The Importance of Information Technology in Healthcare
Of all the industries in the U.S., healthcare may be impacted most by Information Technology. IT is the use of computer and telecommunication systems to do the following with private data:
- Store it
- Retrieve it
- Send it
- Maintain its privacy
With America’s growing population and current healthcare issues, information technology is more important than ever before. Trained specialists exchange this data to improve medical care, reduce medical errors, lower healthcare expense, and promote more affordable healthcare overall of wider populations. IT also assists providers in increasing productivity in diagnosis, treatments, and record keeping.
It’s vital to gain easy and fast access to patient data and communicate with the treatment staff. Information Technology helps to eliminate roadblocks to carrying on a smooth flow of data and information to other medical professionals and patients. If you have an interest in both fields of healthcare and IT, this career may be right for you.
How IT Is Used to Help Patients
Healthcare Information Technology is widely used in traditional walk-in medical facilities and online televisits to doctors and nurses. These facilities make good use of IT to serve patients:
- Doctor and Dentist Offices
- Neighborhood Clinics
- Ambulatory Medical Centers
- Nursing Homes
- Birth and Dialysis Centers
- Blood Banks and Diabetes Centers
IT is also used in hospice homes, imaging and radiology centers, mental health, addiction treatment centers, orthopedic centers, rehabilitation centers, and urgent care. Many more specialized medical facilities use information technology to enhance patient services.
When choosing a medical facility, you must determine if it accepts your health insurance. How close it is to your home or workplace is also an important factor. Research its reputation for quality and find out if the local facility can treat you there or you must go to another one of their locations. TIP: Some facilities do a better job than others and it pays to find out by checking report cards created by various consumer groups.
“Of all the industries in the U.S., healthcare may be impacted most by Information Technology.”
How Information Technology Benefits the Healthcare Industry
IT benefits the healthcare industry in many ways we now take for granted. New innovations from other businesses and industries are applied to our doctor, clinic, and hospital visits.
1.Improved Medical Care
Patient information is now transmitted to multiple record storage places to provide fast and easy access when it’s needed. More medical professionals have access to patient records and can render their input to others providing patient care.
2.Reduce Medical Errors
New software can detect errors in medical codes and terminology as well as spelling mistakes. Errors in medical records can lead to incorrect medications and errors for current and future medical care. IT also helps protect patent safety in many ways.
3.Lower Healthcare Costs
As doctors, nurses, and patients become better informed about preventative healthcare measures, patients tend to be healthier and return for treatment less often. Physicians can collaborate more freely to share ideas to improve patients’ health conditions in general. This in turn reduces overall costs for many people.
When it is not convenient for patients to visit their doctors in person, they can get the same benefit through a telehealth visit. When pandemics are present, this technology becomes more important. You and I can talk to a nurse about general health questions even when we are not sick, but seek information.
5.Monitor Patients Remotely
Doctors and medical staff can follow up on patients by monitoring them remotely. For example, patients who have had heart surgery and have pacemakers can be checked from the office through technology. This can be a lifesaver by alerting when it’s time to change batteries or a person’s condition has worsened.
The Importance of Healthcare Information Privacy
Patients can now see the summaries and/or complete notes on their doctor visits and hospital stays via the Internet. You and I can set up an online account with each medical facility to access our records, billings, insurance payments, and pharmacy needs. By having a user ID and password, each person’s information is kept in strictest privacy.
How to Obtain a Job in This Field
Select an accredited college with a reputable Information Technology Program and enroll full-time or part-time. Arrange your personal schedule to attend class in person and/or participate in online learning, hold study time, and you will be on your way.
It’s not necessary to attend a university in another city to obtain your degree in IT when you can commute.
If you live in the Baton Rouge area, you can obtain an Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS) Degree in our IT Program. Learn how to effectively use the latest software and hardware and communicate your work efforts with your colleagues. Working in this field is challenging and rewarding, especially when you can help people with their healthcare issues. Be sure to apply for the ITI Technical College scholarship.