Health Care Information Systems

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Evolution of Health Care Information Systems

Evolution of Health Care Information Systems


Healthcare encompasses a great deal of sub-sectors including pharmaceuticals? homecare? scientific research? and hospitals. However? whenever the word 'healthcare' is mentioned? the most notable images that jump to anyone's mind are hospitals. Hospitals are essentially microcosms of the healthcare system. Inside a typical hospital there are: pharmacies? patient care wards? emergency rooms? administrative services? laboratories? imaging services? geriatric wards? and many more. (Gregory 1999) Thus? hospitals are an excellent representation of the healthcare system.


Computers undoubtedly have been the most remarkable invention of the 20th century. They have been affecting every field of life since their invention. Computer is a classic case of a technology that has found uses its inventors could never have dreamt of. The influence of computer in Health care is enormous. The process of keeping patient records? (Edwin 2003) appointments and every other kind of information has been transformed from paper to computers. Computers have played a key role in improving the quality of health care. The most direct contribution that information technology can make to improve the quality of health care is to provide the clinician with better information about the patient and health problems at hand and alternative tests and treatments for that problem.

Database systems are designed keeping in mind the requirements of clients. Different software packages are available in the market? which can be modified based on the needs of the users. The purpose of these packages is to increase efficiency and save time. Because this is such an important and delicate industry? these database systems need to be very carefully designed. (Sittig 2006) A minor error can have tragic results. Use of database systems has revolutionized the healthcare industry. From scheduling to payroll to all kinds of related information are now stored in databases. Healthcare facilities use different kinds of data? for example they need insurance information for their patients? (Edwin 2003) and they might need results from other healthcare facilities for their patients.

Twenty years back only paper records were kept and they are not that much safe in order to keep patients' data confidentiality and also they were not easily accessible. Although paper records are still kept but database systems now play a key role in healthcare facilities. Different factors such as data distillation? data security? connectivity? storage of data and decision support system contribute to make any database system more efficient and useful for the clients. (Gregory 1999)

A database system in a health care facility would have to consider many factors. Efforts are made to improve the quality of the information provided by these databases. These database systems not only are not only efficient but also cost effective compared to the number of humans it would take the same job. Security of the data is the primary factor considered like in any other system. People reveal highly sensitive information to health professionals; therefore it is necessary that any systems should ensure the safety and appropriate use of the ...
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