Health Informatics as a discipline is a joint between Healthcare and Information Science or Computer Science. Its analysis involves data about the health conditions of patients, evidence based interventions and diagnosis methods required for various diseases. In highly integrated systems, it is possible to optimize information systems in a way that it links various clinical databases. This enhances the speed of access, retrieval and utilization of information in health organizations. The tools used in the implementation of Health informatics are computers, data communication systems, evidence based clinical guidelines and medical terms and regulations. Healthcare informatics is applicable in the areas of medical and clinical care, public health systems, dental medicine, pharmaceutical health, occupational treatments, physical health and biometric health.
Role of Analyzing Healthcare
Analyzing Health Information Management as a practice assists in the understanding and maintenance of records about health. It does so by replacing the paper-based techniques by electronic technologies in the hospitals. The analysis of healthcare Information links the health organizations to external service providers such as the offices of external physicians, Medical insurance service providers, pharmaceutical suppliers and other partners in providing vital facilities or in the management of health information. The analysis uses the prevalent automation of health information from various sources. This includes hospital operation, administration; financial records, employee information, inventory informatics and patient bio-data information records, which are critically useful in health information access and administration practices. The analysis in healthcare information such as clinical diagnostic records has a great role to play in decision making before selecting the types of intervention required and the action owners. Healthcare Information analysis enables the management to deliver professional services from informed ground, by providing relevant and consistent information. Its links between patients’ information to that of the various services offers the healthcare organization a direct access to the external entities whenever required.
Application of Healthcare Informatics
Health Informatics is responsible for the use of information in the health service firms or by private clinical offices to make relevant decisions. Clinical informatics assists the physicians and nurses in the healthcare organizations to analyze the design of the processes in the organizations. This enhances the transformation of health care by designing and evaluating communication and information systems to support individual and corporate health findings, improving the quality of services offered to the patient, and developing the relationship between patients and employees of health institutions. Clinical information managers use the knowledge of requirement of care on patient and they couple it with the idea of clinical informatics, information implementation methods and the tools of health informatics. This enables them to assess the needs of information and knowledge base concerning health care experts and their patients. The design of processes in medical information and communication system assists the administration of the organizations to evaluate, modify and improve the processes and clinical procedures. The mechanism is through the development, implementation, and refining of the intelligent decision support systems in the clinical centers. It also guides the procedure of procurement, evaluation, development, maintenance and perpetual enhancement of Health Information Systems.
Collaboration between Clinical professionals and other systems in the health care organizations and health informatics professionals facilitates the development of effective, safe and efficient healthcare practices in a timely manner. The American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS) guarantees this since it is the overseeing organization for certification of clinical informatics specialists.
Correlations of Data
In a multivariate data set analysis, clinical informatics uses the development of the field to guide the creation of more detailed data sets. An electronic information management system supports the creation of electronic health data linked to external data sources and data warehouses. The electronic health information has to be expressed in more than one variable, in which at least one is dependent on other one or more variables. The records may also imply that the variables exist in a large data warehouse in separate datasets. It may also imply that there are links between the data sets with correlations of data in health information and communication systems. Again, because it uses electronic data, the means of correlation analysis can vary within a very large range and use various methods such as ANOVA, Multivariate Regression analysis, T – Test and S – Test analyses. The analysis can then be simplified into metrics such as percentages and probabilities before presenting the series of correlation analysis in the form of charts and graphs.
National Patient Safety
The responsibility of Health Information Administrators or managers is to protect both the information regarding patient privacy besides the patients themselves. When information is accurate and logically consistent, it means that patients will receive appropriate treatment in high quality. However, when the information is corrupted, there may be experienced, a certain amount of confusion in the way patients receive treatment; thus endangering their lives. When the employees learn to store the information regarding patients secure, the patients can easily develop trust because their confidential information is safe. As Haux and Ammenwerth (2011) argue, when healthcare information gains popularity in the field of health care, health information administrators have to remain consistent in their management of information. The reports are securely delivered to the clinical administrators as well as the medical physicians. The flow of processes can inform the next stage of service in the clinical or medical institution, and the action owner of the next stage. It then links all the billings of services to a common financial enquiry or invoicing interface. As Information System monitors the flow of activities, it ensures that there is no confusion in the services offered to patients and that in treating patients, no step is skipped in a certain procedure.
Use of Correlation in Healthcare Organization
From the correlation analysis, Health information management departments develop guidelines and strategic plans for information systems. They also develop the workflow and policies for all processes that have to pass through the information systems, each process having a unique report for audit purposes. The policies contain the roles of the healthcare institution and its relation to patients, employees and the external entities to the organization including partners and service providers. As a business continuity plan, the policies assist healthcare informatics professionals to id identify and document the present and the future areas of development in the structure and workflow of information management system (Wager, Lee and Glaser, 2013). This follows the correlation analysis of the issues in the current system such as system failures, customer satisfaction from service delivery, report availability, financial computation in the audits, data storage and backups, data security of the information system and compliance to ethical and legal regulations. Policies require healthcare organizations to comply with certain ethical and codes including delivery of standard qualities of service to clients, being the consumers to the organization. For example, billing from the system has to be accurate and in agreement with the services offered to the patient. In case of system errors in report generation, the billing record may include overstated charges, which a patient has a legal right to dispute.
Example of Health Information Systems
Systematic use and management of information in the healthcare systems determines how efficient the system will perform in the detection of problems in the health information. It assists the experts of health informatics to develop the desired flow of activities, improve the flow through innovative solutions and assign the required resources to the areas where they are required in the health information system. For example, Healthcare Organizations in the United States have used Information Systems data to support service delivery through information-oriented processes (Ball, Weaver Kiel, 2010). In the paperless system, the organizations fully depend on the information technology as a vital tool to guide the decision-making in the critical organization management areas. For example, the system guides decisions on the Human resources needs and financial resource acquisition and allocation. One of the most efficient systems in the US health organizations is the EHRs (Electronic Health Records). The main objective in using this system is to enable organizations to perform correlation analysis in the information system data, utilize the data related to patient care and availing necessary information to service providers and partners whenever they need them.
Process of Analyzing Patient’s Data
The system process flow in the standard information system recognizes the entry point of patients. The very first step in data analysis is the registration details of patients. The next step is the diagnosis, which refers to the registration details. The third step is the decision on the type of medical or clinical intervention. The final stage in the flow is the billing, where the system follows all the stages from consultancy to the billing stage to determine all the costs and the aggregate value for the costs. The system dynamically performs the same sequence of activities, and apart from serving as many clients as it can, it can generate reports of any nature that legal and audit procedures require. Health informatics follows a very intelligent sequence while using correlation analysis on the data items gathered at every step.
Meeting Healthcare Law Requirement
The information management Laws require health organizations to have Efficient Information Management System. The objective of this is to ensure that there is Faster Access of Vital Health Information in a timely order. The criteria for deciding on whether the system is efficient include:
- Data security
- Data Integrity
- Data Access Speed
- Backup System Speed and security
- Accuracy of the system
- System Network Strength
The systems have to enable organizations to reduce the usage of paper as they manage large volumes of data, obviously because they expect to manage many patients. The system uses correlation between the data entities to reduce or eliminate redundancy and promote service quality offered to patients in the organizations. Rodrigues (2009) further states that patients are also able to access their information from the data warehouses (repositories) whenever they need them. On the legal aspect, the healthcare information organizations have to generate electronic management records to retain regulatory documentation. This minimizes the costs and data errors or destruction of critical documents.
Ball, M. J., Weaver, C. & Kiel, J. (2010). Healthcare information management systems: Cases, strategies and solutions. London: Springer.
Haux, R. & Ammenwerth, E. (2011). Health information systems: Architectures and strategies. London: Springer.
Rodrigues, J. (2009). Health Information Systems: “Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications”, Idea Group Inc (IGI), Vol 1, pg. 67.
Wager, K. A., Lee, F. W., Glaser, J. P. (2013). Health care information systems: A practical approach for health care management. New York: John Wiley & Sons.