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Patient Safety and HIT, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 621

Research Paper

The principle focus of Patient Safety and HIT relates to the safety of patients, research in HIT and issues of medical errors and their potential implications towards the improvement of quality of health care.  Health care has developed in line with the scientific and technological advances and today it has become increasingly sophisticated as for instance modern biotechnological advances allow for the development of drugs that are directed at specific physiological processes (Institute of Medicine, 2001, 123-145).

Health Information Technology involves the use of computer technology for organizing, analyzing, managing and using information to improve health care. Health Information Technology mainly aims at achieving four principal objectives:

  • Developing standards along with clinical guidelines to be observed by health care providers.
  • Enhancing the usability of all health information systems so as to facilitate flow of information
  • Managing and monitoring the flow of information between physicians and the patients.

Health Information Technology stems from researches into the application of computer technology in health care. Health Information Technology systems are essential to development of sound health care systems. However, knowledge does not involve the mere use of information but rather it entails application of the information within a context of organizational development. An efficient Health Information Technology system should be user friendly as such a system will assist hospital managers in aligning health care resources with the needs of service users.

Through HIT, health information management has been described in a rather comprehensive approach across systems that have been computerized to facilitate for the security of information and its exchange amongst the stakeholders. HIT has been a vital tool that facilitates for improvement in quality, efficiency as well as safety in the systems of health care delivery.

An effective HIT system facilitates for:

  •  the improvement of quality of health care
  • Preventing and reducing the extent of medical errors
  • Reduction of cost of health care
  • Improvements in the level of efficiency of administrative functions
  • Affordable health care accessibility expansion (Bates, 2005, 1180-1189).

Effective HIT system is also likely to improve patient care on individual capacity. This is achievable through an early and timely detection of the outbreaks of infectious diseases, improvements in the tracking and management of chronic diseases and evaluating health care on the basis of value which is made possible by availability of data on prices thus enabling their comparisons.

Patient Safety has necessitated for introduction of HIPAA, a set of laws that have been enacted specifically to protect health insurance coverage for workers as well as their immediate family members when they lose or change their jobs. HIPAA requires the establishment of national standards so be set for all electronic health care transactions. This involves national identifiers for providers, employers and health insurance plans (Bates, 2005, 1180-1189).

Specific provisions have been made to address the issues of privacy and security in respect of health data. HIPAA oversees and regulates the availability of group health plans and several health insurance policies. Further, it has the mandate to limit any restriction that a group health plan can place on benefits that might be related to pre-existing insurance conditions. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability act defines several offenses that are related to the health care and sets appropriate civil and criminal penalties that have to be met by those who defaults the provisions. All rules apply to covered entities and this includes health plans, health care clearing houses and health care providers (Tan & Payton 2010, 156).

Works cited

Bates, D.W. “Physicians and ambulatory electronic health records”. Health Affairs, 24(5): 1180-          1189, 2005.

Institute of Medicine. Crossing the quality chasm: A new health system for the 21st century.      Washington, D.C: National Academies Press, 2001.

Tan, J. & Payton F. C. Adaptive Health Management Information Systems: Concepts, Cases, and         Practical Applications (3rd Ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC. 1, 2010.

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