Considerations of Health Information Management
Health Information Management is a practice which involves the preservation and care of medical records through electronic or customary means by health or insurance facilities. The prevalent adoption of computerized health information and other records such as health human resources (HHR) has led to the eventual upsurge in the deployment of information management practices in the health care area. Professionals in the health information management sector are charged with the responsibility of strategizing information systems, developing proper health guidelines and isolating potential information requirements.
Furthermore, health care professionals can employ scientific informatics in the process of amassing, storing, utilizing and transmitting information in accordance with ethical and legal requirements. The healthcare information management system operates under an implicit healthcare data. The rationale behind the ethical concern of healthcare information management systems is it strives to uphold and protect doctor-patient confidentiality (Heijden, 2009).
Healthcare information management system can be adopted as an instrument that advances patient gratification with the health services provided. This is achieved through the management system acting as a tracker of a certain dimension of service eminence. The dimensions of service quality can be analyzed by equating opinions of delivered services to the anticipated criteria. With regard to the healthcare sector, the aim of the management information system is to record information about various health practices and additionally to countercheck the service quality in various levels of the healthcare sector.
Patient assessment is considered to be an attempt of according the patient’s perception priority in order to achieve perfection of quality healthcare services. The benefits realized from the aforementioned statement include refining on patient satisfaction through the procedure of improved communication. The other benefit is increased community awareness on healthcare service quality (Green & McGraw, 2011). Ultimately, all the benefits comprehended from efficient healthcare information management system lead to improved utilization of services in the healthcare sector.
In the healthcare sector, the core of all its practices is privacy and discretion. The rationale behind the above statement is that all medical activities require maintaining honesty and dependence in the doctor-patient relationship. The patients’ trait of self-determination to reveal personal details to the medical practitioner is attributed to the policy of discretion and privacy. The doctor is obliged to uphold the rule of privacy. The field of health information management has undergone mammoth evolution. This is portrayed through the evolution of record keeping from manual to electronic. The employment of electronic health information management has been supported by both the public and medical practitioners.
A recent Wall Street Journal Poll conducted within the United States reveals that close to 89% of all Americans expressed confidence with their medical practitioners applying electronic health records. Alternatively, only 71% shared the same sentiments with regard to their doctors’ not adopting an electronic record keeping system. By the year 2008, more than half of the Chief Information Officers in the healthcare sector requested for ambulatory electronic healthcare records so as to facilitate the transfer of information in all levels of the healthcare sector.
Under the healthcare sector, health information managers are required to protect the patients’ private information. In addition, to this, they are charged with the responsibility of training other personnel within a healthcare facility on how to handle and positively utilize confidential information given to them. The growing importance of technology in the healthcare sector has led to the eventual maintenance of competence in healthcare information managers. The managers must be informed of all the technological changes with regard to the effective use of information databases which provide crucial information to doctors. Organizations in the healthcare sector have to keep up with the global evolution which is correlated with novelty such as new information tools (Peden, 2011).
Problems in the Health Information Management System
The healthcare information management system faces multiple challenges in its implementation in the healthcare realm. The challenges that the healthcare sector faces are; human capacity development, isolation of stakeholder’s accountabilities and roles, financial aspect and sustainability and finally participation and cognizance of the parties.
Stakeholder’s Roles and Accountabilities
Since the healthcare information management system is entirely reliant on the stakeholders, their needs and roles in the project need to be considered when designing and implementing the project.
Financial aspects and sustainability
Each and every healthcare facility longs for the practices’ eventual transition to effective healthcare information management systems. The employment of an effective information management system has the prospect of alleviating multiple concerns in the practice. However, the implementation of this project faces a significant barrier in the form of financial backing. With regard to small practice, the initial financial outlay may prove to be too steep for them. Furthermore the period that the implementation of the project may spell lost revenues for the small practices. The presence of such a barrier leaves small practices reluctant in investing and implementing the project.
Human Capacity Development
This is another barrier which proves to inhibit the adoption and implementation of effective health information management systems. Complete computer illiteracy and brain drain on local level prove to be precarious. Training of individuals involved in the healthcare sector serves as an element of cognizance. There should be an allocation of ample time in the training of the partakers in the project. Many developing countries serve as good examples since partakers in their projects lack the right capacity thus relaying the wrong data to the physicians.
The United States has made requisite and accredited courses for health information management education. In a bid to develop the aforementioned statement the state has created the CAHIIM. This institution is charged with the responsibility of running an accredited course in healthcare information management (Tan & Tan, 2010). Currently, the maintenance of the accreditation is made through annual submission of reports updating the institution of any adverse transformations in the program. Students undertaking this course may complete both the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management and a Masters of Health Services Administration Program. Students who have successfully pursued the aforementioned programs may management and executive ranks in healthcare organizations. In other countries like Canada students who have pursued the program are eligible to chase their dreams of a profession in healthcare information management.
Stakeholder’s participation and cognizance
The stakeholders involved in the project need to be aware of the objectives of implementing the information management system. Failure to do so proves to be critical to the effective operation of the project. Awareness of the stakeholders can be realized through training which would aid them in appreciating the system. Furthermore, consistent training of the stakeholders assists them to comprehend better the system.
The Importance of the Healthcare Information Management System
The healthcare sector has experienced growing acknowledgment of the significance of an effective health information management system which is capable of producing dependable data. The healthcare sector in many countries has experienced improvement and devolution which has led to its subsequent change in functions between the peripheral and central levels. In addition to this, the change is correlated to the generation of new information in data collection and dissemination. The reforms in the health sector have also brought to our attention the requisite for regulation and quality of information.
The effective collection, management, and dissemination of information in this sector aid in the realization of efficiency in identifying health problems, apportioning resources to develop health results and isolating potential solutions. A good example would be that of health information managers who have a critical role in delivering healthcare services in the United States. Their emphasis on collection, maintenance, and utilization of quality data ensures that there is ample support for the establishment of a contingent healthcare system.
The subsequent growth of the healthcare sector has led to the adoption of information technology as an integral part of the system. The healthcare practice has witnessed a paradigm shift from customary managing regimes with paper to a much well-organized Electronic Health Records. Although, the shift has already taken place the main goal of the information management system remains unchanged. The objective of the system persists to be the efficient management and utilization of data which is indispensable in patient care. Generally, the healthcare information management system serves an array of users and purposes. A summary of the purposes mentioned above is the creation of reliant data that all physicians in all levels of the sector can use to isolate problems, assign limited resources optimally and finally assert evidence-based determinations on health policies (Winter & Haux, 2011).
Factors Affecting the Implementation of the Healthcare Information Management System
There are several key factors which influence the disparity in implementation experience in the healthcare information management system. The factors that contribute to the systems include education, technology, leadership, the environment, and organizational structures. This section of the paper shall highlight the general overview of the factors causing the variance.
The ‘education’ factor involves the participation of all members of staff in the training activity in the healthcare facility. The active participation of the healthcare employees in the primary care activities and training was equated to the extent of technology use in the healthcare facility. Stakeholders in the healthcare sector are forced to develop health centers so as to promote the efficient recording of patient information and health assessments to physicians. The aforementioned statement leads to the achievement of ‘best practices’ in primary care. The ‘best practices’ in healthcare as mentioned above include paper-based record/electronic health records and community research. Physicians individually have managed to incorporate these ‘best practices’ in their professional practice through personal initiative. The generic core of the healthcare information management system is research and education.
Improved information flow and management within a healthcare facility is attributed to the educational activities employed by the organization. Once crucial information about healthcare ‘best practice’ circulates, there occurs a massive transformation in the medical providers’ attitude. After the information circulation, the medical providers focus on improving their daily output thus revealing their capacity to self-organize (Ball & Kiel, 2010). Furthermore, when the state shifts to computerization more members of the public will be interested in acquiring new skills. Generally, the training of individuals would prove to be beneficial to both parties even if the acquired skill will not be applied in healthcare activities.
The degree of accomplishment in the implementation of the healthcare information management system is further affected by technology fused with other elements. The actual commencement of the healthcare information management system in the healthcare sector makes an exceptional improvement of information flow and management in health centers. Implementation of technology may prove to be new to the personnel in a health center thus creating the possibility of improvement of daily work. The personnel will employ technology to advance the efficiency of healthcare activities.
In expounding on this factor the paper shall provide an insight into the Greek health sector. Greek healthcare employees stated that the country’s healthcare facility system experienced inadequacies due to the derisory organization of primary care services. In spite of the employee’s claims, the country’s health sector maintained its stature as a major source of care in the country. The sector was able to maintain its position by employing innovative practices.
The health sector’s inadequacies in Greece are attributed to the culture of philotimo. Philotimo refers to a ‘friend-of-honor. The aforementioned word depicts a sense of obligation and self-esteem which oversees daily behaviors. Greek personnel in healthcare centers used this word to explicate the operations in the medical facilities. In the context of the health sector, the principle of philotimo implied that the healthcare employees will act on goodwill and interest of the patients. The principle of philotimo can be perceived either positively or negatively. Under the positive perception, the principle facilitates positive change in the sense that it creates trust in the doctor-patient relationship. The negative perception is that it creates inadequacies in the health information management system (Wager & Glaser, 2013).
The principle of philotimo as used in Greece can be considered to be leadership. It is revealed that the Greek healthcare sector lacks proper leadership. This is attributed to the fact that the bulk of health information managers lacks the proper capacity. Such healthcare managers assumed leadership positions without proper training. Due to this, the factor of leadership is not sufficient in Greece. Healthcare directors should undergo proper training to ensure that they possess the required leadership skills. A healthcare sector that envisages good leadership establishes an atmosphere of effective patient care.
The term environment refers to the state’s National Health Service and the general patient population. Both parties mentioned in the above statement must possess the capacity to effect technology-based transformation. Healthcare facilities which focus on proper management of patient records and community outreach set the dimension of quality in the community. The state imposes a formal requirement for healthcare facilities to give periodical statistical information with regard to the health sector.
Summary of Research Resources
Through different studies conducted by different scholars on the subject matter of this paper, one gets the big picture of healthcare information management systems. Elske Ammenwertha, Stefan Gräberb, Gabriele Herrmannc, Thomas Bürkled, and Jochem Königb (2009) conclude that patients in healthcare are more concerned with the issue of information safekeeping. Patients wish to comprehend that there is efficient management of their special health information by healthcare employees. The main health account is responsible for considering what kind of information should be amassed, how it should be handled, who has capacity to utilize the information, at what instance is the information to be revealed to the public realm, how the health information is stored and in case it becomes redundant how it is predisposed without revealing its content. Under the healthcare sector, all healthcare practices regarding information management revolve around the central policies.
Similar results were displayed in a study conducted by Nicole Archangel (2008). The aforementioned author was of the opinion that healthcare personnel is the center of all ethical concerns regarding the efficient maintenance of health records. Furthermore, the Adventism of electronic health records is a source of disagreement between several ethical principles. According to the author, the electronic health record serves a positive purpose of boosting health care services while cutting down on the cost of the operation.
The author goes on further to state that the health information management system self-sufficiency is placed at risk when the patients’ health records are revealed to the public realm without the patients’ cognizance. Violation of conformity to the policies outlined by the healthcare information management system can occur through honest faults or theft/fraud. Patients may be forced to conceal receptive accounts on the grounds that the information management system is devoid of self-assurance (Rodrigues, 2010).
The final result attributed to the study of the health care information management which shall be highlighted in this section is the study conducted by Paolo Locatelli, Nicola Restifo, Luca Gastaldi and Mariano Corso. The authors were of the opinion that the health care sector is characterized as a sector which is information intensive. The health care sector assumes a critical role for the effective planning and monitoring of providing services in the different levels of the health sector.
Of late, the health care sector providers are facing unparalleled competition thus forcing them to adopt heightened care in quality. One of the means the health care providers implement so as to realize improved care quality is the inclusion of ICT in the sector. This move improves all levels of the health care sector including the healthcare information management system while cutting down on the cost of operations. According to her study, the healthcare information system is made up of different systems which are merged in an underpinning to uphold the patient’s views. With regard to the aforementioned statement information management systems are designed with the core purpose of backing up health care cost and the quality of care.in addition to this, the author pointed out that health information management system is optimally positioned to offer better health care in the various levels of the health care sector.
In conclusion, the implementation of effective health care information management system creates a good health system in that region. Nevertheless, some countries face the challenge of having a weak health care information management system. This concern can be avoided if the country adopts and implements computerized health care information management system. Through computerization, the health care services save on resources and improve its efficiency. With regard to the cost incurred in the implementation of the system, it can all be recovered within two years after the commencement of the project. The Adventism of computerization in the healthcare sector has led to the successful monitoring, collecting and dissemination of health care information.
Ball, M. J., Weaver, C. A., & Kiel, J. M. (2010). Healthcare information management systems: Cases, strategies, and solutions. New York: Springer.
Green, M. A., Bowie, M. J., & McGraw, S. L. (2011). Essentials of health information management: Principles and practices. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning.
Heijden, J. G. M. (2009). Designing management information systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Peden, A. H. (2011). Comparative health information management. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning.
Rodrigues, J. (2010). Health information systems: Concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications. Hershey PA: Medical Information Science Reference.
Tan, J. K. H., Payton, F. C., & Tan, J. K. H. (2010). Adaptive health management information systems: Concepts, cases, and practical applications. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Wager, K. A., Lee, F. W., & Glaser, J. P. (2013). Health care information systems: A practical approach to health care management.
Winter, A., & Haux, R. (2011). Health information systems: Architectures and strategies. London: Springer.
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