Health IT, or health information technology, is primarily aimed to manage health data and improve healthcare delivery. With that, health IT has a huge potential to improve patient care, increase safety, reduce medical errors, and strengthen the interaction between patients and healthcare providers. In this article, we’re going to explore some of the most effective ways to put health IT into action.
What Is Health IT and Why Is It so Important?
Health Information Technology (Health IT) is a quite broad term that describes different technologies used to analyze, record, and share patient health data. These technologies may include health record systems (personal, paper, and electronic); personal health tools (smart devices and apps), as well as communities where users share and discuss information.
Healthcare IT allows for deep analysis of this information for both healthcare providers and government agencies. So, this data can be further used for the implementation of policies in order to treat and prevent the spread of different diseases.
Speaking about individual patients, health IT makes it possible for providers to better manage their care by securely sharing health information. An electronic database of health records makes it easier to reach the needed info when and where it is needed. What are the benefits?
- As healthcare providers have accurate and complete info about a patient’s health, they can give the best possible care, no matter whether it’s a routine visit or a medical emergency.
- The possibility to coordinate care better, which is particularly important for patients with serious medical conditions.
- A secure way to share information with patients and their families or other healthcare providers over the Internet so that they can take part in health decisions.
- Ability to diagnose health problems sooner and reduce/prevent medical errors. Hence, safer care at lower costs.
- Aid in medical research. If patients permit, researchers can collect their data to help produce new types of treatments.
- Better monitoring of patient compliance. Owing to health IT a doctor can see when you fill your prescriptions or get prescribed tests.
How to Bring Health IT Into Play
There are many different ways how health IT can be used to improve the quality of care services. The integration of health IT includes a variety of tech methods that are used to manage info about people’s health and care, both for individuals and for groups of patients.
Electronic Health Records
Electronic health records (EHRs) are digital versions of patients’ medical records. They contain information about a patient’s medical history, allergies, medications, lab results, and more. EHRs allow healthcare providers to access patient information quickly and easily, reducing the risks of medical errors and improving outcomes. In addition, EHRs can help healthcare providers track patient progress and identify trends over time.
- To put EHRs into action, a user-friendly system should be implemented. It also needs to ensure that patient data is secure and protected.
Telehealth involves the use of the latest technologies to deliver healthcare services remotely. Telehealth can include video consultations, remote monitoring, and other forms of virtual care. It can be especially beneficial for patients who live in rural or remote areas, as it can provide access to healthcare services that may not be available locally.
- To put telehealth into action, you need to invest in the appropriate technology and infrastructure. You also need to ensure that patients have access to this technology.
Health Information Exchange
Health information exchange (HIE) is the way of sharing patient information between healthcare providers, which can help improve patient outcomes by providing a more complete picture of a patient’s medical history. HIE can also help reduce the duplication of tests and procedures, which can help minimize healthcare costs accordingly.
- To put HIE into action, healthcare providers ought to ensure that their systems are interoperable, meaning they can communicate with other systems. They also need to make sure that patient data is secure and protected.
Clinical Decision Support
Clinical decision support (CDS) is the use of technology to provide healthcare providers with information and guidance to help them make clinical decisions. CDS can offer alerts, reminders, and other tools to help doctors make the best decisions for their patients.
- To put CDS into action, medical facilities should ensure that their systems are capable of providing CDS. Then, it’s crucial to make sure that the CDS is accurate and up-to-date. Medical facilities should also train their staff on how to use CDS and provide ongoing support to reach maximum efficiency.
Patient portals are online platforms that allow patients to access their medical records, communicate with their healthcare providers, and manage their health information. Patient portals can help patients become more engaged in their healthcare, which can consequently lead to better health outcomes.
- To put patient portals into action, you should create a user-friendly and secure system that will be easily accessible to patients.
Mobile health (also called mHealth) involves the use of mobile devices to deliver different healthcare services. mHealth typically includes apps that provide patients with easy access to healthcare services and help healthcare providers deliver care more efficiently.
- To put mHealth into action, you should think about something really meaningful to stand up above the competition and bring something really useful to patients. You should also consider how you’ll manage the logistics of delivering healthcare services through mobile devices, such as scheduling and billing.
Data analytics can be really useful to analyze large amounts of data in order to identify areas where patient care can be improved and to identify patients who may be at risk for certain conditions. Data analytics can help healthcare providers deliver more personalized care and can help reduce costs spent on treatment and medicine.
- To put data analytics into action, you should invest in the necessary technologies and infrastructure. It’s also crucial to reliably protect patient data.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the buzzword not only in medicine but in the whole world as well. Simulating human intelligence, AI can help diagnose conditions, predict outcomes, and customize treatment plans depending on the individual peculiarities of patients. AI has a very high chance to revolutionize healthcare by providing medical staff with more accurate and timely information.
- To put AI into action, you can invest in different technologies and infrastructure. And, as always, you must not forget about cybersecurity and make sure that the data is well-protected.
Steps to Take
No matter how you’d like to put health IT into action, there are some essential steps for the successful implementation of your product.
- Establish clear goals and objectives. Before investing in health IT, it is essential to establish clear goals and objectives. What problems are you trying to solve? What outcomes do you hope to achieve? How will you measure success? Having clear goals and objectives will help you select the right technology.
- Select the right technology. The technology should align with your goals and objectives, support effective workflows, and be easy to use. It should also be scalable and adaptable to meet the company’s changing needs.
- Build the team. These may be clinicians, administrators, patients, and IT staff.
- Address security and privacy concerns. Health IT systems must be secure and protect patient privacy. This requires adherence to regulatory requirements such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It also requires the implementation of technical safeguards such as encryption and firewalls.
- Provide interoperability. Health IT systems must be able to share data with other systems, such as electronic health records (EHRs), to ensure that patient information is accessible across the care continuum.
- Continuously improve. Constant improvement is essential to ensure that your health IT product is meeting the needs of the ever-changing industry.
- Embrace innovation. Keeping up with the times and embracing innovation is critical for reaching the full potential of health IT as it’s an evolving field, and new technologies are emerging all the time.
If that sounds too complicated, don’t fret. Our team of skilled developers can follow the steps outlined above and take all concerns into account to complete/maintain your project from A to Z. With a solid experience in the healthcare field, Solvve can provide the best solutions for your business. So, don’t hesitate to contact us. Let’s put Health IT into action!