Name : Philippine Council for Quality Assurance in Clinical Laboratories 11th Annual Convention
Date : September 23rd, 2014 8:00 am
Location : Crowne Plaza


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Information Technology on Medical Practices


Information Technology (IT) plays important roles in medicine. According to studies, IT has transformed the ways modern healthcare systems to acquire, store, access and communicate medical information. These developments offer significant benefits to patients and healthcare providers. IT has, in the last few decades, become so well assimilated into healthcare delivery systems that few doctors can imagine a day without using the computer or the network.


There are many good evidences that using information technology in the medical field can improve the efficiency and quality of care. Following are some of them:


Electronic Health Records

Information Technology has transformed the way that patient information is stored and accessed, as well as revolutionized billing and insurance procedures. Electronic health records function as a database that store patient's health-related documents, such as their medical progress notes, immunization records, payment and account information and insurance data. They eliminate the need for doctors and hospitals to maintain hard copies of medical records, and have provided medical staff with a easy and efficient way to access patient information. They have also created systems that make it easy to submit claims and be paid by insurance companies more efficiently. HIS or Hospital Information System is a sample system that is being used by hospitals for their patient's records.


Quality Management

Information Technology allows health care organizations to have a better handle on their quality management efforts. Health care organizations can set up computer systems to perform automated quality assurance audits and generate reports on the findings. For instance, information technology systems can digitally pull information from electronic patient files and perform a quality audit on how many times in a month that patient received a particular treatment. Then, the system can generate a report of the findings. This information may be used for quality management purposes, and to determine if there are deficiencies that need to be addressed.


Disease Registries

Government Health Agencies are using Information Technology in the development and advancement of disease registries. Disease registries are databases that track and monitor types of diseases that affect a group or large population of people. Information technology allows researchers to store this data electronically, and lets them perform automated updates, generate reports and perform analysis.


Medical Equipment

Information Technology is providing the medical field with improved capabilities to perform tests, evaluate medical conditions and even perform surgeries with more accuracy. It is being integrated into machines and equipment, such as MRI's, to enhance a doctor's ability to see images more clearly. Information Technology is also abetting the creation of medical robotics, which are computer-operated machines that perform surgeries through the use of information technology navigational systems.


Health Insurance Exchanges

According to a 2010 article on CivSource, Information Technology will play a big part in the health care reform. As the article explains, information technology will be used as a means to exchange medical information between health insurance companies. Patients will not have to be responsible for serving as middlemen between their providers and their insurance reps, as the information technology systems can take care of this for the patient. The information system that is set up  on the doctor's side can communicate directly with the information system that is established on the insurance company side.


Medical Information Technology

There are universities and colleges that offer courses on Medical Information Technology. They prepare their students to become Medical Administrative Assistants, Medical Insurance Coders, and Medical Transcriptionist.  This personnel prepare medical records and reports, maintain files, order supplies, perform accounting procedures, work with medical insurance and coding, and receive patients in a variety of health care settings.


Information Technology offers solutions for almost all the segments covered under healthcare systems. Clinical trails management system, clinical decision support systems and data mining systems cater to the need of clinicians. Hospital Information System, e-Prescribing systems, ambulatory care management systems and patient management system find wide applications in hospitals. Applications like EMR, EHR, CPOE and physician practice management systems are used by both clinicians and larger healthcare providers to offer improved patient care. Imaging applications like PACS and RIS are used to manage images or patient scans. The inclusion of RIS and PACS in healthcare has helped in improving the workflow in hospitals. Increasing number of patients visiting hospitals and physician has increased the demand of information technology applications in healthcare sector.


Having all these information technology systems and applications available today, many institutions still don't take full advantage of these technology or even study the impact of implementing information technology.