Healthcare systems are necessitated by the need of healthcare information. The systems would not be complete with the input and analysis of data, information that they are designed to support. Information technology enables an organization in management of functions like planning, developing, designing, implementation of systems and providing services. These are essential in capturing, storing, processing, and communicating data, information and knowledge. The same goes for the healthcare industry. Healthcare IT industry has evolved over the years with many changes. In hospital care practice today, there is a greater shift away from paper documentation and towards computer database maintenance.
Information technology is becoming so important to the healthcare industry in recent decades, that any up gradation affects a hospital’s operation immensely. Healthcare organizations are finding it challenging to keep up-to-date. They have to deal with rising costs due to an aging population, increased chronic illness, industry and government regulations, and rising consumer demands for improved services and patient care.
To improve cost efficiency and accountability in healthcare systems, international governments are putting pressure on hospitals and healthcare service providers to increase their use of healthcare technology using globally recognized standards. These regulations and initiatives are inspiring many hospitals to upgrade their IT systems by adopting IT convergence. It involves combining multiple IT systems and applications into a centralized window. For example: the low-voltage cabling system supporting the facility’s wired and wireless voice, data and video communications.
IT convergence has proven to be a cost effective way to reduce network complexity and lower administration time and costs. This translates into lower overhead costs and increased profitability. Usually most hospitals administrative and medical systems are installed on separate networks in a traditional manner. However, with the ever increasing application variety, the cost and complexity of maintaining separate
Providing quality and effective health care is everyone’s concern. This is true anywhere in the world, even in the United States. The government is constantly trying to initiate changes in the system that will ensure that health care is still provided comprehensively even with the onset of recession. The general public, on the other hand, is faced with worries about getting decent health care for themselves and their families. Employers are concerned with providing proper health care benefits to the employees and their dependents, while the medical practitioners are constantly looking for ways on how to be able to provide the best health care possible for their patients.
When someone is admitted to a hospital or a medical institution, this can cause worry for his family. They will definitely worry about his medical condition. The financial situation also comes into play. The little but important details about settling the bills, especially if you are using insurance can also cause stress and confusion. Although the coverage of the insurance is usually explained when it is availed, there is a lot more to learn and understand when it comes down to choosing the correct hospital or doctor and to ensure that hospital expenses are kept to a minimum.
The United States boasts of having one of the most advanced and comprehensive healthcare systems in the world. American citizens, in general, should be thankful for having sufficient healthcare plans, either through their personal funds or through their employers. This is applicable especially for those who are able to avail of private healthcare plans. However, we cannot say that this is true for everyone, especially those who are not eligible for government insurance. This may be due to one of the following reasons: the disease is not covered by the plan, or the family earns more than enough to qualify for government insurance, but earns less than how much is required for them to afford private insurance.
There are also those who are not eligible for government insurance, but do not have health benefits from their employers. So, it is up to them to decide whether they can afford to set aside some money to pay for personal insurance or not. Since the government cannot afford to subsidize healthcare for everyone, or for every disease, the responsibility of providing comprehensive health care is left to the hands of big businesses, or in worst cases, on the hands of an individual who has to decide whether it is practical to get a medical insurance or not.
With government provided healthcare being limited, and with medical insurance companies constantly increasing health insurance prices, the burden of providing quality and comprehensive health care for him and his family is left to the ordinary man. To date, there are still no concrete rules and regulations that can help ensure that every man in the country can have quality and comprehensive health care. Until this is addressed, there will still be people that will not be able to afford bringing in their loved ones for treatment and the issue of health care will continue to be a debatable topic.