Role of Computers in Healthcare

Topics: Health care, Medicine, Patient Pages: 5 (1664 words) Published: May 2, 2011
Topic: The Role of Computers in the Health Sector

There have been many innovations and inventions since the civilization age and the industrial revolution that took place in the eighteenth century and has continued till present. Some of these inventions were harmful to humanity and represented violence while others have been of tremendous help to society. Some of these are cars, airplanes, ships among others but the one I want to discuss its role is the computer. A computer can be defined as a machine that performs tasks, such as calculations or electronic communication, under the control of a set of instructions called a program. Programs usually reside within the computer and are retrieved and processed by the computer’s electronics. The program results are stored or routed to output devices, such as video display monitors or printers. Computers perform a wide variety of activities reliably, accurately, and quickly. It could also mean any gadget that has a processor and can do more than one thing at a time. There is hardly any area today, which has not been influenced by computers, and health care systems are no exception. The computer has really improved the health industry and this paper seeks to discuss its role in this essential sector.

In the past, patient records were only kept in books which had the tendency of getting missing or being destroyed by bugs or even termites. At times record keepers will go to the store and spend hours looking for a patient’s hospital card. These books could not be kept for longer periods but the introduction of computers has come to make patient records keeping for easier and very efficient. Electronic filing and retrieval of patient data and details is an important role that is done by computers. Though many hospitals use the chart system that was in use before computers arrived, many of the corporate hospitals use the computer system for prescription of medicines and payment of the bills as well as electronic filing of the patient details. The electronic record system helps in the case of insurance claims and also when the physicians need to refer to the previous history of the patient. The electronic records are safer and last for a longer time than the regular records maintained on paper.

Research in health care is very important because it forms the basis of all future treatments in the health care industry. This is the reason why computers are very important in health care. There are many statistical packages that help researchers to analyze the data that was collected. This analysis helps to create papers that will be useful for the society at large. Computer aided software as well as the internet are used extensively by doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health researchers to learn new medical and surgical procedures and help them update their knowledge of health issues. Universities and other health colleges use the computer based health software and internet to study the anatomy and physiology of certain disease causing organisms to know their biological structures and how they can eliminate them with the drugs they produce. These in the past were herculean tasks for researchers but thanks to computers, healthcare has evolved through time with the aid of these computers.

Using computers in health care can improve the quality and effectiveness of care and reduce its cost. There are human beings today who are half computers and half human e.g. patients with Pacemaker, Computerized precision made artificial heart, computerized hearing aid, and computerized dialysis machine. The present day hospitals are able to understand the complex processes and manage materials, money and manpower effectively and efficiently only due to computers. We can see the vast improvement of technology in healthcare these days. Other than speeding up the diagnostic procedures, computer aids have helped provide accurate and faster analysis of tests and procedures pertinent towards being...
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