The medical industry has experienced overwhelming advances over the last 50 years, and now even further steps are being taken to help optimize patient care. By turning to computer software, the use of health information technology is changing the landscape of patient and doctor relationships. The overwhelming benefits of this enhanced technology stand to drastically improve several different crucial aspects of how a physician is able to acquire any necessary information about a patient, and as a result, will increase the improvement of patient treatment.
One of the key goals of using this technology is the reduction of medical errors. Information about a patient’s on going health history would get stored in readable form, which would prevent medical mistakes due to a former physician’s poor hand writing. Quick and timely access to a patient’s health history documents would allow a doctor to pursue the necessary treatments or medications needed for a patient. These documents are maintained as part of a patient’s personal health record. The record would also contain any information about family health which could prove pertinent for future medical situations.
While the personal health records would be updated by an individual who is tracking their health status, the availability of these records in electronic file form, and their ability to be accessed by doctors is another aspect of the benefits of this technology. These records would allow doctors to not only be able to review a patient’s medical history, but would give them the ability to interconnect with any laboratories or other hospitals that the patient may have visited in the past. All tests performed on a patient, any blood work, or any regular treatments would be noted in these patient e-files, allowing the doctor to have a clear picture of every piece of pertinent information. This will help decrease the need for repetitive testing, expedite the treatment and most importantly allow doctors to communicate with any other health facilities on behalf of the patient.
The two overall goals of health information technology is to enhance the patient’s treatment and decrease medical errors. In a lot of situations, medical errors occur due to medications prescribed to a patient that may end up having a negative effect. Electronic prescribing notes of any drug interactions that may be harmful, allows the doctor to determine which medications are covered by the patient’s insurance, and allows for clear and accurate information being presented about the patient’s reactions to past administrations of certain medications.
All of these aspects should help to drastically reduce physician errors, enhance patient care, and therefore improve the populations overall state of health.