CustomNursingEssays take on Advanced Information Management and the Application of Technology
Management of patient data remains a contemporary issue in the current health care industry. With technological advancements in data manipulation and management, the health care sector is seemingly benefiting from such strides. In essence, several innovative aspects in technology play a critical role to improve the healthcare outcomes of patients. Healthcare personnel are effectively providing care to patients, thereby positively impacting healthcare service delivery.
All aspects of patient care in healthcare settings benefit from such technological innovations, especially nursing services. Regarding technology in patient care, clinical data remains a prominent element among others like diagnostic equipment and therapeutic supplies. Health informatics has emerged like a discipline under the health sector that deals with effective patient data management, which eventually influences the efficient healthcare delivery. (Coiera, 2015).
Information regarding the patient is collected, analyzed, managed and transmitted within an electronic platform through a system known as Health Information Technology. An example of such a system is Ambient Warning and Response Evaluation (AWARE). Healthcare facilities continuously utilize the system, and it is increasingly getting accepted due to the positive healthcare impact on patients. Health Information Technology plays a part in coordinating and collaborative measures among health care professionals. Collaboration usually gets achieved through advanced communication models, which includes the exchange of patient information through various health disciplines and departments. In the end, the outcomes of such a system range from increased timely access to healthcare data and client data by designated health care workers, and improved protection of patient data.
Additionally, the system is integral in ensuring ease of transmission of data among clinicians, departments and other health facilities that integrate to coordinate patient care. Improved care delivery for clients has led to directing surplus resources to enhance the availability of other health services like equipment. Again, it contributes to increased reimbursement for the facility while healthcare workers find it less challenging to deliver services to the patients, thereby saving a considerable amount of time.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Health Information System
Among the many health care providers, the complexity or ease of use of a data management system is a crucial element of consideration in the provision of care. The practically and ease of use of the health information system is directly related to training the healthcare providers on logistics of the system, thereby increasing their knowledge, skills and attitudes on its usability. Acquisition of competence in the use of the system has a lot of pros than cons. One of the advantages in usability is the ease of use, unlike the conventional method of paperwork through documentation. The system is also relatively fast since it relies on electronic data transmission, and through active data organization, it enables instant access to information. Health Information System, therefore, improves patient outcomes, for example, a patient can access the next department like the laboratory for services as he waits for in-patient number form the data registry department in the Emergency Department.
However, the usability of the system remains a dominant challenge to some health care providers who constantly criticize it, citing the complexity included for mastery. Inadequacy of knowledge and skills of manipulation is the main challenge. As a result, there are cases of poor multidisciplinary communication. As a result, poor communication leads to data loss and misinterpretation of data sequence through the wrong data entry of patient information. Eventually, patient safety gets compromised through adverse health choices of inappropriate care like identification of the wrong patient for medication orders. Besides, lack of knowledge and skills of the involved practitioners, especially nurses, contribute to time wastage on keying in patient information instead of investing in nursing care.
For any health information system to be essential for use, it ought to increase the efficiency in operation by minimal human resource requirement. Critically, the system should minimize healthcare personnel who continuously interact with patient data. That calls for consideration of the fact that information would get easily transmitted between clinicians, among coordinating health departments and other facilities with limited involvement of the professionals. Safety of data gets considered through encryption to limit access and avoid dubious methods like hacking. The aspect of time-saving gets into play since a patient is capable of accessing other services in various departments. As soon as the caregivers instantly access the data from the previous departments, it gets included in the system without waiting in queues for documents. (Bouamrane, Tao, & Sarkar, 2015). Such data, for example, from a health insurance company get included in the patient’s profile in the health finance department as the client receives access to diagnostic services.
Some disadvantages, however, remain based on transmitting data. An operation involving the transfer of data can prompt errors and transfer unencrypted patient data. In such circumstances, the privacy of patient data gets compromised through system hacking. One of the healthcare principles regarding patient care is ensuring patient privacy and confidentiality. When errors involving the transmission of unencrypted patient information occur, that ethical principle gets undermined. Recently, concern has risen on using digital health recording since it, in some cases; undermine the privacy of patient data.
The conservative method of using document files for patient data management requires a lot of resources, unlike the Health Information System. Electronic data systems that get to store patient data in bytes accommodate more information electronically relative to the documents like continuous care datasheets. Factually, the electronic databases remain convenient in terms of usage since the limited storage gets manipulated.
Disadvantageously, the health information system requires a lot of financial resources to set-up and maintain over a considerable amount of time for it to gain stability. In unfortunate circumstances like corrupted files by viruses and system failure, the health facility concerned usually lose a significant amount of health information and patient data. Insufficiency of data backup systems does contribute to data loss that cannot get restored. Informatics nurse specialists and information technologists acknowledge the enormous data loss within a short time leading to a downfall of service delivery. It remains imperative that key players in the health information system managements employ efficient strategies of data input and storage with enough backup databases.
Following decisive approaches to implement the health information system for the satellite health facility, consideration of the system’s compatibility is critical among stakeholders. The tools of the system ought to augur well with the devices to meet the goal of data management. The system ought to ensure efficient data transmission within the connected remote units. Therefore, the implementers get confined to specific tools and devices designed to suit the system. One of the significant importance of compatibility is closing all gaps that could deter information transmission; hence, the ease of data access throughout the system is practical. Sufficient access to compatible devices and tools increases the competence of use due to an increase in variety. However, in inevitable circumstances of system failure, the operators get obliged to acquire a compatible tool or device.
Impact of the system on patient care and documentation
One of the fundamental aims of increasing efficiency in the provision of health care services is increasing the ease of patient data management and being resourceful in data storage and manipulation. Health Information System, therefore, is being increasingly utilized to reduce the complexity involved in accessing health information. Regarding patient care, the system increases coordination and collaboration among clinicians through timely sharing of patient information improves the interventions directed to individual patients’ hence improved patient outcomes. The encrypted data also limits those who get access to patient data, thus considering the ethical principle of healthcare by ensuring the confidentiality and privacy of an individual’s data. Again, data in the system’s database acts to communicate to health care providers including accurate patient biodata, biophysical profiles, diagnoses, treatment modalities, laboratory tests and even discharge plans. Accessing the data would prompt the caregivers to have insights on the pending interventions based on the current treatment modalities and enable them to act while reducing errors associated with care.
Moreover, through improved communication among different health care workers, nurses usually find it easier to coordinate care through the interdisciplinary approach. Such partnerships ensure harmonious and smooth flow on service delivery alongside choosing impactful clinical decisions that suit each patient’s need. Online access to health information by patients, including booking physician appointments and increasing their knowledge on various conditions increases adherence to treatment modalities. Secondly, improved data access by patients through remote devices like phones usually reduces the amount to time and finance utilized to access a health facility over minor illnesses.
The health information system also impacts patient documentation. Facilities that utilize the system report the ease and convenience involved in data management. As compared to conventional data documentation, electronic databases store a more considerable amount of patient data, minimize data loss and take less time to retrieve. Secondly, extensive data gets stored for long streaks of time, unlike paper-work, which usually gets bulky over time hence challenging to store. However, a disadvantage of the Health Information System gets evident if data gets lost through system failure or breakdown. The system also requires that healthcare providers get competent knowledge and skills in implementing the system to reduce the time spent in keying and recording data.
Impact on quality and delivery of nursing care and patient outcomes
Since nursing services usually depend on collaboration and coordination of care among other healthcare providers, the system tends to unify the multi-disciplinary aspects of care. For example, a partnership with a lab technician through the exchange of accurate information enabled accurate diagnosis by a physician and continued care by a nurse practitioner. The system usually contains accessible patient data that impacts ease of access of individual data in one database. Following increased and timely access to relevant patient care information like prescriptions, the delivery of nursing services gets much more straightforward. Moreover, there is increased collaboration to arrive at effective clinical decisions, thereby ensuring no instances of contradiction. The system contributes to minimization of the occurrence of medical errors since chances of poor communication get limited. Time-saving by nurses on one patient gets evident since all the required data regarding a particular patient gets retrieved by use of software tools, unlike paper-work that needs a manual search. Such episodes save time, especially during retrieval of information in subsequent physician visits.
Nurses often find it better in following up the care provided to their patients at any time. Sharing data through the online platform with the patient usually reduces the unnecessary meeting with a nurse over minor health concerns, thereby saving a considerable amount of time and costs. Adoption of the online strategy regarding health informatics improves nurses’ approach to adopt evidence-based practices. As an innovation, Health Information System prompts nurses to conduct researches that would positively impact quality patient outcomes within the healthcare sector. The capability to manipulate data using tools as in study gets available in the health informatics discipline.
Organizations that rely on health information to manage patient data in a database benefit a lot from the system besides the ease in access, retrieval and storage of patient healthcare records. The system gets instrumental in researches. Research participants ask for permission to collect, analyze, present and interpret data to measure the quality of health care delivered and recommendations for evidence-based practice. Critical information gathered gets measured from the system and enables an organization to evaluate their care delivery strategies based on patient outcomes. It also provides feedback to the relevant healthcare authority on the effectiveness of health information system and its application among employees. Besides, data collected remains essential in quality improvement, including incidences of nosocomial infections, the length of time taken to provide specific nursing care and death rates.
Constant monitoring of the outcomes regarding patients and nursing care communicates to the stakeholders on the efficiency, consistency and reliability of the system. The primary aim of quality improvement is improving patient safety. Health information system not only does it focus on top-notch delivery of care but also a way of striving to meet the standards of patient safety, thereby increasing client satisfaction, including family members and caregivers. At the same time, healthcare interventions through nursing care or physician interventions get evaluated through patient outcomes, including lengthy inpatient stays, development of pressure ulcer sores and hospital-acquired infections, among other inpatient care complications. In such cases, the organization evaluates the professionals’ efforts and competence in providing care for their clients.
Additionally, the organizational value gets assessed based on the healthcare cost saved following utilization of the health information system. Value-based care is a contemporary issue in the current health care delivery systems. Health facilities get rewarded through reimbursements, for example, by Medicare and Medicaid insurance, based on organizational value to clients that get assessed using incentives like patient satisfaction. Concurrently, an organization gets the opportunity to strictly superintend on healthcare resource utilization for service delivery to clients. Overutilization of healthcare resources notifies stakeholders to modify the modes of healthcare delivery to minimize wastage. Among the insignificant interventions that prove wasteful or remain valueless are scrapped off for the benefit of patients, health care providers, and the organization. Detection of flaws regarding healthcare delivery prompts participation in research to strive and outline measures that improve patient outcomes with minimal health care costs with increased value. Sidelining unnecessary practices, reduction of resource utilization and relying on evidence-based practice, eventually, minimizes errors and improving the quality of healthcare delivery.
HITECH and HIPAA Security Standards and Regulations
According to Mennemeyer, Menachemi, Rahurkar, & Ford (2016), the HITECH and HIPAA acts and regulations got established to guide electronic data management more especially health records. Keeping patient information confidently and ensuring privacy gets maintained is necessary equally as it is in paper documents. The fact that data is entered stored and manipulated through a digital platform, ethical considerations remain essential for healthcare providers. Besides, another element worth consideration for patient data handling involves data protection. Patient information protection securing it from loss through strategies that ensure retrieval whenever there is system breakdown or failure. Eventually, compliance with the elements as mentioned above demonstrates compliance with the HIPAA act and the HITECH security standards and regulations. Following patient information protection through privacy and confidentiality, and minimizing data loss, the health information system confers with data storage integrity and data backup and recovery.
Data storage integrity
As a nurse informatics specialist, the importance of secure data storage would get considered based on the patient’s prevalence. Access to the patient data would get limited to specific healthcare providers and relevant management personnel or authorities. On the same note, those accessing patient information would ensure confidentiality by limiting sharing it to unrelated parties contrary to patient prevalence. Also, during digital transmission to effect communication, data will have to get encrypted before sharing to remote devices. To augment security, setting up passwords for the connected systems remains a priority and limiting the individuals who get access to the password to ensure confidentiality. Unique Internet Protocols and password would get assigned to each user for easy tracking in cases of data fraud or data leakage. It will be integral to outline penalties that would get strictly followed against those who compromise patient data confidentiality and privacy. The disciplinary team and the organizing committee would collaborate to outline the penalties besides the set rules to set standards and be part of the policies.
Data Backup and Recovery
Currently, data in digital platforms are increasingly undergoing backup as a measure to anticipate data loss in one way or another. (Lupton, 2014). Similarly, we would strive to ensure that a backup system is available and sufficient in storing data as one of the ways to protect patient information. The information technologists deployed to set up the system would also consider establishing a method of data back up with an instant frequency soon as data entry gets confirmed for storage. Through data backup retrieval of patient information would be possible in cases of system failure or breakdown, for example, due to attack by a virus. Health information technicians ought to outline a data recovery plan to ensure effectiveness in securing data. They will also have a role of continually monitoring the workability of the system to avoid a stall in backing up data.
How the system will protect patient privacy
Through limiting access to relevant care providers and authorities, exposure of patient information to unrelated parties like the public will not access such data. Besides, the strategy reduces the handling of such data physically. Transmission of data within the organization or to other facilities would get accessed through the system. To increase the security of such data, especially during transfer, must get encrypted to reduce the chances of access through cyber-crimes like system hacking. (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2015). In instances of providing permission for researchers to use such data, patient details would not get revealed. On the same aspect, the involved patients would get informed to acquire consent. Findings from the research will act as a basis for quality improvement, reduce increased healthcare costs, and design measures that improve the organization. All remote devices that will facilitate access to the system would have unique internet protocols for tracking and follow up in cases of infringement of privacy and confidentiality policies. Policy formulation will get done by the project committee alongside penalties that will apply to those involved in health information system access. Monitoring of the whole system will also be done continuously by competent and experts in the Information and communication technology department to ensure the smooth running of the system.
How adopting a system will improve organizational efficiency and productivity
Establishment and adoption of the health information system will boost service delivery within the organization in many aspects. Health Information System provides a unified system in storing and access to patient information, unlike conventional data management systems, which include mixed data storage. Consequently, the system will minimize confusion. Conjunctively, collaboration and coordination of care among healthcare providers would significantly improve by a better strategy of patient information transfer and communication modes. There will be an aspect of integrated decision making to avoid confusion in care delivery among the healthcare practitioners providing the services. Again, time-saving for service delivery would be significant and get invested in quality improvement while increasing patient satisfaction. Advancement within the organization will also include document standardization, reducing waste and increasing productivity, and improving human and capital resources (Nelson et al., 2015).
Utilization of technology to manage patient data has the upper hand as compared to the conventional data documentation methods. According to Wager, Lee, & Glaser (2017), health information systems ensure useful documentation, unlike traditional methods of documentation. The health information system would entail a specific section for departments for data entry. This strategy of patient data documentation provides regular communication within the departments and the facility. A critical aspect of health information systems is date and time auto-updating feature that facilitates documentation within the confined time of patient service delivery and reference. Access to data within the system will prove reliability.
Reducing waste and increasing productivity
Strict utilization of the information system will significantly minimize time wastage and resources used to provide care to the patients. Timely access to patient information within the system saves time as compared to the physical transmission of paper documents from one department to another or another facility during referrals. Moreover, patients spend less time queuing for service in one department before visiting another. Timely data entry from one department instantly reflects in the system provided that the biographical data gets correctly captured; hence, access to such data does not limit access to services in another department. The quality improvement personnel will also measure and evaluate how resources got utilized within a specified period to check on resource wastage. Prompt participation in research leads to outlining projects and policies that are cost-effective and improve the quality of health care services. ( Stenberg, et al., 2017). Such monitoring will ensure substantial resource allocation and designing measures to reduce resource wastage.
Human and capital resource
The timely and ease of access to patient data through the system remains an advantage for the individuals authorized to access such information. Constant engagement of the order by health care providers such as nurses increases their knowledge, skills and attitudes. Eventually, there is increased productivity within the organization by adopting evidence-based practices acquired through research. Improved quality of patient care will get measured by using the quality outcomes of using the health information system, thereby reducing the costs of care.
Essential stakeholders and roles in implementing the system
Primarily, the stakeholders involved in the implementation of the health system will include the health practitioners and information communication technologists. The Project Manager will be the chairperson to ignite and ensure success in the installation of the Health Information System. The head of the project department would provide oversight in each step of project implementation. That role will include effective allocation, utilization and accountability for resources for installing the system. The Chief Executive Officer of the healthcare organization from the management department will provide signatories to approve the financial and material resources allocated for the project. Besides, the Chief Executive Officer will chair policy formulation and ensure implementation and reinforcement. The Chief Nurse Service Manager will foster the impact of the health information in the effective delivery of nursing services. As a nurse informatics specialist, I will collaborate with the Information Communication Technology expert team to ensure continuous training of healthcare staff regarding using the Health Information System. The ICT team will get on the ground to install the system, including a backup and recovery plan. The experts will also lay strategies to anticipate for any downfalls of the Health Information System alongside training the staff to maximum competence.
Plan for evaluating the success of the implementation of the system
A concrete plan will follow to assess the effectiveness of the policy after implementation and staff training. Testing the system before adoption in the organization is a necessary measure. Evaluating the system provides feedback on the reliability of the system before utilization. The aspects of evaluation include system integrity concerning patient data privacy and confidentiality. Besides, the tools employed in installation would get evaluated based on the American Nursing Association (ANA) and the Alliance for Nursing Informatics (ANI). Another consideration of the evaluation plan is the organization of data in a systematic format. Staff’s level of knowledge, skills and attitude will be part of evaluated to ascertain their preparedness in embracing the system. The aspect of accountability of resource allocation and utilization will also be part of the evaluation.
Bouamrane, M. M., Tao, C., & Sarkar, I. N. (2015). Managing interoperability and complexity in health systems. Methods of information in medicine, 54(01), 01-04.
Coiera, E. (2015). Guide to health informatics. CRC press.
Lupton, D. (2014). Health promotion in the digital era: a critical commentary. Health promotion international, 30(1), 174-183.
Mennemeyer, S. T., Menachemi, N., Rahurkar, S., & Ford, E. W. (2016). Impact of the HITECH act on physicians’ adoption of electronic health records. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 23(2), 375-379.
Nelson, E. C., Eftimovska, E., Lind, C., Hager, A., Wasson, J. H., & Lindblad, S. (2015). Patient reported outcome measures in practice. Bmj, 350, g7818.
Stenberg, K., Hanssen, O., Edejer, T. T. T., Bertram, M., Brindley, C., Meshreky, A., … & Soucat, A. (2017). Financing transformative health systems towards achievement of the health Sustainable Development Goals: a model for projected resource needs in 67 low-income and middle-income countries. The Lancet Global Health, 5(9), e875-e887.
US Department of Health and Human Services. (2015). Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule May 2003.
Wager, K. A., Lee, F. W., & Glaser, J. P. (2017). Health care information systems: a practical approach for health care management. John Wiley & Sons.