Information technology today has been developed to make things easier and more convenient while working and communicating; in the health sector it is no exception in view of the fact that information technology has been developed so as to ensure comprehensive administration of health data and an efficient system to convey it to all stakeholders (Bates, 2005). The stakeholders include; patients, health providers, government, insurance providers, and suppliers of products. Health information technology is very essential and can be said to be important in making the sector provide better and efficient services, higher quality, and safe.
When implementing the health information technology program there is assurance of improved health care quality; reduced costs of health care and thus affordable health care, reduced medical errors, reduced hard copies of paper in the system, and Increased administrative efficiencies (Bates, 2005). To the nurse the introduction of health information technology means less workload and better serving of the patients. The nurses will have better means to serve the patients in view of the fact that they have means to understand inpatients more due to the electronic records.
Health information technology will also impact the public health sector in that it will allow mechanisms for early detecting of diseases that may be infectious or outbreaks, better systems to tack chronic diseases and the nurses are able to manage them, and aid in evaluating the value of health care by analyzing factors such as cost, quality, and patient feedback (Kawamoto, et al. 2005).
Health information technology is essential since it allows storage, retrieval, distribution, and applying health information, knowledge and data so that the managers can make informed decisions. This information will include medical, public health, nursing, pharmaceutical, and professional in all the sectors of health. The nurses are core in implementing the health information technology program in view of the fact that they are the main handlers of the data.
The health sector in-terms of information are crucial since it aids in patient diagnosis easily. Some of the put forward technologies include; electronic medical records (EMR), computerized physician order entry (CPOE), clinical decision support (CDS), automated dispensing machines (ADM), bar-coding at medical dispensing (BarD). Bar-coding at medication administration (BarA), robot for medication dispensing (ROBOT), and electronic medical administration records (EMAR). The above techniques have been commonly used in the health sector to improve quality and service to patients (Bates, et al. 1998).
Health recording is the most important and this is divided in to electronic health records (EHR), personal health records (PHR) and electronic prescribing records (e-Rx). Personal health records (PHR) as the words suggest store personal information such as health condition, family members such as children parents and siblings online (Bates, et al. 1998). The data is accessed to know any information such as previous illness, dates, medication, physical examinations, and progress of health. The doctor will refer to it and the electronic health records (EHR) to identify how the patient is fairing. The full description of the patient is easily found and any chronic health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and hypertension are indicated on the file to ensure the patient is checked for the progress of those before being treated for others (Bates, 2005). The electronic prescribing record is also an EHR that contains drugs used by the patient.
Once the patient is treated he/she is referred to the pharmacy where he gets the drugs prescribed by the doctor. This electronic process will help avoid errors in prescription brought by the doctor’s handwriting, ensure drugs prescribed are not harmful or allergic since the doctor has the information, and enable the doctor to plan the medication schedule for the patient that is effective (Bates, et al. 1998). The process of health information technology has brought significant benefits in the health sector and this will ensure that patients’ lives are saved when they visit the hospital anytime.