An examination of the proposed system of medical order communication as well as the presentations on input technologies revealed a viable attempt at replacing an archaic and inefficient system however I believe that what they are attempting to accomplish has to room for improvement.
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More and more companies are integrating themselves through various online systems; billing companies establish open system access to various payment centers to reach a wider customer base. Since it worked so easily for them, such a system could also be employed in various hospitals.
The problem with using fax and document imaging technologies is that they take time and are inefficient when compared to using online forms. Devices such as the iPad could be used to input information directly into the system which would speed up the process considerably.
As such a more viable method of information input that would help hospitals become more efficient with their procedures would be to implement an online form integration system where information in one computer station is immediately relayed to the other via the internet using a premade form where the necessary information for the prescription is indicated.
Not only would such a system ensure a faster and better method of input but it would solve problems relating to delay possible errors on the order form.
While using an image scanning database is all fine and good it is still prone to problems about possible errors in user input and is not as direct as online form usage.
The one aspect I would like to be critical about in the use of medical imaging technologies is the overall lack of encouragement in the development of open source software application in the development of this technology.
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While there are application such as the OsiriX open platform for medical image viewing it is does not have sufficient enough approval in the medical community to achieve FDA clearance for clinical use.
What must be understood is that open source platforms help to drive innovation in certain technologies. As it was seen in the case of image compression in morphometry studies there is a distinct lack of sufficient innovation to beyond.
JPEG and TIFF compressed images to a better standard of image viewing for medical purposes. Not only that open source applications can also help to drive down costs associated with medical image viewing.
As such to for this section of the medical industry to move forward I would advocate the entry of more open source programs.
Humans are creatures of habit, this is an undeniable fact of human existence wherein people, in general, feel more comfortable doing tried and tested methods which for them seem as natural as walking, breathing or eating.
The various sources in this subject relating to information retrieval can thus be boiled down to an analysis inconvenience, in that people feel more at ease using methods such as Google search and Google scholar due to their sheer rate of usage in every other facet of online information utilization.
It must be noted though even if something may be convenient, that does not mean that it is the best at what it does.
Take for example the comparison of searches between Google Scholar and Pubmed, while both search engines can access thousands of articles on a variety of medical topics people assume that Google scholar is at times better due to the sheer amount of content.
They would be wrong in this statement, a simple test between the two search engines regarding the topic of DNA profiling using cytochrome b and NADH 1 reveals that PubMed by far has more accurate and detailed articles.
The inherent problem with information retrieval is that people are biased in their use of search engines, often using the same type of search engine over and over again despite its inefficiency regarding the retrieval of specific types of information.
This could be interpreted as the result of internet culture where users tend to adopt certain mannerisms regarding internet usage that develop into solid and nearly unbreakable habits over time.
Electronic Medical Records and Databases
Based on the readings and presentation on electronic medical records and databases, I would like to state that there is a need to place certain measures to record and evaluate searches being done on various databases to gauge the health status of individuals in certain areas.
As the reading on electronic metadata suggests, information on searches on specific types of medical conditions has a certain degree of metadata that can be recorded and evaluated.
While this would cause a distinct lack of privacy for the various doctors and nurses using such systems the fact remains that by evaluation the voracity of certain searches an online database could detect if a certain outbreak of a particular disease or illness is being concentrated in a single area.
While hospitals do record each patient case, the fact remains that information sharing between hospitals takes time, especially over a wide area.
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An online web program that specifically looks for patterns in user submitted searches would be a far more efficient and most important of all faster method of determining whether an outbreak is occurring in hospitals within a particular area.