Future Trends in Health Care
Health care is a profession that has seen many changes over the last decades. Some of these changes are subtle whereas others are of considerable significance. The goal in health care is to enable health care organizations and systems to provide quality care for patients in need and to ensure that patient information is protected and remains confidential. The future trends in health care revolve around the consistency of advancements in technology including a pronounced acceleration of information technology (IT) and the utilization of computers. Many health systems have or are in the process of incorporating a computerized version of health care including advanced applications such as the electronic medical record (EMR) and Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE). The incorporation and utilization of these advance applications and programs are designed to have a positive impact on the entire entity of stakeholders involved in the health care process including the health care system or organization, health care professionals, and the patient or consumer. The focus of this paper will be to assess how the Internet and any other form of electronic communication may be used as an external delivery source in communicating specific information. The impact of a distance delivery in health care will be addressed. The use of e- mail, telemedicine, and electronic transfer of records will be discussed. How these issues are impacting health care today and how they may impact heath care five years from now will also be reviewed. The utilization of the Internet and other forms of electronic communication is becoming a popular means as an external delivery source in communicating specific patient information. With this increase in popularity of the Internet, more people are turning to their computers for health information, advice, communication, support, and services (Katz & Rice, 2000). The Internet and health communication can provide an in-depth analysis of the changes in human communication and health care resulting from the Internet revolution (Katz & Rice, 2000). There is a wide range of expertise within health care in which the contributors provide an extensive variety of services to the ease the communication from provider to consumer. A variety of medical information websites, Internet pharmacies, and web enabled hospitals have become available to assist in the ability and provision of quality care to the consumer with minimal hassle or shortcomings. These resources are valuable for both medical practitioners and patients and enhance the health care experience and often can lead to an increase in productivity for the health practitioner and to improved patient satisfaction for the consumer. Despite its daily use of advanced computer systems, the medical field is far behind the general business world in its integration with the Internet (Katz & Rice, 2000). The gap is beginning to close as the health care arena has begun to catapult into the future. The realization of the many benefits to be gained by the easier exchange of information, the accelerated time from needed to diagnose disease patterns, maintaining health care professions training in the latest technologies and techniques, and streamlining the management of the health care organization improve the concept of health care moving forward, into the future. The use of the Internet and other forms of electronic communication also faces obstacles. The most obvious shortcoming is to ensure and maintain patient privacy and confidentiality throughout the process of Internet utilization for communication. Privacy and confidentiality is often discussed and addressed on an ongoing basis. Mastering this task will be difficult and the achievement will lead to a successful Internet health care environment. Distance delivery of health care is comprised of computer applications that directly support prevention, patient...
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