Computerized Health Information System Product
Computerized Health Information System Product
Health systems have undergone major milestones with regards to the storage, retrieval and dissemination of patients medical information. Much transformation has been witnessed in the Electronic Health Records as well as with all computerized technologies. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act that was passed in 2009 increased the speed with which changes occurred in the health information storage and dissemination. Many resources are used to facilitate effective transformation of healthcare delivery through the use of HER technology. One of the early computerized health information system products is HELP (Health Evaluation through Logistics Processing). HELP is a hospital information system. The product supports a number of applications including regular applications of an HIS like order entry and Radiology among other functions. It also supports ICU monitoring and other decision support functions. It is supplied by system experts like avionic suppliers and manufacturing firms like airframe (Shortliffe & Cimino, 2006).
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The product has been involved in the functions of regular HIS applications. Decision-support has often been applied to give alerts, patients diagnosis, data interpretations and clinical protocols. By use of data and time driven mechanisms, decision-support is interactively given. The product functions in a way that data driven activations are done instantly while the patients clinical records are stored in their computerized medical records. After given time intervals, the time bound activation of medical logic is initiated. The HELP product is also credited for its ability to support linked database structures that makes it possible for it to carry out its decision-support functions. Besides, the database lends itself to the design of specific patients reports (Shortliffe & Cimino, 2006).
Current Usage of HELP
HELP, as a product of health information system, has been used for a long time. For instance, it has been in operation at LDS Hospital since 1967 (Bansal, 2003). At the initial stages, the system product mainly supported functions in the intensive care unit and a heart catheterization laboratory. After its first application, HELP has gone through several expansions that have enabled it to become effective in providing a service that offers complex decision-support abilities to several clinical areas. Some of the areas within which the product has been found to be helpful include nurse charting, pharmacy and laboratory. Based on its effectiveness, the system is currently used in several hospitals of LDS Hospitals parent healthcare enterprise referred to as the Intermountain Healthcare. The system has also been used alongside the routine operations of many other hospitals apart from the hospitals at IHC.
HELP is among the most successful and largely used clinical information system products. Several concepts have been developed with the system to give an illustration of its success and effectiveness. The concepts indicate that the system can be used to provide effective clinical care. It also shows that computerized decision making is effective and that computerized decision-support can help in provision of highly cost effective and better patient care. The developed concepts also show that HELP improves the attitudes of clinical users towards computerized decision-support. Based on the confirmed effectiveness, HELP is known to be one of the most popular clinical information system products whose application records significant improvement (Bansal, 2003).
Benefits Related to Health Care Delivery
A computerized health information system contributes to patients care in several ways. None of the ways involves interactions with healthcare providers for the purpose of modifying therapeutic and diagnostic decisions. As from the time of its invention, HELP information system has been used by developers in exploring computerized interventions to be used in medical decision making process. Bansal (2003), stated that interventions are made in a manner that supports a computer-directed interaction between nurses, physicians and therapists involved in care delivery.
Use of decision-support systems with the ability to integrate guidelines has increased as healthcare providers strive to limit the variation and to offer a cost effective care. Support systems possess characteristics that pose a challenge to the users. For example, additional data entry that is time consuming and identifying patients manually results into challenges in behaviour. The encountered bottlenecks pose much challenge to decision support system in becoming part of the clinical routine. To solve the problem encountered, HELP uses a novel approach that helps in bypassing the behavioural problem. This approach involves the use of a real-time decision support system that does not present a need for healthcare providers to provide extra data. It entails diagnostic and management components (Duplaga & Zielinski, 2006).
Emergence of more health complications poses the need for development of more effective interventions. Due to medical risks that are associated with blood transfusion, LDS hospitals apply HELP system in online ordering of blood products by physicians and nurses.
Therefore, HELP information system is very useful in the healthcare sector. Firstly, it is attached to a related financial data base and allows information to be integrated from several areas to enable creation of electronic medical records with all clinical and medical patients data. The system product also helps in combining communication and advice components using data and algorithms that are time-driven. The system is also used for atomization of hospital-acquired infections surveillance and analysis. It also helps in patient identification such as those that are highly exposed to nosocomial infection. The system product features are also applied in giving suggestions for the alternatives to be used by patients who receive wrong antimicrobial therapy. Therefore, it is useful in improving antibiotic prophylaxis timing during surgery and to stop prolonged prophylaxis. HELP can also help in conducting an investigation on a wide range of infection control, cost regulation and quality improvement (Duplaga & Zielinski, 2006).
For a long time, healthcare recorded disturbing tendencies characterized by lack of a practical success realized in computer based decision support technologies that could be used in re-examining assumptions that encourage taking the initiatives into the technologies. Shortliffe and Cimino (2006), noted that lack of success depends on several reasons. . For example, the application is futile due to lack of technological maturity and its initiation faced obstacles based on the unavailability of viable computer record infrastructures. Another challenge that the application faces is professional resistance to novel technologies. However, despite the obstacles, one can look at the main assumptions made during establishing the decision support systems.
Much research is currently being done in this area based on the outdated views that can hardly help in dispensation of technological advancement. The failure of application of technology in healthcare provision as witnessed in some areas could be attributed to this reasoning. Hence, it is crucial to re-examine clinical practice so as to identify ways by which clinical workers can be assisted. Failure to take this initiative means that decision-support technology, such as HELP, will not be appropriately aligned to the needs of health care workers. Though several innovations have been realized in the healthcare sector, it is essential to note that the path of EHR innovation is not determined by mere technological progress. There are other factors, such as legal expectations, accountable care organizations and programs that largely affect the level of change achieved as a result of innovations introduced.