis

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Question 1: Describe and diagram the existing process for reporting and identifying major public health problems, such as a flu pandemic.

The existing or traditional approach to reporting potential public health problems is a manual process reliant on individuals within individual hospitals/medical facilities to identify such potential threats or issues. Physicians or laboratories within the hospital identify any potential health risks and then compile a report on the issue. The identification of the issue/risk is reliant on individual hospitals tracking the volume numbers of patients with similar symptoms. This report is than faxed or posted to the local public health authority. The public health authority, on receipt of the report, will phone the hospital in question for any additional information it requires before it is in a position to make any decisions or taken any relevant preventative measures.

The diagram below outlines the process involved.

Question 2: How does BioSense improve this process? Diagram the process for reporting and identifying public health problems using BioSence.

BioSense is a management information system (M.I.S.), which gathers the relevant data from individual hospital patient information systems in real time. By analysing this data and also passing it onto the Centre for Disease Control’s (CDC) M.I.S., it removes the potential for the long delays associated with the existing manual reporting process and the reliance on human intervention to identify potential health risks. BioSense allows for an organised coordinated and focused approach to managing health information spanning all geographic areas in the U.S. making it possible to manage information which in turn creates better decision making and execution of remedial actions. It also allows for the sharing of information among registered users, which are geographically relevant to each other, so they may identify potential risks or threats to their...
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