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Healthcare is a vital aspect in a community and the country as a whole since a better health care ensures that all the citizens are health and therefore they are working to promote their financial status and the country’s economy at large. The healthcare sector is always flooding with improvements such as the incorporation of telecommunication in the health facilities which basically enhances the care delivery through efficiency and better treatment to patients. Innovation and improvement in technology and information management as well as advancement of techniques in health apparatus has made patients to be attended in time and effectively thus reducing the mortality rate of patients while undergoing treatment and also improving the rapidity of disease diagnosis. Local hospitals, clinics, and more so private healthcare suppliers make use of new health advancements so as to provide their patients with the best therapeutic care achievable. Even though it’s the information technology age, some of healthcare providers have been lagging behind in the incorporation of telecommunication in giving of health care thus having low efficiency and delivery of care (Hillestad et al., 2005).
The last time I accessed my health care services from my local community hospital, I found out that the facility had not incorporated quite a number of telecommunications concepts which made their care delivery not to be top notch. Some of the recommendations I would pose include the implementation of telemedicine, and the use of better appointment scheduling and notifications. The utilization of internet has been on the rise for the past decade and therefore this platform can be used in assisting patients retain information concerning their appointments and it will surely minimize cost as well as increase efficiency. The use of internet services like emailing or sending text messages to patients informing them about their forthcoming appointment and the patients would respond conforming whether to attend or not. Through this arrangement, physicians would know the exact patients to attend to therefore saves time on the part of him/her.
Telemedicine basically describes the use of electronic communications to exchange medical information between doctors and patients and it helps in improving a patient’s therapeutic health status. This system makes use of a range of services and applications such as wireless tools, smart phones, email, video conferencing, and other types of telecommunication expertise. This form of communication would ensure that for instance medical doctors in the local health facility monitor remotely any vital signs shown in patients, who are in far-flung areas, applying of nursing call centers to ensure that the health professionals are in constant communication with their patients no matter their locality (Brown, 2005).
Proper coordination and communication in healthcare delivery is quite useful therefore I strongly recommend them to be integrated in the local healthcare facility so as to improve its care delivery. The correct and appropriate communication between physicians would greatly reduce the time I spend the health facility since there seemed not to be any coordinated system of operation within the facility. Moreover, there was massive duplication of services within the facility as patients were being diagnosed even three times for the same ailment before being provided with medication. This practice is quite disadvantageous to the health facility as it incurs a lot of expenditure which could have been eliminated by the use of technology. The primary suggestion I would pop out is the assimilation of technology in the whole health facility as this would ensure that every doctor is able to access any patient’s medical information and therefore quickly attend the patient (Rutherford 2008).
The use of mobile technology has been on the rise with the invention of portable devices like notebooks, and ipads which make the access to technology and information easier. The facility luckily has an existing Electronic Health Record structure but it’s underused and poorly managed. A quick view to the system reveals that the information in it is very outdated and therefore not really useful in proper diagnosis and treatment of patients. The physicians in the health facility make use of paper charts in recording patients’ health information and as they told me the data is then afterward entered into the EHR system but incompetency and reluctance within the IT department in filling in the health information explains why the EHR system is still outdated. The utilization of mobile technology like ipads and notebook laptops would actually eliminate the tedious paper data entry habits done by the nurses hence majorly reducing the rampant data entry loss and errors incurred.
Though this updated Electronic Health Record system together with integrated mobile technology, medical doctors would easily access each patient’s medical history from anywhere within the health facility therefore increasing care delivery competence as well as preventing wrong diagnosis of patients and duplication of care services rendered. Nevertheless, time wastage would be massively reduced as many physicians consumed time while re-entering data from paper records into the EHR. In addition, installation of electronic prescription of drugs platform which would be based on the EHR system would ensure that all medication for a specific patient are accessible across the health facility thus minimizing medical prescription errors. For instance, the health facility would come up with an electronic database which would be able to generate, transmit, and fill in a medicinal prescription electronically thus replacing the tiresome manual paper approach. Therefore this system would for instance, help in sharing medical prescription data within the facility and even to the community pharmacies and for that reason facilitating in well-informed decision making (Rutherford 2008).
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The local health facility was low in implementing the major technological approaches which would help the facility in ensuring that it delivered the best care to its patients. As mentioned earlier, the department was incompetent and reluctant towards the incorporation and management of technology within the health facility thus the branch really needs to apply several process enhancement frameworks to its management system. The frameworks which I would recommend to the IT department include the Capacity Maturity Model (CMM) and the Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT).
The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is basically a methodology that has a five-stage evolutionary course of progressively organized as well as analytically more established processes. The model is generally used in carting out improvements adjourning the application advancement and continuation domain. Each of the five levels ranks health facility according to its homogeny of courses in the question area being evaluated for instance in the management of the Electronic Health Records (ICT infrastructure management, 2002).
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The information technology surrounding the working of the HER system would have to go through these levels namely: the initial stage where EHR processes are disorganized, the second is the repeatable step where fundamental project organization techniques concerning the EHR system are established, while in the third level which is known as the defined stage the health facility would have to develop its own customary EHR software process and paying much attention to integration, standardization, and documentation. Consequently, the fourth stage would involve a quantitatively managed level whereby the health facility controls and monitors its own EHR system through data compilation and also analysis and the optimizing stage would ensure that the whole HER system is continually enhanced through monitoring response from the existing system and coming up with better innovative procedures so as to better the service delivery in the health facility (ICT infrastructure management, 2002).
The Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT) framework is commonly useful in information technology governance as well as IT management. It actually allows administrators to overpass the gap between business risks, technical issues, and control requirements. Therefore this structure would be a lot useful to the local health facility in managing the whole department and most importantly the Electronic health record system which is of great importance to the facility. Moreover, the framework would actually improve the management of the EHR system and through its use the health facility would definitely achieve its operations goals of maximizing the application of the ultramodern information technology and also coordination of comprehensive social and medical services towards the patient’s live (ICT infrastructure management, 2002).
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Configuration Management Database
The local health facility has a lot of misplaced information and doctors kept on searching for patients’ paper folders which contained their health records and this really reduced the care delivery within the facility. Therefore a Configuration management database (CMDT) would have been useful since the single database simply is configured to contain all the relevant medial information of the whole health facility. Therefore the single source or documentation created by the IT department would ensure that the health facility has an organized outlook of data from a single platform and also a way of examining the information from any preferred perspective. The Electronic Health Records system would be configured with the electronic prescribing structure to form a single database which then would be accessible to all physicians within the facility and therefore provide readily available patients’ data and generally improving the care delivery (ICT infrastructure management, 2002)
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The current health care delivery in the country has improved greatly due to the incorporation of technology but some health facilities are yet to implement such like initiatives. The country’s population is exploding and therefore putting pressure on the existing health care models and therefore great deals of bolder approaches are required so as to sustain the population’s heath needs. The integration of Capacity Maturity Model (CMM) and the Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT) and configuration management database into the local healthcare facility would ensure that patients’ data is readily available therefore cut time wastage as well as increase overall care delivery efficiency.