Different information needs within my organization
The use of health information technology has led to improved quality of healthcare across the world (Reddy, McDonald, Pratt & Shabot, 2005; Schleyer & Beaudry, 2009; Weng, Levine & Mun, 2009). A hospital has many sections which have personnel with different information needs. Our organization has the following departments: surgery, laboratory, admissions, pharmacy, administration, and Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU).
Our system uses the EPIC software system, and the same software network to enhance the sharing of information among departments. However, each department has unique information needs. The personnel in the Department of Admissions use the health information system to enter patients’ data. The data are entered in such a way that patients are identified using unique fields like patients’ code or number.
The identification fields used by the department are used by all other departments in the organization to identify patients. The Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) uses the system to conduct assessments, give medications, and monitor the progress of post-anesthesia patients. The Department of Surgery uses the health information system to document the preparations for surgery, monitor timeout, and record procedures and instruments in use.
The Administration Department monitors the overall operations of the organization using the health information system. All the data in the different departments are accessed by the personnel in the Administration Department. With this monitoring, the department can identify and correct problems in various departments based on the data accessed (Schleyer & Beaudry, 2009). Doctors prescribe medications to patients electronically using the system.
Laboratory technologists in the Laboratory Department transmit laboratory test results to physicians using the system network. Pharmacists in the Pharmacy Department dispense medications prescribed to patients utilizing the health information system. Thus, different departments have different information needs.
Impact/constraints of the different information needs on implementation of the health information system
It took a lot of time to implement the health information technology system that could provide all the information needs to the users in the organization. All end-users of the health information technology system were trained on how to use the components of the system. Different training sessions were conducted because different personnel in the departments had various information needs.
It was difficult to train all the targeted users at the same time because they had different job schedules. There were problems experienced in the implementation phase because users could use the system wrongly by giving it wrong commands, which could result in a system breakdown. Troubleshooting of the affected system components could delay, and this negatively impacted the provision of healthcare to patients.
How the information flow supports the evidence-based practice
The information flow across the health information technology system is essential in promoting evidence-based practice in the hospital (Reddy et al., 2005). Physicians can access data on patients from other departments. The data help physicians to give evidence-based clinical opinions. For example, physicians receive laboratory diagnosis results from laboratory technologists, and they prescribe medications based on the laboratory results.
Pharmacists in the Pharmacy Department dispense medications based on the electronic prescriptions received from the physicians’ offices. Thus, the right medications are given to treat the diseases or medical conditions confirmed.
The use of health information technology system supports the evidence-based practice by ensuring that patients are identified correctly across departments and medications are given based on clinical findings. This goes a long way in preventing medical errors that could compromise the quality of healthcare provided to patients (Weng et al., 2009).
Reddy, M. C., McDonald, D. W., Pratt, W., & Shabot, M. M. (2005). Technology, work, and information flows: lessons from the implementation of a wireless alert pager system. Journal of biomedical informatics, 38(3), 229-238.
Schleyer, R., & Beaudry, S. (2009). Data to wisdom: informatics in telephone triage nursing practice. AACN Viewpoint, 31(5), 1-10.
Weng, C., A Levine, B., & Mun, S. K. (2009). Software architecture and engineering for patient records: current and future. Military medicine, 174(1), 27-34.