The concepts of usability, integration, and interoperability in the context of healthcare technologies refer to a variety of processes and events associated with the use of data to support the delivery of high-quality care to patients. The usability of healthcare technologies is explained as an extent to which individuals can use various products (e.g., electronic health records, personal health records) for achieving their goals with effectiveness. The integration of healthcare technologies refers to a combination of methods that employ technologies for the appropriate management of available health information for the purpose of improving the quality of care. Lastly, interoperability is defined as an extent to which healthcare technologies can connect for successful data management, exchange, and interpretation. Therefore, usability, integration, and interoperability can serve as indicators of whether the use of healthcare technologies in the delivery of care is efficient and serves patients’ interests.
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Example of Usability, Integration, and Interoperability
Examples of usability, integration, and interoperability of healthcare technologies for the successful delivery of health care to patients refer to how well the medical personnel can use technologies to achieve beneficial outcomes. For instance, high levels of usability can be seen when healthcare providers do not make any errors when using electronic health records for reporting the latest patient information and suggesting future actions (Middleton et al., 2013). An example of the integration of healthcare technologies into medical practice can include healthcare providers teaching patients how to use personal health records for scheduling appointments based on their diagnoses.
If patients start using PHRs in their routine health care procedures, the technology will be considered to be integrated into clinical practice. Interoperability is a more complex concept since it implies the establishment of connections between systems for exchanging information and subsequently presenting a user with an end product that can be later used in medical practice (HIMSS, 2013). An example of this can be the use of electronic health record systems and mobile technologies for data exchange; for instance, a patient can use a smartphone to send health care status updates directly to EHRs, which record and store the information to be later reviewed by a healthcare provider.
Therefore, examples of usability, integration, and interoperability of healthcare technologies predominantly refer to the various connections users establish with technologies in order to achieve the most favorable outcomes in the delivery of care. However, it is important to note that there is a lack of education for patients and healthcare providers on how they can integrate technologies into their interactions or in routine procedures of health management. Patients still experience difficulties with using such technologies as personal health records for storing and managing their health information while the medical personnel struggles with using technologies in the workplace and asks patients to provide printed versions of their records.
The interoperability of healthcare technologies will be in the center of this personal experience since it also implies the integration of technologies as well as their usability. Recently, a healthcare facility introduced a program to encourage patients to use technologies for reporting their health statuses in order to decrease the workload of nurses who spend a lot of time on completing extensive patient questionnaires. The hospital developed a mobile application that patients can use on their smartphones and tablets to record their health updates. The application automatically transferred patient data to the hospital’s database to be reviewed by doctors when necessary.
This solution gained massive popularity among patients who did not have to bother with paper health records or making calls to the hospital since the application did the majority of work for them. Moreover, nurses had more time for communicating with patients and managing emergency tasks instead of filing paperwork and receiving calls from patients who needed to provide updates on their health statuses. Encouraging patients to be active in reporting their health data is a useful practice that can be reinforced by the use of technologies (Irizarry, DeVito Dabbs, & Curran, 2015). In the experience, interoperability is shown in the development of a link between a mobile app and the hospital’s database, the usability is demonstrated in the easy access of patients to the app, while integration is demonstrated in the success of the healthcare technology campaign.
Usability, integration, and interoperability of healthcare technologies are essential components of successful care delivery that involves the use of the latest electronic tools and applications. The extent to which patients or the medical personnel can use technologies illustrates their knowledge as well as the desire to become more proficient in their attitudes towards healthcare management. Overall, healthcare technologies such as electronic health records require more attention on the part of patients and their healthcare providers, especially in cases when time management is an issue. Integrating technologies into routine health reports can make patients more aware of their health conditions while allowing nurses or doctors to spend more time on appointments and treatments rather than questionnaires and endless paperwork that takes precious hours from their workdays.
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HIMSS. (2013). Definition of interoperability. Web.
Irizarry, T., DeVito Dabbs, A., & Curran, C. R. (2015). Patient portals and patient engagement: A state of the science review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17(6), 148-154.
Middleton, B., Bloomrosen, M., Dente, M. A., Hashmat, B., Koppel, R., Overhage, J. M., … Zhang, J. (2013). Enhancing patient safety and quality of care by improving the usability of electronic health record systems: Recommendations from AMIA. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association: JAMIA, 20(1), 2-8.