How Does Lack of Information Technology Affect Quality of Healthcare?
How does lack of information technology affect quality of Healthcare? Abstract
As per Institute of Medicine, “healthcare quality” is defined as the extent to which health services provided to individuals and patient populations improve desired health outcomes. The quality of care which is offered by the US Health Care lags much behind its competitors at the international level, on all measurable parameters. One such field is the failure to use proper Information Technology to support the quality of care. Despite the huge amount of money being spent on healthcare by the US government, the quality of care that is delivered is poor. Several loop holes exist in making proper utilization of information technology in health care which are discussed below. There could be changes made in each aspect of quality of care to overcome such defects and make health care more accessible, affordable and convenient for everyone. For example, electronic medical records (EMR/EHR) are one of the basics in Health Information Technology. Their advantages have been highlighted in this paper. Though the nation spends a huge chunk of its GDP on healthcare, it is still not able to successfully implement the EMRs throughout the nation, in the health care system. Implementing these records in the system will affect the quality of health care delivery enormously. This paper attempts to explain few methods to implement this system for improving health care systems. Overall this entire article speaks about how the lack of information technology affects different sectors in quality of care, existing strategies in market and the goals to improve the health care.
Institute of Medicine's Committee on Quality Health Care in America states “Information technology must play a central role in the redesign of the health care system if a substantial improvement in quality is to be achieved over the coming decade.” But, The Institute of Medicine's report on medical errors reports dangers inherent in the U.S. medical care system that might cause up to 98,000 deaths in hospitals and cost approximately $38 billion per year. U.S lags behind other countries at the international level in the usage of EMR. This is because of the failure of the primary care physicians to use EMR. The reasons for this could be due to the high costs which estimates of costs of $28 billion per year during a 10 year deployment and more 16$ billion per year after adopting the interoperable EMR systems in U.S health care. The complexities in health delivery systems pose challenges to achieve interoperability. There should be proper coordination among the health care providers like physicians, specialists and technicians to use the EMR systems effectively without any confusion. Comprehensive staff training is needed. Extensive staff training programmes and coordination and planning to train staff from all sections across the hospital are required during implementation of EMR system. As explained in the article, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, 2010 Update (http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/Fund-Reports/2010/Jun/Mirror-Mirror-Update.aspx?page=all), the high quality care is defined in the commissions National Scorecard as care that is effective, safe, coordinated, patient-centered. Quality of care can be studied under three aspects; safe care, coordinated care and effective care. Below listed are some of the points about how does the lack of proper usage of information technology affect the three sections. Also, the existing strategies are mentioned and focus on how we can improve these strategies by using some new policies to achieve improvements in the health care quality is explained in detail. How does lack of proper information technology usage...
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