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Safety Using Informatics and Technology

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Introduction

Healthcare informatics combines clinical science, information management, and computer technology in collection, retrieving and storage of patient’s information (Hoyt, Sutton & Yoshihashi, 2008). This aids in proper patient care and solving clinical problems. Furthermore, it supports cost negotiations and public data gathering. It ensures patient safety since it reduces errors in medication with computerized Physician Order Entry System that eliminates problems in interpretation of handwriting and transcription of order. A problem that may arise when introducing healthcare informatics and technology is obsolete state laws that prevent automation of certain patient data. The cost of purchasing the healthcare informatics equipment may be too high thus putting a strain to the resources of the organization.

Technology and informatics support the healthcare delivery system. This is because when the healthcare system becomes digitalized, providers can access the information they need right at the point of care (Ball, 2010). This will also help in information sharing where different departments like surgery department and finance will have access to central data that will enhance better decision-making. The system is also connected to the internet and thus physicians will be able to know about new and effective drugs available in the market.

Electronic Health Records promote safety and improve the quality of care given to patients, consumers, and the healthcare delivery system. It is the electronic version of patients’ medical history maintained by the medical institution over a given period. Information stored by this system includes patient’s progress notes, medications, vital signs, laboratory data, and radiology reports (Ball, 2010). It improves patient care since it evidences based decision support and interfaces that providing quality management and outcome reporting. Furthermore, it reduces medical error incidences by improving clarity and accuracy of medical records. It also makes health information easily accessible when various hospital staff members require it. Furthermore, it reduces duplication of medical tests that would lead to wrong treatment of patients. The electronic health records also help to reduce delays in treatment.

Computerized Physician Order Entry helps to promote safety and quality care given to patients, consumers and healthcare delivery system. This software allows a physician or a licensed medical provider to enter medication order directly into the computer thus eliminating delays in transcription of orders (Hoyt, Sutton & Yoshihashi, 2008). It provides the practitioner with guidance on choosing a list of desired medication from the computer. In addition to this, it provides a route of medication and dosage for complete treatment. It also simplifies inventory and posting of patients’ charges. It improves patient safety by eliminating handwritten errors that lead to errors and injuries of patients. It has automatic dosing that alerts the user when the dosage is high.

Bar code medication administration helps to promote safety and quality care given to patients, consumers and healthcare delivery system. It is a bar code system designed to help eliminate medication errors (Ball, 2010). This system comprises of a computer server, software, and a portable computer with wireless connection. Before a physician gives medication to a patient, he has to scan the bar code in the wristband of the patient to ensure that he is the right patient. This improves patient care since he will administer the right dose to the patient and recommend the right route at the right time.

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