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Impact Of Technology In Healthcare Industry

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Question:

What Is The Impact Of Information Technology In Health Industry?

 

Answer:

Introduction

The health industry is an important sector in a nation as it ensures the wellbeing of its citizens. With the first evolution of the internet in many countries, use of technology in the healthcare support by the health industry and other healthcare sectors is dramatically increasing. IT provides many opportunities for practicing the right healthcare practices thus the reason for it increased use in the industry. Healthcare industry can be defined as the improvement and aggregation of health sectors in the economic system that avails good services to treat patients with preventive and curative care. In many health industries, Information technology is highly relied on for carrying out day-to-day activities; this is because it provides some functions. Technology has helped improve the services offered to patients and citizens who regularly visit the Centers for checkups.

Information technology is an important tool for the survival of the healthcare industries nowadays. Almost every activity today in the healthcare industries are carried out with the application of IT in the current fast changing world. Patients need to get information about the healthcare industries that offer best services to its patients, and this is made possible by designing healthcare website through which all this information is provided. Healthcare sector has adopted and implemented IT in most of its individual section in the industry to supplement its operations. Through information technology, many health centers have established record system through which they keep patients records. Healthcare sector has opted to embrace IT in its operations due to its efficiency and affordable operating costs. IT has aided integration of the healthcare sector from paperwork (patients' records) to digital record keeping.

IT requirements in the healthcare industry

High skilled manpower in the field of IT is highly required to facilitate the labor and skills needed for the technology operation in the healthcare sector. Therefore, for IT experts are a key component to being considered when a health care center adopts IT. This the first step in the adoption of IT for it enables initiation and use of IT in the healthcare industry. The IT expert should present a plan; schedule and an estimated budget that the management of the healthcare center will use when planning to come up with systems that will help them keep patients medical data. The health care sector require systems that will facilitate storage of patients' information and ensure fast retrieval to fasten customer services. Computers will be purchased to enable the facility of record keeping.

The health care industry also needs other machines such the x-ray that uses radioactive rays to conduct an investigation on patients who develop breathing problems and those who get involved in accidents and develop bone fractures. This will need skilled labor to conduct this operation. In addition, IT will provide electronic services in the healthcare industry (Cockerham, 2014). In addition, the healthcare industry will need to adopt machines that will help medics in conducting surgeries on patients. These machines will need surgeons who have knowledge in both fields of medics and information technology to ensure successful operations on patients (Gowrisankaran, Nevo & Town, 2014).

Application of IT in the healthcare industry

Adopting informatics in the healthcare sector will involve all the necessary stakeholders of the health industry. Its operation coordination will run from the top executives to junior staff managers in different sections and the subordinate staff as well as the employees. The heads of different reception offices will ensure that patients' information kept securely through programs such as "My Health Record system" that was established in Australia  (Drummond, et al., 2015). Through this type of programs, information is easily accessed (Shortliffe & Cimino, 2013).  

Medics and specialists will also use IT to perform activities such as scanning and operations. Information technology has invented machines that aid doctors and other specialists to perform these critical and sensitive activities to save patients' lives (Raghupathi, 2014). These machines and systems help perform tasks that would have been assigned to many people who might bring inconveniences or underperform (Berkowitz, 2016).

IT has also been applied in the healthcare sector through the cancer scanning machines and incubators. The cancer scanners are developed in a way such that they can detect when a person is suffering from cancer and show how adverse it is gone. This helps patients get the appropriate medical attention hence increasing their chances of survival (Kellermann & Jones, 2013). The incubation machines are designed in a way that they accommodate children who are born immature. They provide the necessary conditions to the child for survival till maturity.  

Morgues have also used IT in their operations as they keep information about the dead using computers and have adopted machines that help clean and keep the bodies clean until the moment they are cleared for burial (Raghupathi, 2014).

Benefits of IT adoption in the healthcare industry

Time saving

Computers perform tasks faster than humans perform and give accurate and uniform results. Systems such as "My health record" have been used to store patients' health data. Through this systems medics, doctors and other health specialists can easily access patients' information and attend to the faster (Agha, 2014). This has increased the speed of which services are offered at the healthcare centers thus saving time that would have been spent if there were no such systems (Cockerham, 2014).

Reduced operating cost

Using IT in the health industry has significantly reduced the costs that the sector used to run at before its implementation. Computers and other systems perform tasks that used to be done by a high number.

Improved healthcare services

IT has facilitated fast and efficient services to patients through a system that enable fast retrieval of patients information thus enabling fast actions to be taken (Hood & Flores, 2012).

Convenience

Information Technology has made operations within the healthcare sector to be convenient through systems that doctors and other specialists in the industry can access even when not in offices.

Increased returns

Implementation of IT in the healthcare sector increases the profits that the sector witnesses in today's world. Computers and other machines used are faster and more accurate in performance thus ensuring a quality output.

Risks of IT adoption in the healthcare sector

Network security

The health care network security is vulnerable to being experiencing internal or external failure or threats. This could lead to unexpected parties access the industry system and steal valuable information or make the entire organization malfunction (Hood & Flores, 2012).

Interfaces

There is increased the risk of data flowing between systems brought by the high rate of system implementation (Chatterji, 2016). This may affect patients care adversely and influence the return on investments.

 

Upgrading and integration of systems

 The current healthcare system is at the risk of being termed outdated and obsolete. These risks pose a great danger to the healthcare sector as it has heavily invested in IT.

Monitoring IT in the healthcare industry

Network administrators who are employed to observe how the technology performs (Fielding, Teutsch & Breslow, 2017) control IT in the healthcare industry. The network admins are connected to all systems within the organization and are liable to report how effective each section in the industry is doing.

Recommendations

Many organizations in the healthcare industry have embraced the use of IT in their operations to improve their facilities. They should, evaluate the possible side effects that IT could bring to them in the case of a breakdown in the systems. The healthcare sector should establish backup measures to curb the threats that the industry faces through IT adoption.

Conclusion

IT is critical to any sector of the economy with the health care industry being a part of the economy. Through this report, it is evident that information technology has many advantages to the healthcare industry. However, IT has possible risks that pose a danger to its operation within the sector. The industry stakeholders should evaluate the most suitable systems and technology to employ in the healthcare sector as it is a highly sensitive area.

 

References

Agha, L., 2014. The effects of health information technology on the costs and quality of medical care. Journal of health economics, 34, pp.19-30.

Berkowitz, E.N., 2016. Essentials of health care marketing. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Chatterji, M. ed., 2016. Technology transfer in the developing countries. Springer.

Cockerham, W.C., 2014. Medical sociology. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Drummond, M.F., Sculpher, M.J., Claxton, K., Stoddart, G.L. and Torrance, G.W., 2015. Methods for the economic evaluation of health care programmes. Oxford university press.

Fielding, J.E., Teutsch, S. and Breslow, L., 2017. A framework for public health in the United States. Public Health Reviews, 32(1), p.174.

Gowrisankaran, G., Nevo, A. and Town, R., 2014. Mergers when prices are negotiated: Evidence from the hospital industry. The American Economic Review, 105(1), pp.172-203.

Hood, L. and Flores, M., 2012. A personal view on systems medicine and the emergence of proactive P4 medicine: predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory. New biotechnology, 29(6), pp.613-624.

Kellermann, A.L. and Jones, S.S., 2013. What it will take to achieve the as-yet-unfulfilled promises of health information technology. Health Affairs, 32(1), pp.63-68.

Raghupathi, W. and Raghupathi, V., 2014. Big data analytics in healthcare: promise and potential. Health Information Science and Systems, 2(1), p.3.

Shortliffe, E.H. and Cimino, J.J. eds., 2013. Biomedical informatics: computer applications in health care and biomedicine. Springer Science & Business Media.

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