Effective health care management is a challenging area of discipline, requiring that a correct approach should be used in each particular situation. One of the primary objectives consists of data collection, analysis, and storing. This process must be effective, convenient, and secure, meaning that health care organizations must choose the structure in light of principles of data privacy. Modern technological advancements propose an array of potential solutions, but each one requires an in-depth examination due to the sensitivity of the issue. The purpose of this paper is to examine the current health information management system utilized by the ABC Clinic and to propose a new approach in this regard.
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Health care organizations process vast amounts of data, which is why its collection and storage are matters of paramount importance. Historically, clinics kept the medical records of their patients in a written form, but the 21st century offers new methods. However, there are other datasets within health care organizations. Shanholtzer and Ozanich (2016) state that, besides health records, hospitals keep track of all appointments, consent forms, and patient documents. The ABC Clinic, which is the focus of the present study, uses a hybrid system, in which the use of modern technology is moderate to minimal. As of recently, the Clinic has introduced an electronic appointment system, allowing patients to choose to see the doctors’ schedules via the Internet. The personnel had a positive reaction to such innovation and acknowledged its convenience. Nevertheless, the majority of health records are kept exclusively on paper, which includes cardiograms, x-rays, and fetal monitors. Doctors say that they are not familiar enough with electronic services, while the Clinic’s administration is concerned about hackers.
The current system demonstrates a range of flaws, despite its conventional nature. First of all, the paperwork consumes a considerable amount of time, thus increasing the workload of doctors and nurses. Secondly, paper records occupy much space, and the ABC Clinic’s building is not large. As a result, members of the staff have fewer recreational spaces, such as changing rooms and kitchen, which is taken by medical archives. A dedicated server room would resolve this issue, improving the personnel’s working conditions. Thirdly, written records may be lost with little no or chance of recovery, whereas a proper organization of an electronic system with back-ups will have a smaller chance of such a mistake. Finally, the excessive use of paper is detrimental to the environment, which is why the implementation of electronic health records will be a green initiative, as well.
A revised system of medical records will yield several important improvements in relation to the points described above. The idea consists of introducing electronic databases in the majority of clinical operations while preserving a limited amount of written copies. Electronic health records are less time-consuming, meaning that doctors and nurses will fill fewer forms and documents. Consequently, the amount of unnecessary workload will decrease, leaving more time and energy for crucial procedures. If most records are kept in an electronic form, archives will not occupy much space. Accordingly, the ABC Clinic will be able to dedicate more areas for the convenience of the personnel. If specialists work in comfortable conditions, they will be able to concentrate on their duties, and the performance will improve, as well. The new system will make the Clinic more efficient, which is why positive results will become evident for both personnel and patients. Electronic health records will improve the whole experience, from making an appointment online to receiving quick and high-quality service on-site.
The proposed system does not aim at eradicating the existing order. Instead, the objective will be to extend the utilization of information technology within the framework of a similar hybrid system. In spite of obvious advantages, electronic health record systems demonstrate several flaws. Such models are particularly dependent on the stable energy supply and Internet connection. Accordingly, the Clinic will need to consider such scenarios, which are unlikely yet possible. Evidently, major transformations cannot happen rapidly, and haste can damage the entire process. Therefore, there will be a period of gradual transition, during which the percentage of electronic health records will grow. Practitioners, who are not familiar with modern technology, will have enough time to adjust and master the new system. At the same time, the Clinic will need to evaluate the hacker-related risks and develop an adequate cybersecurity architecture. As electronic procedures begin to prevail, the organization can verify the new system’s results through a patient survey.
In conclusion, electronic health records have much potential, reflecting modern technological advancements in health care. Recent achievements in data analysis and cybersecurity create favorable conditions for the implementation of a hybrid system, in which the majority of records are stored electronically. The ABC Clinic has demonstrated a cautious attitude toward such models, utilizing computer resources to a limited degree. Nevertheless, the proposed framework will allow for a gradual transition toward a modern, convenient system, which will suit both patients and personnel.
Shanholtzer, M. B., & Ozanich, G. W. (2016). Health information management and technology. McGraw-Hill Education.
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