Over the years, the healthcare sector witnessed a gradual surge in its significance and budget allocation annually. The year 2020 marked the start of a global pandemic causing a massive change in the operational dynamics of the world. Nevertheless, the healthcare sector, throughout history, is under scrutiny because proper health care equates to healthy human existence.
Since modernization makes it easier to cater to the healthcare needs of people, developed countries like the United States have borrowed new methods and systems from the world of information technology (IT). Therefore, the resultant growth was the introduction of Healthcare Information Technology (IT). Although Healthcare IT is a relatively new field, this field is a growing phenomenon due to its potential uses and benefits.
Healthcare IT encompasses technology, tools, and infrastructure that assist healthcare systems, private and public healthcare organizations, and governments to compile, record, maintain, analyze, and share health information. In simpler terms, Healthcare IT uses primary IT solutions such as hardware, software, and networking to achieve its primary objective of amplifying the collection and analysis of medical data.
Adding on, the United States Health Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) suggests that the primary role of Healthcare IT is to accelerate the interoperability of electronic medical records to increase health information exchange. Thus, Healthcare IT roles involve managing data, analyzing, and improving data record-keeping for medical organizations.
With technological advancements are on the rise, a merger between the healthcare sector and Information Technology has amplified communication and data-record keeping improved the overall performance of healthcare organizations and staff.
While technology renders some negative consequences, it has proved itself favorable for the healthcare sector. Hence, Healthcare IT is a growing phenomenon in diverse ways; some are discussed as follows.
- Attractive Education Opportunities
A common reason that accounts for the promotion of Healthcare IT as a growing phenomenon includes the array of educational opportunities for those interested in studying IT and medicine. Alongside providing educational opportunities, Healthcare IT also offers diverse job opportunities.
Various undergraduate and postgraduate degrees such as health informatics and a masters degree in health information management are flourishing. This is because people tend to opt for such degrees due to the compelling job opportunities provided by Healthcare IT.
Furthermore, IT and medicine are unique and attractive, appealing to many candidates to opt for this field. Therefore, the vast array of job opportunities supplemented by developing special education programs makes Healthcare IT a growing phenomenon.
- Easy and Efficient Access to Patient Information
Healthcare IT has made it relatively smooth and easy to access patient information, thus benefitting the patient and the doctor. It is possible because all the electronic medical records are recorded together in a single digital version accessed without any hassles. Also, patients’ medical history, including updates on their medical needs, are stored together and can be accessed from potentially anywhere.
Additionally, obstetrician-gynecologists use Healthcare IT to stay updated on their patients’ profiles and keep track of their progress. Easy and efficient access to patient information allows the patient to be equally involved in keeping track of their medical requirements. It makes it easier for doctors, nurses, lab technicians, and physicians to access patient records when needed, save time, and reduce patient checkups.
- Increased Care Coordination
Online access to electronic health records, test results, and medical questionnaires saves time in medical facilities. Healthcare IT has drastically increased care coordination between medical practitioners and nurses. Electronic health records being quickly accessible, can be updated, edited, and reviewed by different concerned people. Moreover, the run between other doctors and hospitals has decreased hassles.
Healthcare IT has reduced the need for comprehensive tests and procedures since medical records of one test are available for a host of different practitioners, reducing financial expenditure on doing the same medical tests again.
This helps increase patient satisfaction due to the ease and the reduction in medical costs making Healthcare IT a widely appreciated phenomenon.
- Significant Reduction in Expenses
Overall, Healthcare IT has proven to be beneficial to profit-making medical organizations. This is because of the reduction in operational costs, which allows organizations to formulate a strategic budget. Although the initial cost of Healthcare IT capital is relatively high, the long-run revenues earned due to its strategic allocation enable sufficient profit-making.
Seamless medical inventory management, patient-to-room allocation, strict machine requirements such as a ventilator are all accounted for by electronic data and records. Digital audits have improved due to efficient allocation of resources and strategic budgeting. This has positively impacted medical organizations.
While Healthcare IT renders numerous benefits to society, this sector is rapidly growing as legislative measures in countries like the US have enforced the adoption of Healthcare IT. Furthermore, developing countries have undertaken and signed treaties with international organizations such as the World Bank to fund projects requiring equipment and tools for Healthcare IT.
Although Healthcare IT is a developing field, it carries immense potential to grow, survive and dominate international markets. Healthcare IT is a growing phenomenon due to its positive implications on patients. Considering the importance attributed to Healthcare alone, scientists have predicted a possible growth of this phenomenon into a reality soon.