Future Trends in Health Care

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Future Trends in Health Care
Over the years many things have contrubuted to the advancement of the electronic age in the health care system. In the beginning, the primary function of the information system in the healthcare setting was administrative tasks, such as billling. That has changed over the years. According to Blackwell (2008) “As IT developed, systems were marketed for the specialist medical departments and niche markets developed, for example, for laboratories, pharmacies, diagnostics, imaging and intensive care.” Although email, telemedicine, and electronic transfer of records have impacted healthcare today, understanding how they can impact health care 5 years from now can be equally as important. This paper will evaluate how the internet can be used as an external delivery source in communicating patient information, as well as the impact of distance delivery has on healthcare. The internet or any new form of electronic communication can be used as an external delivery source in communicating patient-specific information. According to Dezelico & Stampar (2007) “The development of information and communication technologies during the last 2 decades of the 20th century was paticularly important for medical informatics, with Internet and its profound influence on the everyday medical work. It is emphasized that Internet caused a new information revloution since medical information became available to the public and ceased to be in exclusive control of health professionals” (p. 43). Many things changed in healthcare in the 1990’s. One of the new forms of electronic communication that was developed was the computer-based patient record systems introduced by vendors. These were types of health care information structures known as electronic medical records. An electronic health record (EHR) (also electronic patient record (EPR) or computerized patient record) is a systematic collection of electronic health information about patients. It is a digital record that is capable of being shared across different health care settings, by being embedded in network-connected enterprise-wide information systems. These records may include a whole range of data in comprehensive or summary form, including demographics, medical history, medication and allergies, immunization status, laboratory test results, radiology images, vital signs, personal stats like age and weight, and billing information. The most important aspect of the electronic patient record is that it is generated and maintained within an institution, such as a hospital, integrated delivery network, clinic, or physician office, to give patients, physicians and other health care providers, employers, and payers or insurers access to a patient's.medical records across facilities (Wager & Glaser, 2009). By the end of the decade less than 15 percent of physician practices, and only 10 percent of hospitals had implemented these systems. This number was remarkably low considering that at the end of the 90’s computer-based patient record systems had become reliable and widespread. The impact of distance delivery on health care is summed up in an annual report by Hewlett-Packard. According to Blackwell (2008) “Hewlett-Packard annual report states, ‘we are now entering a period of computing that defies all limits and crosses all boarders, in which everything works with everything else, everywhere, all the time’, this core activity has the ability to lead eventually to system integration not only within a hospital, but also across the totality of providers, with data available to all who need it.” (p. 212). The impact is astounding when considering what this information can contribute to the kind of care a patient receives. It starts with an embryonic electronic patient record, and ends with the death of a patient. The EMR is a cradle-to-grave health care file that has the capability of following someone throughout their entire life....
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