Nowadays, the healthcare industry faces various challenges due to technological advancement that has significantly impacted service delivery. Although the innovations aim to improve the working processes within the medical field, they are also associated with specific issues. Thus, there are four prominent healthcare industry challenges, which are presented on the slide. This paper focuses on information and service integration, providing a comprehensive analysis of the problem.
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Information as a part of the healthcare industry
First of all, it is essential to discuss the role of information in the healthcare industry to see why its integration can be a challenge for the medical field. Healthcare services management relies on the corresponding internal systems as an information-based discipline. Furthermore, innovative technologies constantly integrate new information into the industry as a response to average life expectancy increases, population aging, and the challenges associated with population growth. Everything mentioned above explains why the medical field can confront different information and service integration issues.
The significance of information integration
Information integration plays a significant role in hospital performance since its quality can be improved or worsened depending on the information usage. Errors in this area can critically affect the patient’s safety and their faith in the healthcare system, which is why information management should be as accurate and efficient as possible. Moreover, stable and consistent information flows are a key factor in the effective production of medicaments and medical supplies manufacturing. Summing up, information in the healthcare industry is one of many instruments used to take care of patients, improve their health, and save lives.
Information flow and related issues
Healthcare service providers use two different types of databases: relational and non-relational. Relational databases are ineffective in terms of managing clinical notes, transcripts, and other unstructured information. As for non-relational databases, which use electronic health records (EHRs), their implementation requires significant financial capabilities. Most care providers cannot afford to transition from relational to non-relational databases, which leads to many serious issues. For instance, drug and medical equipment manufacturers lack the necessary insight into the patients’ usage of medical products. That problem makes them waste much money on research and development, negatively affecting their consumers. In addition, physicians’ access to patient information directly influences their decision-making process, meaning it can be challenging for care providers to find an appropriate solution for a specific patient. Overall, database effectiveness within the medical field can be increased, leading to better general performance and higher quality of services, but the additional investment is required.
The Triple Aim framework
Addressing the challenges in the modern healthcare industry requires an instrument for designing and evaluating quality improvements. An example of such an instrument is the Triple Aim framework, which was introduced by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) almost fifteen years ago. The model’s primary goal is to improve healthcare quality and value using three dimensions: population health, patient experience, and per capita costs. The Triple Aim framework can be applied in assessing the information and service integration challenge.
Information management in the Triple Aim Framework
Implementing the Triple Aim framework as systematic guidance for improvement related to the information challenge can be highly beneficial for the healthcare industry. Firstly, an evaluation of how information issues can influence population health is required. As mentioned in the previous slides, database-related issues can significantly affect the general performance within the medical field, leading to adverse patient outcomes and, consequently, negative experience of care. Furthermore, problems with information flow raise the expenses on drugs and equipment, meaning that costs per capita increase, as well. Summing up, the challenge of information in the healthcare industry is concerning in accordance with all three dimensions of the Triple Aim model.
Although there are several challenges in the healthcare industry, it seems that information and service integration is one of the most important. It is common knowledge that information is one of the most valuable resources in the world, meaning that information-related issues cannot be ignored as they may have critical consequences. The management of medical services is an information-based discipline. It should be appropriately structured and easily accessed for a hospital or another healthcare-giving organization to function correctly. The Triple Aim framework’s implementation has shown that data problems can damage all the dimensions through which medical services are evaluated. Therefore, the information and service integration challenge is a crucial concern and should be properly addressed in the healthcare industry.
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