Effecting Change Information Technology: Why is the Healthcare Industry sluggish to upgrade their Hospital Information Technology Systems?
Health Rights/ Responsibilities – HSM542
DeVry University, Keller Graduate School of Management
February 22, 2013
Table of Contents
Define The Problems
Privacy and Security Concerns
High Level Solution & Suggestions
Business Process Changes
Technology/Business Practices Used to Augment the Solution
High Level Implementation
The ethical issues addressed in this paper are the various reasons healthcare industry administrators and other entities choose to delay updating and enhancing outdated Hospital Information Technology (HIT). Even though their responsibility to provide the best care and information/ education to the patients and staff is very important, it does not seem like a priority just until the recent years. Also discussed are the resources and benefits they will inevitably gain by implementing the recommended solutions provided. I have chosen this topic because I myself have always had an interest in many types of technology, especially if I can use it to improve my performance. I have been working in healthcare for almost 7 years now and realize that this is important because we are now in an era of technology being implemented in every part of our lives and how more efficient we can be with information technology. This just doesn’t apply to the healthcare industry, but this essay is in regards to why most of the healthcare industry as a whole has been slow to adapt to modern information technology in their daily business operations and health records keeping. The subjects that will be discussed are the criteria for a healthcare facility/organization to implement a health information technology system, what has been the industry trends over the past 10 years, what software examples and types are available and of course, the benefits of implementing these systems. We will also be discussing the implementation of the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record program, in the Department of Defense and the Dept. of Veterans Affairs; and how this is a perfect example, of how the healthcare industry is working on a solution to the above mentioned issues.
About 595,800 establishments make up the healthcare industry; they vary greatly in terms of size, staffing patterns, and organizational structures. About 76 percent of healthcare establishments are offices of physicians, dentists, or other health practitioners. Although hospitals constitute only 1 percent of all healthcare establishments, they employ 35 percent of all workers (table 1) (Bureau of Health Professions, 2012). Table 1. Percent distribution of employment and establishments in health services by detailed industry sector, 2008
The healthcare industry includes establishments ranging from small-town private practices of physicians who employ only one medical assistant to busy inner-city hospitals that provide thousands of diverse jobs. In 2008, around 48 percent of non-hospital healthcare establishments employed fewer than five workers. In contrast, 72 percent of hospital employees were in establishments with more than 1,000 workers (Bureau of Health Professions, 2012). Healthcare organizations of all sizes face a critical need to manage and integrate clinical, financial and operational information. Reimbursement models are changing; competition is increasing; margins are getting tighter; and the emphasis on patient care and good outcomes has never been higher. As these needs evolve, the industry will require a Hospital Information Technology (HIT) that can keep pace (McKesson, 2012).
Define the Problems
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