Computers in Healthcare

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Computers in Health Care
In all aspects of life—home, work, socially—a basic understanding of computer operation is by and large a necessity. Even the medical field has become dependent on computers, both to record vital patient information, but also for billing, researching maladies, and prescribing medicines. This report takes a look at how and why health care professionals use computers, where computers are used in the health care system, and how all this new technology is affecting the medical field for both the patient and provider.  Health Care Professionals use computers because they boost productivity. Health care staff, for instance, can more easily keep and access medical records. Specific computer programs also allow physicians to analyze patient data both statistically and mathematically, which leads to the creation of multimedia patient records. A multimedia file is an image, text file, a video clip or audio file--anything that can be displayed or played on computer monitors or speakers. An example, a cardiologist can use a computer to scan a patient’s EKG strip, and then attach that image to the patient’s permanent record for future reference (Spekowius and Wendler 38-39).  The ability to store patient data on a computer hard drive reduces paperwork, and the number of staff members needed to maintain that paperwork. Having a patient’s file just a few computer clicks away also cuts down on the time it takes a physician to locate the necessary information. Beyond simplifying office paperwork, computers also open lines of communication between the patient and physician. Physicians who engage in emailing can easier answer patient questions, and cut down on phone calls. Computers are used throughout the Health Care System. Clerical staff relies on computers for reports, memos, patient records, billing, statistics, insurance claims, as well as charting and researching graphics. Nursing stations depend on computers for reports, patient records,...
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