Advantages of Health Information Systems in the Healthcare Industry

With the rampant rise of technology as a great tool in the healthcare industry, Health Information Systems have also seen a huge rise. More and more healthcare organizations and researchers are starting to pay more attention to all the possibilities and new applications of Health Information Systems. There are many advantages that this technology, when applied in the healthcare industry, brings, and these advantages span across all kinds of healthcare organizations and different departments. Health information systems also help tie in different aspects and departments of a healthcare organization and this means more accessible data and increased data sharing. Below we discuss some of the many advantages of Health Information Systems.

Customized Information

In a healthcare organization, each care provider such s doctors, nurses, lab technicians etc, need to access patient information in order to do their jobs properly and effectively. A health information system provides each healthcare practitioner and healthcare staff the right information that he or she needs to make decisions about a patient or take action. So for example, a doctor looking at a patients chart will have access to the patients medical history, illnesses, allergies to medication, past operations or surgeries that have been done, etc.

While an administrative staff looking at the same patient file will have access to the patient payment records, health insurance information, upcoming appointments etc. The ability of the health information system to customize each information fit the needs of the health staff is what makes it so useful and sort after. It solves issues like information breaches, loss of patient information, confidentiality issues, etc.

Also, having to dig patient information out of paper records and files takes time and will lead to a higher chance of data loss or data discrepancies. With health information systems, information can be accessed immediately from anywhere and at any time using mobile devices such as iPads (assigned to each doctor and nurse) and computers (assigned to different departments, nurses stations and floors of the hospital.

Customized Information Formats

In addition to the advantage of having custom information, health information systems also provide information in customized formats. Custom formats make accessing data more effective because the data can be read in the most convenient format for the individual accessing it. So for example, a doctor with a list of patients to visit will have the names color-coded so he knows right away by looking at his tablet which patients he needs to see next and which ones he has already attended to.

The same way pharmacists can see from a bar chart or a pie chart which medications a patient needs just by pulling up their name. That way, they don’t have to spend time digging through a list or searching for more data because everything will be presented in a format that is easy to read and understand. Same way the administrative department can just from pulling up the first page of a patient file know if they have any payments pending or know immediately who their insurance provider is because the information will be presented in a format that’s familiar and so this speeds up the work process.

Real-Time Information

If there is one place that real-time information goes a long way and makes a big difference, it’s the healthcare industry. Health information systems are able to provide data and information to doctors, nurses, and care providers in real-time as they administer treatment to a patient. Real-time information means more accurate and faster diagnosis to patients and lower turnaround time. Also having raw data about a patient converted to information immediately saves time for the doctor and for the patient. In case of patient emergencies, this also comes in very handy.

Increased Adaptability

Health information systems are digital and this means they can be edited or changed to fit changing needs and times without too much of a hassle. It also means individual parts of the system can be reprogramed, upgraded or even made inaccessible depending on the needs of the healthcare organization. It also means the system can be merged with other systems or incoming data and this can be done easily without causing much or even any disruption.

Increased Integration

Speaking of merging systems and merging data, health information systems leads to increased integration among systems.  An integrated system allows for improved communication among executives, doctors, managers, nurses, clinicians, lab technicians, department heads, stakeholders and employees at all levels of the healthcare organization. Increased integration leads to greater data sharing which means that processes will be better managed and redundancies will be done away with.

Increased Data Quality

One of the problems with data is that it needs to be updated regularly in order to maintain its accuracy and relevance. A health information system helps increase data quality because the information system is regularly updated with new data and information. Inputting data into the systems thus does not mean the end and be all of that data. Instead, it means the data can be edited, updated and merged with new incoming data to improve accuracy.

Better Data Security

Health information systems being used in a healthcare organization means that the data of the healthcare organization will be more secure. Information systems improve data security. This is because the way the system is set up prevents hackers, identity thieves and corporate spies, for example, to be able to enter the system and even they can enter they won’t be able to access any relevant information because of checks put in place like customized data, password protection, etc. This protects the sensitive information of patients such as their financial information, social security numbers, health records, etc.